Commonly associated with alternative medicine, aromatherapy is a therapeutic use of essential oils in order to release negative energy contributing to diseases, pain and stress, balancing body and soul.
This practice has old origins: Egyptians, for example, made use of lavender, carnation and eucalyptus for their health-promoting properties in dermatitis treatment.
Modern aromatherapy spread in 1930 thanks to the French chemist René Maurice Gattefossé, who realized how essential oils, mainly employed as beauty products, could also have beneficial therapeutic effects. The essences are extracted from leaves, roots, bark, flowers, seeds, fruits, resin and watered down or perfumed with jojoba oil. Some have antibiotic, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.
How to use essential oils
- Oral ingestion: drops in water or capsule
- Inhalation: steam inhalation either through the nose or mouth
- Applied to skin: massages, aromatic bath
Aromatherapists say that the essences act directly on our nervous and endocrine systems, regenerating from depression and dissatisfaction.
Airborne molecules during inhalation, travel through the nose, affect the brain due to a variety of receptor sites and stimulate the olfactory organs. Thus, the inhaled essential oils reach the cerebral cortex, without being filtered by the core thalamus center (lateral region of diencephalons), and the ductless glands produce neuro-chemical as adrenalin and endorphin, which help homeostatic processes. The smell fills in a gap, consciously unknown, infusing a sense of plenty, balance and well-being.
The psychotherapeutic power of aromatherapy referred to our olfactory memory: indeed, the scent is straightly related with an “emotional image”, a feeling or a special life event that we experience again.
Our Dna decides which perfume we should wear. Our nose smells instinctively the best essence for us in every kind of situation. Maybe that’s the reason why people who suffer from anosmia, loss of the sense of smell, have an immune system down or, in certain cases, are depressed.
There are different olfactory archetypes: civet, spices, citruses and flowers. Between citruses: the lemon.