What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the application of essential oils that are intended to promote the health and well being of an individual.
Essential oils have been used in perfumery and healing for many thousands of years, even before the ancient Egyptian times.
The use of natural oils for both fragrance and healing purposes, however, started to die out in the early nineteenth century when scientists learned how to synthesize the plant oils for both perfumes and medicines. It was thought that the new synthesized products would take the place of the natural, more expensive substances, which accordingly fell out of favour.
In the early 1900's, a French chemist named Gattefosse was working in his perfumery laboratory when he suffered a severe burn to his hand. Wanting to immediately cool his burn, but not having any water within reach, he plunged his hand into a bowl of lavender essential oil. A few days later, and to his surprise, he found that his burns were healing very quickly and with minimal scarring.
Gattefosse began to investigate the properties of the lavender oil, and then other essential oils, and he eventually became the principal authority on essential oils. Gattefosse is today credited with rediscovering the art of using essential oils from plants for 'health' purposes.
Essential oils can enter the body through the air via the nose and bronchial passages (Inhalation) or can be absorbed through the skin directly into the bloodstream using massage (Absorption).
Although serious conditions should always be treated by a qualified practitioner or by a physician, many common ailments can be relieved safely and effectively at home with Aromatherapy. You may in fact, soon come to regard essential oils as a vital part of your home first aid kit.
Many oils have proven antiseptic properties and can be used as first aid and as an ongoing treatment for cuts, burns, insect bites and bruises. Some other oils are anti-inflammatory, anti-bactericidal, antibiotic, etc. Oils with anti-fungal properties can be used in such conditions as athlete’s foot and other fungal infections. Some can be used as an aid in the overall management of more serious conditions, such as Candida albicans, arthritis and rheumatism.
In addition, since the oils work through the brain to act on the emotions, they are very useful too not only for stress relief, but in cases of anxiety, overwork, stage fright etc.
Caution should be exercised when using the oils to treat children or in pregnancy or if suffering from some serious complaint – do email us for advice if required.