What is Aromatherapy?

What Is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the therapeutic application of highly concentrated, plant-derived essential oils for enhancing the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health of the individual. Essential oils have been around for centuries. Every known civilization has used some form of plant based medicine. Modern day Aromatherapy is attributed to the work of Frenchman Rene-Maurice Gattefosse. Gattefosse was originally a perfumer and then started to cultivate and distill lavender to support the local economy. In 1910, Gattefosse experienced an explosion in his lab and suffered severe burns to his hand. When modern medicine failed to stop the gangrene, Gattefosse decided to try lavender oil as a last resort. Within a short time, Gattefosse found his wounds healing and his pain reduced. It was this accident that Aromatherapy was born.

Although Aromatherapy has a long documented history and is one of the fastest growing complementary healthcare alternatives of the 21st century, it still is widely misunderstood by healthcare practitioners and mainstream society.

Ways To Use Aromatherapy

There are three main ways to benefit from Aromatherapy:

Inhalation

Through a diffuser, direct palm inhalation, steam, nasal inhaler, or aroma mist.
Using the Limbic system of the Olfactory brain can provide the fastest, and sometimes, the strongest effect.

Topical

Such as a massage oil or cream, a salve, or through emulsion in a bath.
The skin is the largest organ of the body, and provides a direct pathway to the other parts of the body.

Internal

Taken as a tea, in food, or in a capsule.  Also used in suppositories.

Internal use of essential oils should only be done under the supervision of a trained Clinical Aromatherapist or medical professional.