A natural stress relief remedy that most people never think about – aromatherapy. The first part of the term aromatherapy is just a little misleading. Aroma is usually connected with the sense of smell but aromatherapy is more than that just smell. Although it is true that one method of delivering the therapeutic properties of the essential oils used in aromatherapy is through smell, they are also delivered by being massaged into the skin. Sometimes…VERY rarely….they are ingested. Ingestion of an essential oil should never be undertaken except under the direction of a trained aromatherapist.
There are over 500 different essential oils that are extracted from the leaves, stems, root or bark of various flowers, trees, plants and shrubs. Each essential oil is different and useful for fighting different diseases or different physical and emotional situations. Some essential oils, for example, promote healing by reducing swelling or fighting fungal infections. Other essential oils are used to relieve depression, anxiety or fear. Some essential oils calm while other essential oils stimulate.
The essential oil that is derived from oranges contains a very large quantity of ester which has a calming effect. An Orange blossom bouquet carried by a bride represents the peace and harmony that she will bring to her new home.
Research is being conducted but there as yet is not a definitive answer as to just how aromatherapy works or why. The sense of smell is one of the five senses that most humans are born with but it is also the one that is the most underdeveloped and underused. Researchers have concluded that certain aromas affect our brains in various ways. It is easier to see why aromatherapy that is applied by the means of massage into the skin has a direct effect on the body than why inhaling the scents has such a direct effect. But it is a fact that both methods of delivery have proven to be effective even if the reason remains elusive.
Almost all modern day medications have some basis in ancient herbal medicine. In our modern world, scientists have learned how to reproduce the properties of herbal plants that have been used successfully for thousands of years artificially. They can make synthetic copies of the elements that make herbs work. The problem with these copies is that they often cause many unpleasant or even dangerous side effects that the natural versions do not cause.
In our very modern twenty-first century world, many people are returning to the use of the herbal versions of the synthetic medicines prescribed by physicians in order to avoid the undesirable side effects. Aromatherapy is one of the ways that these herbal remedies can be used.