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For hundreds of years, people all over the world have turned to this ancient method to help clear the body and soul of impurities and symptoms of poor health. Although not as popular in our Western civilization, the world over has known about this simple technique. Now you can learn how it can be incorporated into your daily routine.
According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), the method of aromatherapy can be defined as the therapeutic use of naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to promote the health of your mind, body and spirit.
The term “aromatherapie” was first coined in 1937 by a French perfumer and chemist in his book Gattefosse’s Aromatherapy. The book contains many different studies that reveal the benefits of essential oils for medicinal purposes, beyond their use as fragrances.
“(Aromatherapy) is a natural, non-invasive modality designed to affect the whole person, not just the symptom or disease, and to assist the body’s natural ability to balance, regulate, heal and maintain itself by the correct use of essential oils,” said former NAHA President Jade Shutes.
Essential oils are produced to help plants adapt to changes in the environment. For the plant, NAHA states that essential oils can:
- Attract pollinators and dispersal agents: The aroma and color of the plant attract insects to help carry seeds for pollination. Butterflies, bees and some beetles aid in this process.
- Prevent the growth of competing vegetation: Plants release essential oils and fragrances so other plants will not invade their growth zone or area.
- Protect the plant from predators: The oils and fragrances of a plant will ward off insects and other predators.
- Protect the plant from disease: Complex compounds are released that serve as antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal agents.
For our use, essential oils are extracted from plants either by steaming or cold-pressing the source. Not only do these oils smell amazing, but they can work wonders for your body and mind. Some of the most widely used essential oils are:
- Chamomile: Can help alleviate stress, anxiety, insomnia and menstrual cramps, plus acts as a natural anti-inflammatory.
- Clary sage: Helps relieve stress, anxiety and muscle pain.
- Eucalyptus: Helps clear sinus passages; acts as an expectorant to relieve chest congestion.
- Ginger: Helps relieve digestive pain, constipation, nausea and joint pain, plus acts as a natural anti-inflammatory.
- Citrus oils: These oils are found in oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit, cloves and tangerine. They can act as natural cleansing agents and aid in detoxification.
- Lavender: Helps relieve stress and anxiety, heal wounds, relieve itchy skin, soothe burns and regulate sleep patterns.
- Peppermint: Helps relieve nausea, soothe muscle aches and pain, boost energy levels and relieve migraines.
Look for these essential oils at your local health food store. They can be found in their natural state, as oil, or in teas, lotions, room sprays, all-natural soaps and cleansing agents, candles, incense, and more. Discover which products work best for your improved health.