Aromatherapy is quickly becoming a widely used form of holistic treatment for a variety of issues including anxiety, sleeplessness, and focus. People are using diffusers in their homes, offices, cars, and even on the go! Here we will explore what aromatherapy is, how it is used, and what the benefits of aromatherapy are.
**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and aromatherapy is not intended to replace any treatments or medications prescribed to you by your doctor.
What is Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy uses plant-based oil extracts, known as essential oils, in order to promote both physical and mental well-being. It has been used for thousands of years in China, India, and Egypt.
The oils used are extracted from various plants that are known in holistic healing cultures to have healing properties. For example, peppermint oil can be used to calm an upset stomach. Once the oils are extracted, they can be sold with just a single compound, like peppermint oil, or mixed with other oils to create a compound.
How is Aromatherapy Used
The most common way to use essential oils is by diffusing them into the air for inhalation. In my Ultimate Guide to Relaxation Products, the very first item I describe is a fantastic diffuser that both looks great and works well.
Another way to use essential oils and reap their benefits is to consume them directly. People often put a drop or two of essential oil into warm drinks like tea. In this case, you will need a lesser amount because it is being consumed directly, but the benefits remain the same.
A third option is to apply the oils topically. This allows the oil to soak into the skin and produce a longer lasting effect. However, you don’t want to apply essential oils directly to your skin. You’ll want to use a carrier oil to dilute it prior to application.
What are the Benefits of Aromatherapy
The benefits of aromatherapy are almost too many to count, so I will name a few of the top benefits.
Stress and Anxiety Relief
If you’re feeling particularly wound-up and anxious, there are a few oils you can use to help relax your mind and body. The most popular oil is lavender, which is thought to act on the limbic system in the brain to produce a calming effect on the body.
Jasmine oil is another that is used for anxiety reduction, but unlike a lot of the other oils out there, this one is less likely to cause drowsiness.
Sweet basil is another oil that has been shown to reduce anxiety without increasing drowsiness.
Improves Sleep Quality
Lavender is a top contender in this category as well. It reduces anxiety by creating a sedative-like effect, which can help you fall asleep faster.
We all know that chamomile tea is what you should drink before bed, but you should diffuse roman chamomile oil as well in order to help you fall asleep.
The benefits of citrus are widely known. Pirates used them to ward off scurvy and we use them to make our water taste better. Well, as it turns out, lemon oil has the added benefit of helping to maintain a properly functioning lymphatic system, which is responsible for cleaning out your body. This is turn promotes a healthier immune system.
Eucalyptus is one of my favorite smells, and as it turns out, the oil is great for boosting your immune system.
Ginger, more specifically the gingerol found within it, promotes immune health and helps reduce inflammation.
Peppermint is the winner in this category. Not only does it settle stomachs brilliantly, but it also helps with joint and muscle pain, headaches, muscle tension, general pain relief.
Rosehip oil is also good for joint and muscle pain, making it an essential oil for those with arthritis (see what I did there). Eucalyptus also has joint and muscle pain relieving properties, and it may relieve inflammation as well.
Evening primrose oil can be used to help with cramping, which is a major benefit for ladies during their time of the month.
Some additional benefits include, but are not limited to:
- alleviate chemotherapy side effects
- help with labor pains
- improve digestion
- improve mood
- heal skin irritations
- imporive focus and metal clarity
- boost libido
A Word of Caution
Aromatherapy is not regulated in the United States, so anything can be marketed as suitable for aromatherapy. Unfortunately, this allows companies to use synthetic perfumes and chemicals in their products, which can be harmful to the body.
When you’re shopping for your products, you want to carefully read the labels. You shouldn’t see anything synthetic or unnatural on that list. If you do, put it back. The risks don’t outweigh the benefits.
Don’t wait any longer. Now that you’ve read about the fantastic benefits of aromatherapy and you know what to lookout for, you’re ready to start feeling better. So, go out and get your essential oils today!