What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to maintain and promote physical and emotional wellbeing. Essential oils have been around for centuries, used by many different cultures, in a variety of ways and as a form of holistic therapy. Research has shown essential oils to be some of the strongest metabolite agents; ridding the body of toxins and fighting infections. Aromatherapy is one of the fastest growing fields in holistic medicine. The current interest in the practice of aromatherapy seems to emphasize the fact that nature is continuing to offer us ways to heal ourselves while allowing us to enjoy the beauty that is before us.

What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are found in different parts of the plant:
Flowering Tops Lavender, Chamomile
Grass Lemongrass, Palmarosa
Leaves Peppermint, Cinnamon
Peel Lemon, Bergamo, Orange
Seed Cardamom, Fennel
Twig Cypress, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus
Wood Rosewood, Cedarwood
Gum Frankincense, Myrrh

Because of their properties, essential oils are widely used in perfumes, flavorings and medicines. The main methods are steam distillation, by compression, dissolving the oils out (extraction) or absorbing them, and by pressure and maceration(to separate into constituents by soaking).

The methods used to extract the essential oils are time consuming and expensive and require a high degree of expertise. To maintain all of the therapeutic qualities, it must be extracted by steam distillation, using extremely low pressure and low heat as not to defile the quality of the oil. The name “essential,” is derived from the Latin “quintessential,” meaning the fifth element. The fifth element was the vital element the alchemist sought to change base metals into gold.

Each oil renders valuable health benefits when properly used in aromatherapy. Essential oils do not need to pass through the digestive system and can enter through the skin by massage oils, by various methods of inhalation, compresses or vaporizers. Essential oils interact with the body in three distinct ways: pharmacologically chemical change (through the blood stream), physiologically (effects the systems of the body) and psychologically (inhaled and a response is generated by the aroma). Given that it takes in excess of 220 pounds of rose petals to produce only 4 or 5 teaspoons of oil, the chemical complexity and high concentration of essential oils makes every drop valuable and powerful. The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) offers more information and valuable connections in regards to education and events.

Bring essential oils into your home; and watch them change your life.