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Aromatherapy for Wellness

Consumer Conscious

Aromatherapy is as old as nature itself. The scents of flowers, trees, and other plants have an impact on other life forms, including us mere mortals.

Archaeological evidence has demonstrated that the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome were familiar with the use of aromatherapy oils. And while modern exploration of this wonderful form of therapy became more widespread in the last century, the healing properties of these truly natural oils have been confirmed in the laboratories of leading universities and research institutes worldwide. These potent essential oils have produced remarkable results on pain, inflammation, infection, depression, dementia, and many other symptoms.

Aromatic amulet In the 10th century, Arabs invented a process of distillation for the extraction of essential oils from plants. These oils were inhaled as aromas, drunk as potions, and worn aromatic amulets. This is one of the first uses of aromas as personal scent preference. This is allegedly the root behind the use of perfumes and modern day deodorants.

Nowadays, this extraction process is mainly used to get the oil from plants and flowers for use in aromatherapy. This form of therapy that involves nothing more than deep inhalation of different types of herbal oils is being used to treat a wide spectrum of maladies, both physical and emotional. Headaches, herpes, dry skin, acne, arthritis, and asthma are just a few examples of the problems that people have cured using aromatherapy.

The great thing about aromatherapy is ... everything. Fragrant scented oils are gently applied through massage or inhaled after being diffused into the air. It seems too good to be effective medicine but an experienced aromatherapist can achieve excellent results through the application of the correct essential oil.

How Aromatherapy Works

The science behind aromatherapy involves signals transmitted from cells in the nose to the brain. The message sent to the brain varies with the scent or scents detected by the nose. The brain then transmits signals to the rest of the body, which again acts accordingly.

Essential Oils Aromatherapy oil may consist of a single plant oil or a combination of many different oils from many species. The oils frequently have more than one therapeutic use based on their properties.

The three main classifications are:

  1. Uplifting
  2. Balancing
  3. Calming

Choosing the appropriate oil also involves choosing high quality oils. The therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy are greatly diminished if the processing compromises the product (i.e., the integrity of the plant or plants). You are not likely to find quality aromatherapy products in most of the bath and body chain stores or department stores, including many popular ones.

And please remember: The last thing you want is more chemicals in your life, so avoid oils that are labelled "fragrance" or include ingredients other than oils from the plant or plants they are supposed to comprise. Choose only high quality oils to avoid toxic, rancid oils that are common in bath and beauty stores.

Aromatherapy Sea Salt Baths

Did you know you can enjoy aromatherapy effects by soaking with these salts in a tub of warm water in just a few minutes? Spearmint scent produces an upliting feeling. It will have a gentle energizing efect. Peppermint soothes sore muscles and treats aches and pains. The salts, milk and chocolate will leave your skin smooth and soft. Treat yourself to a soothing aromatherapy bath often. You will inhale the beneits of mother nature. Recipe makes approximately two cups.

Chocolate Rose Mint Bath Salts Recipe

1/2 cup fine grind sea salt
1/2 cup coarse grind sea salt
1/2 cup Epsom salts
1/2 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons powdered milk
1 tablespoon powdered cocoa
15 drops rose fragrance oil
15 drops spearmint essential oil OR peppermint essential oil

Carefully measure all four salts in disposable container that will not be used for food again. A glass jar or bowl is perfect. Put salts in container and mix together with powdered milk and cocoa. Mix all well. Add essential oil and fragrance oil one drop at a time. Stir to mix until all oil is absorbed. Mix salts and oils, keeping oils away from skin and face. Wash hands right away if oil gets on skin to avoid skin irritation from the essential oils. Fill decorative jars with salt mixture. Keep in closed glass jar to keep scent longer. Makes two cups.

Directions To Use: Toss two tablespoons of Chocolate Rose Mint Bath Salts into a warm bathtub. Swish to stir. Salts will dissolve in water. Enjoy your soothing and cooling aromatherapy bath. You will feel freshened and revived. Aches will vanish and soreness will be diminished. Skin will be softened and hydrated. Benefits the mind, body and spirit.

Aromatherapy for Child Birth?

A study of women in labor by Oxford University found that aromatherapy - surrounding the patient with pleasant smells - relaxed women and helped them feel in control of their pain. Over 80 percent of women rated the aromatherapy effective in helping them through even the most painful moments of labor.

Our senses communicate to our brain whether we should be in a state of alarm or a state of calm. Even when we are in distress in our lives, soothing our senses helps to soothe our system. Surround yourself with pleasant smells when you are feeling down or stressed, or even when feeling ill and your system will be calmed.

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