The use of essential oils from flowers, herbs, trees and fruit can be traced back to the ancient Sumerians. However, from the proliferation of commercials on TV, you would think that aromatherapy is a recent discovery. Other than using the word “aromatherapy”, there is no similarity between a synthetically produced piece of plastic that you stick into a light socket and an essential oil extracted from living matter. None.
It is not surprising then to understand that there is also no health benefit from the synthetic scent and in fact, exposure to chemicals can create ill health in people who are sensitive to them. Commercial “aromatherapy” products often contain synthetically-made fragrances with perhaps, a trace amount of essential oil.
In comparison, each essential oil can be broken down into its naturally occurring chemical constituents. It is the chemical constituents that give essential oils their therapeutic benefits. A trained aromatherapist blends essential oils after consulting with a client. The oils can then be applied through an aromatherapy massage or for the client to take home to apply after showering or to use in a diffuser. Never put undiluted essential oils directly on the skin without first consulting an aromatherapist.
During the craziness of H1N1, a diffuser filled with water and essential oils can be beneficial. Try this recipe at home, 3 drops each of the essential oils of:
- lemon (citrus limonum)
- eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus) and
- pine (pinus sylvestris).
(Please note that eucalyptus should be avoided if you have high blood pressure. Substitute tea tree oil (melaleuca alternifolia) for the eucalyptus.) Place the diffuser in the room where you spend the most amount of time.
Essential oils can be used effectively to treat a wide variety of health issues. For more information, consult a professionally trained aromatherapist in your community.