Theory of Aromatherapy

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Essential Oils are absorbed into the body either through the skin during massage or by inhalation through the nose. Molecules in the oils enter the nervous system through the blood stream, influencing emotional and physical well being.

History of Aromatherapy

Herbal oils have been used for centuries in many cultures to treat illness and promote well being and beauty. Herbal oils were first made by infusing herbs in castor oil or olive oil. The modern day method is by distillation.

Key Principles of Aromatherapy

Essential oils are extracted from the roots, flowers, leaves, and stalks of plants as well as from certain trees. Ideally the essential oils should be derived from organic plants that are free from chemicals. Plant oils can be broken down into chemicals such as alcohols, ketones and phenols which have therapeutic properties. You must understand the use of these plants because they can be toxic when used incorrectly. The scents released from the oils act on the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that influences the hormonal system. This can influence mood, metabolism, stress levels and libido.

Common Essential Oils

German Chamomile

Properties and Effects

Antispasmodic– Sedative- Anti-Inflammatory- Anti-Allergenic

Main Uses

Digestive disorders (Indigestion, gas, colic) – Nervous tension(Insomnia, headaches, pms)  -Skin Conditions(Acne, eczema)  – Allergies(Hay Fever, Asthma)

Precautions

Do not use during pregnancy – Can cause dermatitis in some cases

Clary Sage

Properties and Effects

Antispasmodic – Analgesic – Sedative

Main Uses

Digestive Disorders (Indigestion, gas) – Gynelogical Problems, Menstrual pain, pms) – Nervous Tension (Depression, anxiety, mental fatigue)

Precautions

Do not use during pregnancy – Avoid alcohol before and after use

Lavender

Properties and Effects

Sedative – Antidepressant – Antispasmodic – Antiseptic

Main Uses

Nervous Tension (Breathlessness, High Blood Pressure, palpitations, headaches) – Digestive Disorders (Diarrhea, colic, indigestion, gas) – Skin Conditions (Acne, burns, insect stings)

Peppermint

Properties and Effects

Antispasmodic – Stomach Settling – Decongestant

Main Uses

Digestive Disorders (Indigestion, Gas, Headaches, Migraines) – Respiratory Infections (Infections, Phlegm)

Precautions

Use Low dilution – Do not give to children under 12 – Do not use with other homeopathic remedies

Rosemary

Properties and Effects

Stimulant – Decongestant – Analgesic

Main Uses

Circulatory problems (Muscular aches and Pains) – Respiratory problems (Sinus Conditions, Phlegm) – Digestive Disorders – Nervous Tension (Headaches, Mental Fatigue, pms)

Precautions

Do not use during pregnancy – Do not use with high blood pressure – do not use with epilepsy

Sandalwood

Properties and Effects

Sedative – Antiseptic – Decongestant

Main Uses

Nervous Tension (Depression, Insomnia) – Genitourinary conditions (Cystitis) – Skin Conditions (Acne, Eczema) – Respiratory Conditions (Sore throats, Laryngitis, bronchitis)

Tea Tree

Properties and Effects

Antiseptic – Antifungal – Antibacterial

Main Uses

Respiratory Problems (Coughs, Cold, Phlegm) – Gynelogical Problems (Cystitis, Candidacies) – Skin Conditions (Acne, Cold Sores, Athletes foot, insect stings)

Self Help Aromatherapy

Use only pure essential oils free from additives and pay close attention to directions. Essential Oils can be used in massage but also can be used by inhaling, vaporized or added to baths. Inhaling can be very beneficial and fast acting due to the olfactory receptors have direct links to the brain. Vaporizers can be relaxing or invigorating depending on the oil used.

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