What Is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the ancient practice of combining the scents of various volatile essential oils, including those derived from medicinal herbs, for the treatment of physical and psychological ailments.
The practice of aromatherapy is based on the notion that various scents can induce the body to stimulate its ability to heal itself.
The Link Between Aromatherapy and Our Psyche
For most of us, certain smells serve as powerful triggers that have a profound effect on our psyche. For example, when passing a bakery on the street and smelling the aroma of a freshly baked apple pie, most of us can close our eyes and envision the feeling we had as children standing in grandma’s kitchen waiting for her apple pie to cool on the windowsill.
Thousands of years ago, practitioners of various forms of what is today termed “alternative medicine” observed the fact that scents serve as powerful psychological triggers and began to experiment with these healing powers. Soon, they realized that certain scents are highly effective at treating various psychological ailments such as anxiety and depression.
Therefore, aromatherapy is heavily relied upon by practitioners of alternative medicine when attempting to treat psychological ailments. For example, aromatherapy essential oils are widely used by practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine when attempting to give patients Ayurvedic massage for the treatments of such psychological ailments as depression, anxiety and insomnia.
What Are Carrier Oils?
Essential oils are very volatile and concentrated, meaning that they evaporate easily and are easily absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin. Practitioners of aromatherapy, therefore, never use essential oils undiluted because, in some instances, certain essential oils can burn the skin or poison the host if absorbed through the skin, undiluted.
So, what exactly are carrier oils? Simply put, carrier oils are natural oils, extracted from certain kinds of fruits, nuts and vegetables. They are called carrier oils because they literally help carry the essential oil when mixed and applied onto the skin.
Practitioners of aromatherapy believe that each kind of essential oil and each kind of carrier oil have their own properties and characteristics. To treat a specific ailment, a specific combination of essential oils and carrier oils must be used. The mixture is then massaged onto the skin or added to bathwater. Sometimes, this therapeutic mixture is put into an air diffuser so that it’s medicinal properties can be inhaled.
List of Natural Carrier Oils
Almond Carrier Oil
Almond oil is undoubtedly the most popular kind of carrier oil because it is easily absorbed into the skin. Almond oil is also high in Vitamin D and great at moisturizing dry skin. Therefore, practitioners of aromatherapy often use almond oil as the base carrier oil in treatments designed to help relieve mild skin conditions.
Apricot Carrier Oil
Apricot oil is rich in Vitamin A. Furthermore, Apricot oil is extremely light and can easily mix with other carrier oils. Therefore, practitioners of aromatherapy often mix Apricot oil with Almond oil. This mixture has been found to help slow down the skin’s aging process and help revitalize the skin by smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and diminishing skin discoloration brought on by aging.
Grape Seed Carrier Oil
Grape Seed oil is the least costly of all carrier oils. Because this carrier oil is inexpensive and widely available practitioners of aromatherapy have found thousands of ingenious uses for it. However, because grape seed oil does not clog the pores of people with oily skin, this carrier oil is most often used in aromatherapy treatments designed to combat acne.
Jojoba Carrier Oil
Jojoba oil has the ability to break down excess Sebum, which has been shown to cause acne and dandruff. Moreover, Jojoba oil is high in Vitamin E, which helps the skin maintain its youthful glow. Because of these attributes, Jojoba oil is often mixed with grape seed oil and the combination of these two carrier oils is used by practitioners of aromatherapy as a means to help those suffering from acne.
Sesame Carrier Oil
Sesame oil is the most medicinal of all carrier oils. Sesame oil also has a wonderful nutty scent that can help mask the unpleasant scent of some natural essential oils. Because sesame oil has antiseptic properties it is highly effective in treating fungal infections, skin infections and light wounds. Therefore, practitioners of aromatherapy often use sesame oil when attempting to heal the body, and purge the mind, of the effects of a physically and emotionally traumatic event such as a car accident.
List of Natural Essential Oils
Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile essential oil is capable of easing pain so the body can relax. This essential oil is also effective at soothing the skin. Therefore, practitioners of aromatherapy often use Chamomile essential oil when attempting to treat those suffering from nervous tension, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. This essential oil can also be used for the treatment of acne.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus refreshes as well as relieves congestion and pain, especially pain brought on by inflammation. So, the practitioners of aromatherapy use this essential oil for the treatment of colds, sinusitis and other respiratory problems. It is also applied to aching muscles and joints affected by rheumatism.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is the most widely used essential oil. This highly aromatic essential oil is often used for the treatment of ailments such as rheumatism and muscle tension as well as skin problems like acne and dandruff. However, Lavender essential oil is best known for its ability to ease insomnia. Besides being an effective cure for insomnia, Lavender essential oil is also known to help soothe and relax the body as well as enhance the circulation of the blood.
Lemon Essential Oil
The citrus in lemon is refreshing and can provide relief from congestion and pain. This is why lemon essential oil is often used by practitioners of aromatherapy to treat headaches and migraine. Lemon essential oil is also effective at treating digestion problems. This is not surprising given the lemon’s reputation as a “detoxifying” fruit.
Rose Essential Oil
Rose essential oil, a historic essential oil, is the most expensive and exotic of all essential oils. When choosing to purchase rose essential oil it is very important that you make sure the roses used to make the essential oil are 100% organic and free of all pesticides.
Rose essential oil has been used for centuries as an anti aging miracle product. This is because rose essential oil is great for the skin. This essential oil is often applied to skin that is dry, delicate or sensitive, making it softer, brighter and smoother. The scent of the rose also helps by relaxing the body. Therefore, this essential oil is also used to treat headaches, stress and insomnia which are all factors that can influence the health and beauty of one’s skin.
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