Benefits of Aromatherapy: Essential Oils For Healthcare

Aromatherapy, like many other alternative practices that have been rediscovered in the last decades, has become a very successful industry. From spa treatments including therapeutic level essential oils to aromatherapy candles and cosmetic products made with natural ingredients, essential oils are seemingly everywhere. But what is this aromatherapy thing about? Can it actually heal you? Or is it just another fad?

What Is Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the use of oil extracts from different plants and flowers for both their medicinal and aromatic virtues, with the goal of improving psychological and physical well-being. While there are some oils that are just used for their scent, such as artificial perfumes, aromatherapy only concerns itself with naturally produced ingredients distilled directly from plants. In many cases, essential oils are produced from organically grown plants, to increase the health benefits by avoiding harsh chemicals and artificial substances.

Aromatherapy as a way of healing the soul and body is nothing new: the ancient Greeks and Egyptians already used primitive distillation processes to extract oils from plants and flowers native to the Mediterranean climate. While those oils weren’t as pure as those available nowadays, entire treaties on medicine talk about their properties to help heal wounds and help relax the troubled mind.

Benefits Of Aromatherapy

Essential oils used correctly can greatly help a person’s psychological state, helping balance moods and relax troubled spirits. It can also be used to lighten the mood and alleviate stress, and as a way of helping the mind relax for other therapies such as guided meditation by creating a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere. However, aromatherapy isn’t a cure for underlying psychological problems that may be causing stress or depression, though by alleviating the symptoms it may help the real therapy and medications act quicker.

Aromatherapy also helps strengthen the body and increase its natural defences, so it can be helpful to heal minor skin conditions and other ailments and contribute to the healing process of some diseases by enhancing the effect of traditional medicine or therapy. In the case of cancer patients, for example, aromatherapy can be used to reduce nausea produced by chemotherapy, helping with the patient wellbeing and ultimately helping the body stay strong to fight the disease.

Some minor health problems, such as indigestion, acne or dry skin and even PMS and related hormonal disorders, can be relieved by using specific essential oils with relaxing or antiseptic properties. However, aromatherapy should never be used in place of a doctor’s advice, as it’s not intended to just heal any disease. For example, essential oils for skin such as jojoba and rose oil have been used for centuries to keep the skin young and as a moisturizer, and can be helpful for people who suffer a skin condition such as psoriasis, but they won’t heal it. Tea tree can be great to treat spots due to its anti-septic properties, but it won’t prevent spots from appearing if there’s an underlying reason for them such as teenager hormonal unbalances.

Aromatherapy can be a great help in dealing with some emotions and help balance the mind. For example, a blend of Jasmine and Chamomile can help control anger, while Bergamot, Lavender or Cedarwood can be used to reduce anxiety. In some cases there have been reports of positive effects of some essential oils for depression, such as Clary Sage and Sandalwood. You can try this yourself, if you have trouble sleeping try adding a few drops of Lavender to your bath or sprinkling your pillow with it right before going to sleep.