Aromatherapy is a natural medicine based on the use of aromatic plants for therapeutic purposes. The aroma and essence extracted from different medicinal plants play an essential role in this care approach.

The basic principles of aromatherapy

Aromatherapy, as the name implies, «aroma» + «therapy» , consists of taking advantage of the healing virtues of perfumes diffused by the essences of aromatic plants (in general, essential oils). She also resorts to the benefits of essential oils, vegetables and aromatic hydrolate to treat some diseases. The way of treating each plant varies depending on the type of substance desired. Depending on the purpose of the treatment, essential oils can be used internally, externally, in a complex or lotion.

The complex is a mixture of several essential oils extracted from different plants, the lotion results from a mixture of essential oils with other vegetable oils. Despite being used as alternative medicine, essential oils must be taken seriously and you must consult a specialist before each treatment.

Essential oils  (read our file on essential oils ) Essential
oils are especially popular in aromatherapy, they are substances secreted directly by plants or obtained by compressing the plant. According to the type of plant, the essential oil can be obtained from the roots, the bark, the fruits or even the flower. The amount and virtues of the oil vary depending on the part from which it is extracted. Several methods can be used to obtain the essential oil contained in a plant, among the most common are distillation, mechanical extraction, infusion and solvent extraction.

Essential oils from medicinal plants are the heart of aromatherapy. We can cite some examples such as: argan oil, which is known for its dermatological virtues and mint, which is effective in relieving digestive problems. People who suffer from respiratory disorders can take advantage of the benefits of certain plants such as lemon, bay leaf or rosemary . In case of stress or anxiety, basil is indicated for its calming virtues.

Aromatherapy in practice

In aromatherapy, the application itself is done by three routes: internal, external and air. In the first method, the patient ingests essential oils mixed with vegetable oil and honey. The absorption of pure oil is prohibited as it can cause irritation in the mucous membranes. For best use, certain products are available in ready-to-eat capsules or suppositories. The external method consists of penetrating the essential oils through the skin layers. The application is made with the aid of a deep massage with a mixture of oils and ointment.

Finally, when used by air, essential oils must be conducted to the respiratory system. Previously, the diffusion of essential oils was carried out with a porous ceramic, but the performance of evaporation of the aroma necessary for the therapy was poor. The use of a lamp or a candle is also not recommended as they can alter the therapeutic properties of the product. The most effective means of aromatherapy by air are fans without filters and diffusers equipped with a wind tunnel. With these two means of diffusion, the properties of the oils are preserved and there is greater coverage of the treatment.

The benefits of aromatherapy

The relaxing virtues of aromatherapy make it possible to treat most illnesses caused by anxiety or stress. By the way, it is thanks to this property that aromatherapy is indicated to relieve depressive disorders in cancer patients. At the same time, it alleviates symptoms related to dementia, such as behavioral disturbances. Used externally, in scalp massage, it prevents alopecia areata. It can also relieve the phenomena of itching injuries.

A highly effective therapeutic method, aromatherapy can also put an end to sleep disorders such as insomnia. A source of energy and well-being, it gives more vitality to premature babies. Although there is no concrete scientific conclusion, after undergoing an aromatherapy treatment, several women have witnessed a reduction in symptoms related to menopause.

Contraindication of aromatherapy

Although the therapeutic effect of essential oils no longer needs to be proven, they can generate some inconveniences in case of misuse. Due to their concentration, essential oils can irritate the surface of the skin, so you should avoid using essential oils that have not been mixed with a little vegetable oil. Essential oils are natural products, but that doesn’t prevent sensitive people from suffering from allergies after using them.

In some people, ketone-based essential oils trigger neurological disorders. The same is true of rosemary or camphor essential oils, which can even trigger epileptic seizures. When applied to the skin, some essential oils, under the effect of photosensitization, make the epidermis less resistant to UV rays. Finally, studies are being carried out to establish whether it is necessary to ban the use of essential oils in pregnant women and newborns.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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