Aromatherapy uses natural fragrances to prevent and cure diseases. Aromatherapy works with so-called essential oils. These are fragrances derived from plants. Almost all fragrant plants contain essential oils, but some contain very little. Much essential oil, which is also used regularly in aromatherapy, contains for example chamomile, rosemary, thyme and sandalwood.
Origin and Philosophy of Aromatherapy
The soothing effect of fragrances has long been known to people all over the world. Perfumes were often used by healers and priests, whether for healing purposes or for ritual acts. In 1928, the French chemist René Gattefossé began researching essential oils with a view to modern aromatherapy. He developed a healing method based on natural plant scents. Since then, more and more discoveries have been made in the field of aromatherapy and a large number of books have been published. Aromatherapists believe that every plant has an energy potential that can be transferred to humans through its typical scent. This activates the self-healing power of the body, restores the balance between body and soul and increases well-being.
Technique of aromatherapy
Essential oils are basically not drugs. They are freely available for sale and can be used by anyone. For this reason, aromatherapy can be performed by yourself, possibly with the aid of a book. If you do not have any experience in handling fragrances, it certainly makes sense to seek advice from an aromatherapist and to have it treated under certain circumstances. The essential oils for aromatherapy can be used in different ways: as an aroma bath, for inhalation, in fragrance lamps or diffusers, as massage or body oils in strong dilution, or for ingestion.
Application of aromatherapy
Some aromatherapists are convinced that correctly used fragrance essences can help alleviate or cure almost all diseases. In practice, the essential oils of aromatherapy are used primarily for psychosomatic complaints such as sleep disorders, mood disorders, nervousness or stress. Essential oils are also recognised as supportive remedies for colds, menopausal symptoms or nervous gastrointestinal complaints.
A few examples of important essential oils and their uses:
- Eucalyptus: for fever, skin changes or as an expectorant in respiratory diseases.
- Fennel: for stomach complaints and nausea
- Jasmine: gives self-confidence and helps with anxiety and depressive moods
- Clary Sage: stimulates the sexual life and helps with general weakness or in the recovery period.
- Peppermint: for headaches
Side effects of essential oils
Essential oils are natural products that are dosed correctly and usually do not cause any side effects. In high doses, however, essential oils can also be toxic and even dangerous. It is therefore important never to use the oils undiluted and to follow the dosage guidelines. With an appropriate predisposition, the use of essential oils in the body can lead to allergic reactions. Care should also be taken during pregnancy.