What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapylavender plant for aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy that utilises the aromatic fragrances of essential oils gathered from plants. We are all aware that certain smells produce psychological changes in us that can then lead to physiological change – for example when we smell food, as well as the psychological effect, we start to salivate. The fragrances that are produced by fragrant plants are potent, volatile essences hidden in tiny glands within the plant, that contain powerful properties used in aromatherapy to increase vitality and health.

The health of our bodies, minds, and spirits can benefit in innumerable ways from these very natural, potent organic plant chemicals that are highly potent medicines.

  • They can be antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral.
  • They support the immune system; support all the systems of the body – hormonal, glandular, emotional, circulatory, and nervous.
  • They have a positive effect on the memory and heightening our awareness.
  • They can assist in calming us down and helping us to sleep.

Despite this being a very ancient art our knowledge of its full potential is in its infancy and as scientific and clinical research continues, there is increasing evidence for the extremely powerful and safe application of aromatherapy.

 

Examples of Aromatherapy uses

Lavender

  • Expectorant
  • Analgesic
  • Antiseptic
  • Cicatrizant (promotes the healing of a sore or wound)
  • Antidepressant
  • Nervine (has a beneficial effect upon the nervous system)

 

Lavender can be used as a remedy for cuts & wounds, muscle pains, as an anti-bacterial, burns, insomnia, shingles, earache, eczema, fatigue, fevers, giddiness, palpitations, headaches, menstrual cramps, sinusitis, stress & anxiety.  It can also be used as a repellent for moths & mosquitoes.   It is also beneficial in the treatment of eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.

 

Contraindications

Avoid during pregnancy, or if suffering from epilepsy or fever.

 

Aromatherapy Governing Bodies

The International Federation of Aromatherapists provide information about qualified ptractitioners and their website can be found here.