Essential oils have been stipulated to contain various degrees of antimicrobial activity and have antiviral, nematocidal & insecticidal properties. Most compounds in essential oils are said to contain antiseptic properties. Other compounds may be antifungal, antiviral, carminative, or decongestant and hold antioxidant properties.
Essential oils are highly concentrated molecules of the compound and are highly aromatic. Concentrating the essences of these plants, involves separating the active healing compounds of a plant into a therapeutically graded essential oil.
These therapeutic elements are extracted directly from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree, and just one drop can facilitate powerful & therapeutic health benefits which can also assist recovery as a complementary therapy to conventional medicine (always seek advice from your GP before attempting to integrate any therapy as part of your recovery).
Typically, they are extracted through different processes of distillation, which separate oil and water-based compounds of a plant by steaming. They are also obtained by putting the plant material through a specific extraction processes, depending on the plant. These include; hydro-distillation, cold-pressing or CO² extraction.
How Aromatherapy is Used
The application of therapeutically graded organic essential oils include; massage, topical applications, ingestion through their addition to food and drink and also direct inhalation or diffusion. Most typically they are applied through inhalation or as a topical application.
The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) distinctly addresses Aromatherapy as “the therapeutic application or the medicinal use of aromatic substances (essential oils) for wholesome healing.”
Nevertheless, be aware that “natural” compounds are nonetheless chemicals, so, they may be dangerous if utilized inappropriately. It is advised to seek a professional when using essential oils to avoid any hazards if one doesn’t have any experience blending or using them.
Inhaling essential oils stimulates the olfactory system, the part of the brain connected to smell, including the nose and the brain through the limbic system. This happens where by the miniscule molecules of essential oils enter the nose or mouth pass to the lungs, and from there, naturally circulate to other parts of the body. For example if you have congestion due to a common cold a steam bath with a couple of drops of lemon and eucalyptus can alleviate the congestion and relieve the stuffy nose.
As the molecules reach the brain, they affect limbic system, which is linked to the emotions, the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress, and hormone balance. In this way, essential oils can have a subtle, yet holistic impact on the physical body & psychological wellness.
While inhalation of essential oils is the safest application for those new to Aromatherapy and want to try it safely, their topical use is also a means to transmit the healing benefits and therapeutic effects, through their application in a blend directly on the skin, which is the largest organ of the body and is constantly absorbing nutrients and excreting toxins, as a result of its natural filtering processes such as when we perspire.
Typical topical applications include massage oils, bath and skin care products in which the oils penetrate the dermis/epidermis and are absorbed through the skin, are carried into the capillaries and circulate in the blood stream. For example: if you suffer from constipation you can pour a tablespoon of sweet almond oil with 2 drops of patchouli, lemon and fennel which is a digestive synergistic blend offering digestive relief for Bloatedness and excess gas. Massaging the area with the blend can boost circulation and increase absorption. Some argue that areas that are richer in sweat glands and hair follicles, such as the head or the palms of the hand, may absorb the oils more effectively. Again, it is suggested that one seeks the assistance of a GP or your physician before attempting to apply any therapy.
As a rule of thumb, essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin. Although it is said that tea tree and lavender are safe one should always check about skin sensitivity. Indeed, they must always be diluted with a carrier oil. Usually, a few drops of essential oil to an ounce of carrier oil is the concentration. Most common carrier oils are sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil or olive oil and jojoba oil or peach kernel oil for the face.
Experience Aromatherapy Safely
Always do an allergy test before trying a new essential oil:
- Dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil at twice the concentration you plan to use.
- Rub the mixture into an area the size of a quarter on the inside of the forearm.
- If there is no allergic response within 24 to 48 hours, it should be safe to use.
“ A perfectly guided experience that left me feeling strong yet relaxed. Rebekah’s knowledge together with her experience and passion for essential oils makes the class more personalised. ”
— Elisa Schembri
“ Rebekah will make sure you feel comfortable and at ease, and you’re guaranteed a restorative session complete with aromatherapy oils. The perfect way to start the day! ”
— Rachel Balzan Demajo
“ The place is comfortable and lighting is relaxing and warm. The studio was filled with the scent aromatherapy essential oils and healing sounds of the tibetan singing bowls. When I finished the class my body became lighter and comfortable. ”
— Yoonhee Choi