Aromatherapy is the inhalation of plant oils, called essential oils, for improved physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Essential oils are the pure essence of the plant—often referred to as nature’s living energy—and can provide both psychological and physical benefits when used correctly. Essential oils can be used on their own for aromatherapy or with complementary natural ingredients, such as vegetable or carrier oils.
The Benefit of an “Aroma”
Essential oils that are inhaled into the lungs are believed to offer both psychological and physical benefits; not only does the aroma of the natural essential oil stimulate the brain to trigger a reaction, but the natural constituents (naturally occurring chemicals) of the essential oil are drawn into the lungs and can also supply physical benefit. If not done correctly and safely, however, the use of essential oils can also have severe consequences.
The Benefit of Physical Application
Oils that are applied to the skin are absorbed into the bloodstream. The components of the various oils are believed to aid in a variety of health, beauty and hygiene conditions. Since essential oils are so powerful and concentrated, they should never be applied to the skin in their undiluted form. To apply essential oils to the skin, “carrier oils” which are pure vegetable oils are used to dilute the essential oils and “carry” them to the skin. Common carrier oils include sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil and grapeseed oil. Also listed on the resource site is a list of different carrier oils.
Essential Oils can supply other benefits as well. Some oils, for instance, act as a natural repellent and pesticide. You may use “citronella” candles during the summer to keep mosquitoes away. Citronella essential oil is the ingredient in the candles that provides this benefit.