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Aromatherapy Therapy - Essential Oils

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

Diagram of Body for Various Essential Oils

essential-oils-aromatherapy

History of Aromatherapy

Essential oils, the essence of aromatherapy were first used by the early Egyptians, approximately 5000 years ago. Clay tablets used to order to make the essential oils of myrrh and cypress, date from about 1800 BC and were found in Babylon. No one knows exactly how it all started, it certainly isn’t a recent discovery.

The Romans used essential oils more lavishly to beautify themselves. They would rub them into their skin before and after bathing; use them to perfume their clothing and hair. Eventually the Romans brought the knowledge to Britain. In the early twentieth century, research began in earnest once again by a French scientist. He used oils to help heal the sick.

Aromatherapy Essential Oils

The essential oils are substances extracted from the roots, stalks, flowers, leaves or fruit of a plant and have numerous and powerful healing properties. Essential oils are also called aromatherapy oils, so don’t be confused if you are shopping as they are one and the same.

These potent oils are produced and for example, it takes 2000 pounds of rose petals to produce just 1 pound of rose oil! If you squeeze the peel of a lemon or orange you can extract a few drops of essential oil.

The more common method of extraction today is distillation. The chosen flower or leaves are packed into a distilling vessel, which is then closed and boiled with water. The hot water causes the oil cells to separate and the essential oils can then be drawn off. The water that is left keeps the scent so it is often sold as a separate product.

Diagram as to How the Therapy Works

essential-oils-aromatherapy

Way to Use Aromatherapy

Regular use of aromatherapy is a gentle, effective way of maintaining good health. An aromatherapy bath is a wonderful way to end a stressful day. The oils stimulate the skin and have a muscle-relaxing effect. You can use uplifting oil in a bath also for a pick-me-up which might be lemon essential oil mixed with peppermint. This mixture also helps aching feet.

Some physical conditions respond well to essential oil inhalation. Steaming with essential oil can be used to deep cleanse and moisten the face. The oils can be inhaled from a handkerchief or tissue.

Aromatherapy compresses can be helpful in the treatment of bruises, muscle aches and pains, and irritated skin conditions. Usually you would soak the compress in approximately 1/2 pint of water, and then add 10 drops of essential oil. Occasionally neat oil is effective for bruises and abscesses. Essential oil burners are also very popular and allow you to perfume a room and improve your well-being at the same time. You control the atmosphere by your choice of oil.

Aroma Therapy Massage - to die for

Massage Aromatherapy

Massage is the most relaxing and therapeutic way of all to experience aromatherapy. Essential oils are blended and then worked into the body using massage techniques that stimulate the whole system while improving the circulation and relaxing the nervous system.

A selection of essential oils can be found in numerous places, such as health food stores, online, or through chemists. Be careful to choose essential oils, not perfumed oils. An essential oil is thin and watery, swift to evaporate, and overpoweringly scented when neat, which should be quite pleasant. Essential oils fall into three categories:

  • Top notes: Oils that evaporate very quickly. They are generally uplifting and stimulating with a greenish, fresh aroma.
  • Middle notes: These are used to help the body with most bodily functions and the body’s metabolism.
  • Base notes: These are extremely relaxing, sometimes sedative and generally have a lovely, warm aroma

Scented oils are sold in tinted glass because they may be damaged by light, and they should always be stored in a dark, cool place. Keep the lids on tight or they may easily evaporate.

Essential Oil Distillation Home Made

Essential Oils

Making and Storing Your Essential Oils

Essential oils are blended into a carrier oil. The carrier oil (always vegetable in origin) acts as a base and a lubricant, so it massages in easily and is more effective.

If you are mixing your own solutions, look for oil that is light with no color or smell. Suggested oils are: soya bean, grape seed, safflower, sunflower, and if your skin is dry avocado oil is very lubricating or even sweet almond oil. Wheat germ oil is excellent for helping to heal a scar and it also acts as a preservative.

A general rule of blending in aromatherapy is to use 6 drops of an essential oil to every 2 tsp. of carrier oil. If you are blending oil for your face you might decrease the essential oil to 4 drops. Essential oils are potent and will go a long way.

This all sounds wonderful, and I am sold on that massage. Aromatherapy using essential oils will make your life better, more relaxed and more enjoyable.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 12, 2010:

homeopathicacne, Thanks for your comment.

homeopathicacne from US, New York on October 12, 2010:

I used to use this aromatherapy stuff with my friends. thanks for that info

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 12, 2010:

Jack, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

TnFlash from Tampa, Florida on March 12, 2010:

Pam, I enjoyed reading your Hub. Excellent work!

Brenda Massey on March 09, 2010:

Great hub! I really enjoy reading your hubs. Essential oils are wonderful. I use them in my own lotions and beauty products. People tell me I don't look my age so it must be working~!:))

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 08, 2010:

Roberta, Thank you for your comment.

Roberta99 on March 08, 2010:

You put a lot of work into this hub and it shows. Learned a lot.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 08, 2010:

Support Med, I love lavendar also. Thank you for your comment.

Support Med. from Michigan on March 08, 2010:

A pick me up for me, aromatherapy is beautiful. Lavendar is my favorite and I like scented candles. LisaHW said it well, it really sets the mood in ones home. Informative and interesting.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 08, 2010:

Habee, Thanks for your comment.

Holle Abee from Georgia on March 08, 2010:

I love aromatherapy! I'm amazed that most Americans are just beginning to explore it!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 07, 2010:

Janny, Thank you for your comment.

JannyC on March 07, 2010:

Amazing what just a smell can do to us. I love peppermint for the feet and also the scalp it makes your scalp so tingly and refreshing. Well written.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 07, 2010:

Tubbs, Its really great your friend taught you all about the oils. I got very enthusiastic writing this hub and plan on trying some new oils. Thanks for stopping by.

JayJay and Zsuzsy, Thank you so much for your comments.

Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on March 07, 2010:

Wonderful hub on one of my favorite subjects... the benefits of essential oils.

kindest regards Zsuzsy

Korsita Korchenko from Louisiana on March 07, 2010:

I really like all the detailed info here Pamela. This is one of my favorite subjects. I have a variety of oils that I use including Lavender, Eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang and Rose just to name a few. My best friend is a massage therapist and she uses oils as well in her business and she got me interested in their wonderful benefits a number of years ago. Been hooked on them ever since. Want to clear your sinus, one or two drops of Eucalyptus in hot water and breathe in. Works wonders!! Thanks for this fine hub!!!

jayjay40 from Bristol England on March 07, 2010:

Very interesting hub, love essential oils, well done on a well written hub

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 06, 2010:

Vrakavaia. I agree. Thank you for your comment.

vrajavala from Port St. Lucie on March 06, 2010:

amazing therapy

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 06, 2010:

Ghost, Thank you so much for your comments.

JG the IGNITER from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals on March 06, 2010:

Boy oh boy could I go for a massage with aromatherapy right now!!!! This was a very good hub Pamela! Rating up up UP.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 06, 2010:

Tom, You're welcome and thank you for stopping by.

Tom Whitworth from Moundsville, WV on March 06, 2010:

Pamela,

Thanks for more great research and information.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 06, 2010:

Dohn, Hello, and Nancy, Thanks so much for your comments.

nancy_30 from Georgia on March 06, 2010:

Thank you for this very informative hub. I really did learn a lot from it.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on March 06, 2010:

Well, that wasinformative and I thank you for putting in so much research and good writing.

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on March 06, 2010:

Wonderful work, Pamela. I really liked how you explained how such oils are extracted and how much it takes just to make a smidgen of scented oils! Awesome work.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 06, 2010:

Lisa, It is amazing how scents can affect our moods, etc. Aromatherapy is really interesting. Thanks for your comment.

Lisa HW from Massachusetts on March 06, 2010:

Pamela99, just thinking about aromatherapy kind of makes a person feel better, doesn't it... :) Although I know there's the "more professional" definition of "aromatherapy", I've kind of always had my own connotation for the term and tend to think of it (on a day-to-day basis) as filling the house with the "right" scents. It's seems silly, but it really kind of amazes me how the right "scent environment" can make such a huge difference in mood, alone.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on March 06, 2010:

Sheila, thank you.

sheila b. on March 06, 2010:

Full of good information!