Since ancient times the key civilisations of Rome, Egypt, India, and China have all utilised what we now call aromatherapy in one form or another. This involved the use of essential plant oils in perfumes, cosmetics, and medicines. They were high-value and luxury items and, in some cases, even used as a method of payment. The term aromatherapy was first used in a book written by a French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who claimed in 1937 to have successfully treated a burnt hand with lavender oil. In this short article, we will look at some of the more popular essential oils, how you might use them and the benefits of using such products as an aroma massage oil.
The Aromatherapy Basics
Aromatherapy is a broad term which covers the application of essential oils for therapeutic purposes; they are applied to the skin via massage, inhaled as a vapour or immersed in water. Specialists in the field are called Aromatherapists, who, with training, can blend together different therapeutic oils to treat many different illnesses. The most popular oils in use include the following –
- Eucalyptus oil is used predominately as medicine to treat respiratory problems and has superb anti-inflammatory properties.
- Clary sage – produced from the plant of the same name, it is used to help reduce stress, manage depression, and also has good anti-bacterial properties.
- Peppermint – available as gel capsules and liquid oils- is perfect as a bath oil or to drink in a tea; its properties are not fully understood but are thought to help blood flow or ease sinus problems.
- Lemon grass oil – once extracted from the host, it is used in many products to treat high blood pressure and various digestive problems.
There are many other essential oils in use today in many products, lavender, rosemary, fennel, and tea tree oil being just a few of them.
How Can I use Essential Oils?
Aromatherapy involves using over one hundred different essential oils in various products through inhaling a vapour or skin absorption of the oil. It is possible to safely introduce yourself to aromatherapy through shop brought oils and using them as bathing salts or massage oils. Heating the oils in facial steamers, diffusers, and aromatic spritzers also offers an easy introduction.
The benefits of using the different essential oils are wide-ranging and include pain management and the reduction of stress and anxiety; it can also fight bacteria and fungus and improve digestion; there are many online guides on the subject which can give you a fuller description.
If you are looking for an alternative remedy to headaches, insomnia, or anxiety, take a further look at aromatherapy. It might be just what you are looking for.