The Best Aromatherapy Products 2020 Guide
Also known as essential oil therapy, aromatherapy involves using natural oils and other plant compounds to enhance both physical and mental well-being. People from across the world have been using essential oils for almost 6,000 years, proving to improve a person’s mood or health.
Aromatherapy, according to NAHA (1), The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, is the medical use or therapeutic application of pure essential oils from plants for holistic healing. On the other hand, ISO, the International Standards Organization, defines the essential oils as a natural product extracted from fresh vegetable materials either by distillation with steam, water, or from the epicarp of citrus fruit by dry distillation or a mechanical process.
Essential oils have different levels of antimicrobial activity. They have various properties, including insecticidal, nematicidal, antifungal, and antioxidant. Various aromatherapy applications include topical applications, inhalation, and massage.
Despite being extracted naturally from fresh plant materials, users should know that essential oils can negatively affect their health if they use them wrongly. It is advisable to follow all the guidelines that are provided by experts when using the essential oils from plants.
In most cases, aromatherapy is used in two different ways: a topical application and through inhalation. In terms of inhalation, the essential oils evaporate into the surrounding air using sprays, diffuser containers, or oil droplets. Also, users can breathe the oils in, for instance, in steam bathhouses.
Aromatherapy oils provide not only a pleasant smell but also offer psychological, respiratory disinfection, and decongestant benefits. Additionally, inhaling essential oils from plants helps to arouse the olfactory system in the body. This includes both the nose and the section of the brain that is linked to smell.
The components of the essential oil that enter the mouth or nose pass through the lungs, and from there, they spread to other body parts. When they reach the brain, they positively affect the limbic system connected to the emotions, breathing, heart rate, memory space, hormone balance, and blood pressure. By doing so, it means that they can heal the body, mind, and spirit.
When it comes to topical applications, skin and bath care products, as well as massage oils, are absorbed via the skin. To increase absorption and enhance circulation, users need to massage the parts(2) where the oils will be applied. Although not proven, body parts with hair follicles or those with lots of sweat glands like the palms or head can effectively absorb the components of the essential oils.
Note that essential oils must be diluted with an appropriate carrier oil; this means that they are never directly applied to the skin. Just some drops of the oil to a small amount of carrier oil is recommended. The most popular career oils include olive and sweet almond.
Before using the essential oil, it is important to perform an allergy test. Take the mixture and run it inside the forearm. A quarter of an arm is a recommended size. The oil should be suitable and safe to use if there are no allergic signs between 24 and 48 hours. However, some individuals experience allergic responses after using them several times.
If this occurs, it is vital to avoid its smell and stop using it immediately. Swallowing or ingesting the oils isn’t recommended. If accidentally consumed, the molecules can easily affect body parts like kidneys and liver. Additionally, they can react with other drugs leading to more health issues. So it is important to be careful when using the essential oils.
Aromatherapy offers a massive array of benefits. It’s a complementary therapy and does not cure rashes, illnesses, or diseases. However, it can enhance conventional treatment of different conditions. It is said to reduce body aches and pain, muscular aches, Nausea, headaches, insomnia, and fatigue.
Also, it helps minimize anxiety, depression, agitation, stress, hair loss, menopausal, menstrual, and circulatory problems. Users of essential oils claim that these plus some other health issues respond positively to aromatherapy. However, not all applications have a scientific backup.
What do Essential Oils Do?
Currently, there’re many types of essential oils, and each one of them has different effects and uses. The most popular types include:
Black Pepper: It is commonly used to reduce muscular aches, pains, bruises, and stimulate circulation.
Bergamot: When mixed with eucalyptus oil, it can help relieve skin problems like those caused by chickenpox or stress. Additionally, they are believed to be useful for both urinary and digestive tract.
Basil: Helps to alleviate various symptoms of depression and relieve migraines and headaches. Also, it is said to sharpen concentration; however, pregnant mothers should not use Basil.
Eucalyptus: They are useful during cold or flu since they can relieve the airways. In most cases, they are combined with peppermint. A lot of care should be taken since most individuals are allergic to eucalyptus oils.
Rosemary: It is said to boost memory, promote hair growth, support the nervous and circulatory systems, and prevent muscle spasms.
Visiting an Aromatherapist
Like other health experts, the aromatherapist should take the current health history, medical history, lifestyle, and diet. Since aromatherapy includes a holistic approach, it aims to treat different body parts.
The aromatherapist will recommend either a blend or a single based on an individual’s mental and physical needs. Note that an aromatherapist does not offer the same services as a massage therapist. However, a massage therapist can use aromatherapy oils.
Before using any essential oils for healing purposes, it is advisable to seek help from experts, including nurses, doctors, pharmacists, massage therapists, aromatherapists, and physical therapists. This is because each type has its function and chemical makeup.
A professional can recommend and help you understand how to use each type by providing you with proper instructions on dilution or application. Similar to medications, users must treat all types of essential oils with respect. It is advisable to seek help from professionals and follow all the instructions carefully.