By Juliet Cohen
Aromatherapy Scent is the most enduring of our senses. Aromatherapy is the use of pure essential and absolute oils. Essential oils are complex, highly fragrant and volatile substances, with varying degrees of complexity, fragrance, and volatility. They are the most potent and concentrated extracts of various parts of flowers, fruits, leaves, spices, roots, and woods. The plant’s essence molecules are approximately 75-100 times more concentrated as an essential oil than in the dried plant.
It is a holistic treatment of caring for the body with pleasant smelling botanical oils such as rose, lemon, lavender and peppermint. It has the power to transform our emotions, and heal our bodies. Aromatherapy is one of the fastest growing fields in alternative medicine. It is widely used at home, clinics and hospitals for a variety of applications such as pain relief for women in labor pain, relieving pain caused by the side effects of the chemotherapy undergone by the cancer patients, and rehabilitation of cardiac patients.
The oils are obtained by steam distillation, expression (squeezing the oil from peel), maceration (immersing the plant in hot oil to release the essence) or enfleurage (pressing flowers between oiled glass plates). The essential oils are aromatic essences extracted from plants, flowers, trees, fruits, bark, grasses and seeds with distinctive therapeutic, psychological, and physiological properties, which improve and prevent illness.
There are about 150 essential oils. These oils are extracted by the means of steam distillation, cold expression, or fixed oil or alcohol extraction. Most of these oils have antiseptic properties; some are antiviral, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antidepressant and expectorant. When you take “Aromatherapy massage” with the essential oils, these oils are absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin.
Other properties of the essential oils which are taken advantage of in aromatherapy are their stimulation, relaxation, digestion improvement, and diuretic properties. To get the maximum benefit from essential oils, it should be made from natural, pure raw materials. Synthetically made oils do not work. They may also be added to steam inhalations or baths, added to compresses or spread throughout a room with diffusers. The essential oils used in aromatherapy are the life force of the plants from which they have been extracted.
These oils can be massaged on your body, inhaled, added to your bath or sprayed in the air. Cold expression is used for citrus oils, and a method of solvent extraction for absolutes, concretes and resinoids. The newest technological process of extraction is the hypercritical carbon dioxide method: in part due to high cost, it is not as commonly available.
Aromatherapy uses aromatic essences that are extracted from plants. Aromatherapy is particularly effective in dealing with stress, depression and stress related disorders. ‘Depression’ is a term which encompasses a wide spectrum of psychic problems ans symtoms which, in turn, can lead to more serious illnesses. Aromatherapy, in helping to relax the patient and by reducing stress, may actually help to prevent such conditions. Depression related disorders, such as digestive problems, stress and other mental problems, can be treated by Aromatherapy. As depression is reduced, there is a corresponding improvement in sleep patterns and energy levels. In aromatherapy it is believed that the sense of smell is very powerful and directly connected to our brain, and therefore, to the hormonal activity in the body. Based on this logic, we can balance our hormones using essential oils.
Many of the essential oils used for depression are from flowers and fruit. These essences have an uplifting effect on the mind and emotions. An aromatic bath two to three times per week is especially helpful for depression. Sometimes the aromatic baths are effective enough on their own as a remedy for mild bouts of depression or feeling blue.
Sandalwood is an essential oil used in yoga and in temples in many religions. It is indicated to treat anxiety, nervousness, and depression. Aromatherapy can help you relax, be energized, and create a feeling of well being. Aromatherapy is an alternative theatment that uses the highly concentrated essential oils that are extracted from plants to treat symptoms and assist in the healing process. Aromatherapy is aimed at revitalizing the body and mind while lifting your spirits. Aromatherapy will aid in promoting a sense of well being.
Aromatherapy is also known for easing mental fatigue and insomnia. When you use these wonderful essential oils in the correct blend for massages, baths, diffusers and even personal perfumes you will begin to benefit from the use of aromatherapy. Using aromatherapy for depression will give you the peace of mind and the well being that you need. Bergamot (pressed from the peels of bitter oranges) has a strong reputation for its ability to uplift the mind and emotions. Bergamot has the ability to both relax the nerves and invigorate the spirit; with these actions, this important oil can be helpful for a variety of depressive condtions. Sweet orange, a close relative, works in a similar fashion, with a slightly sweeter aroma.