Many believe aromatherapy is mysterious, but in fact, it's a very easy-to-understand-albeit fascinating-science. Simply put, aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of pure plant essential oils to bring well-being to both mind and body.
It Begins With Essential Oils
Essential oils are the very heart of every flower, fruit, herb, resin, tree and spice on earth. Highly concentrated and extraordinarily fragrant, they're extracted from the cells of the plants through a process known as steam distillation. The essential oils or pure plant aromas that remain are 100 times more concentrated than the original fragrance of the fresh plant.
It Works Naturally
When we smell essential oils, we register the scent in the limbic system-the part of our brains where memories are stored, emotions are processed, and moods are stimulated. That's why we all have such personal connections to certain scents: when we come in contact with an aroma, our subconscious receives and reacts to it before we are even aware of it. The fragrances of some essential oils automatically encourage us to relax. Others make us feel more energized. Still others leave us calm and comforted. Best of all, essential oils have antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial qualities that make them as good for our bodies as they are for our spirits.
It's Been Around For A Long, Long Time
Aromatic medicine was an important part of Egyptian culture more than six thousand years ago. In India, cinnamon, ginger, myrrh and sandalwood essential oils are mentioned in the Vedas-an Ayurvedic text dating from 2,000 B.C. In 1928, Rene Gattefosse, a French chemist, became fascinated with the therapeutic properties of essential oils after lavender oil healed his hand, which he had burned severely. His research, and subsequent book, Aromatherapy, has helped us refine our understanding of this ancient art, today. It is clear that every culture and every generation has innately understood that pure essential oils make us feel healthier, happier, and more balanced, and leave us with a sense of well-being that only Nature could provide.