Since ancient times the use of oils for therapeutic, hygienic, and spiritual purposes has been widespread throughout the different cultures of the world. The civilizations of China, Egypt, and India, all used them in perfumes and cosmetics; they were luxury items and, in some cases, even used them as a method of payment. The Romans also valued essential oils as they believed they increased the shelf life of wine and made food taste better. In this short piece, we will look at the origins of its modern use, how it is used and the benefits of aromatherapy.
What is Aromatherapy?
The term aromatherapy was first used in a book written on the subject in 1937 by a French chemist called Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who claimed to have treated a badly burnt hand with lavender oil. Aromatherapy covers the use of essential oils; they are applied to the skin via massage, heated to produce a vapour which is then inhaled or immersed in water. Specialists in the field are called Aromatherapists who, after training, can blend together different therapeutic oils for these different purposes.
Among the most popular oils in use are the following –
- Lavender oil – produced from the plant of the same name it is used to promote a good night’s sleep and treat skin conditions.
- Tea Tree oil – has been found to have germ-fighting properties, which are used to help those suffering from bacterial and fungal skin conditions.
- Eucalyptus oil is used predominated as medicine to treat coughing, ease breathing problems, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Lemon grass oil – once extracted from the host, it is used in many products to treat high blood pressure and various digestive problems.
There are many other essential oils in use today in many products, clary sage, peppermint and ylang-ylang being just three more of them; further investigation on the internet can provide you with more information if this has sparked your interest.
The Available Benefits
Aromatherapy works through the inhalation or skin absorption of the chosen oil, and it is perfectly possible to use them yourself safely. Diffusers, bathing salts and body oils all offer an easy introduction to the art. There is a range of benefits to using different oils, including pain management, improving sleep quality, and soothing sore or aching joints; again, there are many helpful guides on the subject which can give you a fuller picture.
Aromatherapy is now being used by an increasing amount of people looking for an alternative to prescription medication; find your local aromatherapy stockist and ask them for more advice.