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Introduction to Aromatherapy

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Introduction to Aromatherapy

Recall the last time you took a bath. Do you remember the fragrance of your favorite soap? Perhaps Tea Tree, Lavender, or Vanilla comes to mind. Whatever the scent, you likely tie this memory to a feeling of ease, bliss, and relaxation. That is because our olfactory system is extremely powerful. Research shows that humans are capable of distinguishing approximately one trillion different odors [1]. Furthermore, our sense of smell is uniquely connected to the memory and emotion center of our brain in a way that other senses are not. This allows us to strongly attach scent to specific events and feelings throughout our lifetime [2].

Using our olfactory system, aromatherapy is a form of holistic healing treatment that is used to promote physical, mental, and spiritual health. Fragrance materials such as essential oil are created through the extraction of plant materials, and therefore are considered a natural method of healing – which has been used throughout various cultures for centuries. Flower petals, leaves, twigs, and roots are just some arrays of natural material that can be extracted and distilled to create these oils.

Each plant has their own unique healing properties meant to fight against specific ailments. For example, eucalyptus can help against cough and lung problems, ease joint pain, and sooth the mind from stress and anxiety [3]. Aroma products can also treat asthma, inflammation, menstrual pain, and infection. Mentally, these oils can also relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and fatigue, and facilitate concentration, optimism, feelings of groundedness, and emotional balance. You can also use these herbal concentrates to heal and improve chakra imbalances (Click here to learn more about the chakras).

There are many ways to treat ailments through aromatherapy. It is mostly conducted through diffusing the oils, adding them into candles, soaps, and salts, or adding them into a spray.  You can also put drops of herbal fragrance material into a topical aid such as a lotion or cream to utilize its healing properties. Each method has its own set of benefits – for example, using candles, incense, or oil diffusers can bring in your desire energy throughout your home, while body lotion and roller ball containers are perfect for when you’re on the go. Because our taste is so depended on smell, ingesting herbs in the form of a drink or smoked medicinally can also provide aromatherapy effects.

However you prefer your aromatherapy, there are endless methods and combinations to provide you with the healing energy you need. Here are our top 8 Favorite scents to use and what type of healing they provide:

 

Lavender:

Known for its relaxation effects, Lavender is one of the most common scents for sleep and calming aids. It is known to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve your overall mood. This herb has also been shown to improve dental health, treat fungal infections, and lessen the effects of allergies and eczema. [4] You can also use Lavender to ground and protect you against negative energy.

 

Sage:

Sage is naturally both uplifting and calming, which is perfect for emotional and mental balancing. These effects allow for heightened concentration and focus. This herb extraction also eases pain in the digestive and respiratory system, and can treat joint pain and certain skin conditions when used topically. [5] Sage also purifies the aura and surrounding energy and can help you during divination and energy-based practices.

 

Lemon:

The sharp, citrus-y scent of lemon provides an immediate mood boosting affect to revitalize your energy and bring in a needed sense of optimism into your aura. This can both help stabilize your mood and help you concentrate better. Additionally, Lemon extract can be made into a topical to fight against a variety of skin lesions and infections such as acne, wounds, and bites. [6] Lemon has also been used to promote friendship, romance, and self-love.

 

Orange:

Similar to lemon, orange is another citrus plant that serves as a mood booster and infection fighter. However, the scent is typically less harsh and sour than Lemon, which is perfect for anyone who perfects a sweeter scent and feel. [7] Oranges are also associated with fertility, abundance, and friendship.

 

Palo Santo:

Naturally cleansing and protective, Palo Santo is perfect for clarifying unwanted energy from you and your environment. It also brings in relaxing energy that aids anxiety symptoms. Physically, Palo Santo can treat inflammatory issues such as heads and flu symptoms, and overall enhances our immune symptoms. [8] Palo Santo is also cleansing and protective, and prefect for warding off negative energy.

 

Rose:

The scent of rose connects us to a deeper sense of love and passion, and is therefore emotionally healing and balancing. It strengthens our connection to our inner self and to those we love. It is also a good relaxer, by relieving tension in our muscles and reducing inflammation. Rose has also known to improve skin conditions such as acne. [9] If you are looking to balance your heart chakra, promote fertility, or enhance your sense of passion, Rose is the perfect scent for you.

 

Rosemary:

By increasing circulation, Rosemary allows for overall enhanced brain functionality that can help you concentrate and increase your work output and creativity. Furthermore, Rosemary reduces inflammation and serves as a pain reliever. [10] Associated with strength and loyalty, rosemary can help improve relationships and bring in positive energy.

 

Jasmine:

Serving as a mood booster and a relaxer, Jasmine provides “the best of both worlds” for those looking for a combination of heightened energy but reduced stress. Jasmine also contains aphrodisiac properties, like arousal and sexual health. Additionally, Jasmine can be used to treat dry skin and relieve irritation. It is a great herb for divination and dream work, as well as bringing in abundance.

 

 

 Sources Cited:

  1. https://www.rutgers.edu/news/human-sense-smell-its-stronger-we-think
  2. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/02/how-scent-emotion-and-memory-are-intertwined-and-exploited/
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/9-ways-eucalyptus-oil-can-help
  4. https://www.verywellmind.com/lavender-for-less-anxiety-3571767#:~:text=Lavender%20essential%20oil%20is%20one,%2C%20nausea%2C%20and%20menstrual%20cramps.
  5. https://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/blog/products/all-about-sage-oil.html#:~:text=Used%20medicinally%2C%20Sage%20Essential%20Oil,as%20dermatitis%20and%20Athlete's%20Foot.
  6. https://greatist.com/health/lemon-essential-oil-benefits
  7. https://blog.mountainroseherbs.com/citrus-essential-oils
  8. https://draxe.com/health/palo-santo/
  9. https://www.heliotropesf.com/blogs/news/the-magical-benefits-of-rose-aromatherapy#:~:text=Rose%20Essential%20Oil%20Relieves%20Stress,relieves%20spasms%2C%20and%20reduces%20inflammation
  10. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rosemary-oil-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5

 

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