Aromatherapy is one of the oldest methods of holistic healing, equipped to rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit with the use of fragrance or aroma.
“Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains” - Diane Ackerman”
Do you like the smell of freshly baked bread and cookies? Does the fragrance of roses and jasmine uplift your spirits and make you feel great? I am sure the answer to both these queries will be a very emphatic yes!
Aromatherapy is an alternative and complementary health science that uses the physiological and psychological benefits of herbs essence to manage a wide range of illnesses. The volatile and essential plant oils (the pure essence of plants) are used, through the sense of smell, to promote health and in treating several diseases ranging from stress, arthritis, obesity, cancer, pain reduction and dementia.
It is important to understand that all “fragrances” or “perfumes” are not necessarily beneficial and do not qualify as aromatherapy. Only essential oils which are natural and do not have any synthetic chemicals or artificial ingredients are capable of providing therapeutic value, but only if used correctly and in a safe manner. The healing power of the essential oil is the essence of aromatherapy.
The essential oils used in aromatherapy are highly concentrated and should never be used on the skin without diluting them, barring a few exceptions. Different essential oils can be blended together and this combination is called synergy. The synergy is more powerful and effective than the individual oils on their own. The effects of these essential oils can be reduced by diluting and mixing them with carrier oil.
“Wholeness or health is our natural state. The nature of healing involves removing obstructions to this natural state and bringing individuals into alignment with themselves and their world. Free of these obstructions, an individual's innate intelligence and self-regulating capabilities will guide him toward a state of well-being.” — Richard Carlson, Ph.D.
Aromas or scents have the power to transform our emotion, and heal our bodies. They not only treat our physical bodies, but also elevate our state of mind. Indeed, aromas influence our emotions and behavior.
The fragrances inhaled through the fine hair lining the nose, enter the section of the brain called the limbic system. The limbic system controls our moods, emotions, memory and learning. When the brain reacts to the positive power of the aroma, it induces emotional well-being and brings back pleasant memories. In turn, this encourages relaxation and energisation.
Fragrances stimulate the power of affection. The odors inhaled have a corresponding effect on our feelings and emotions. When one loses the sense of smell, it could affect a person’s well-being, and trigger anxiety and depression.
A French Chemist, Rene Maurice Gate Fosse in the 1920’s, discovered the healing property of essential oils. Egyptians also harnessed the power of essential oils for medicinal, cosmetic and embalming purposes.
Aromatherapy is practiced in many homes without them being aware of it. As the name suggests, this therapy has to do with aroma (scent or fragrance). The source of aroma may be from flowers, plants, incense sticks and pastes.
Flowers such as rose and jasmine and herbs, like basil, emit special scents, which help to relieve mental and physical stress. Placing fragrant flowers in vases in the drawing, as well as bedrooms, will do the trick. Flowers and herbs need to be changed every day.
Burning incense sticks of mild, natural fragrance creates a healthy mood. Same is true of the sandalwood incense sticks and sandalwood paste.
Bathing in the water mixed with the extract of fragrant flowers and plants help immensely in relieving the stress. Along with this therapy one can consume ginger paste mixed with honey or essence of basil leaves and cinnamon mixed with honey to hasten the healing process. The idea is to heal inside and outside.