Did you know that we can distinguish 1,00,000 different smells, and that these smells act directly on the brain?
Here is a book that tells you all you wanted to know about aromatherapy. Aromatherapy can help you improve your health and emotional well-being by the use of scents.
An exotic way to heal yourself!
Sumeet Sharma is an engineer with a Master's in Business Management. He is a Reiki Grand Master, and a pranic healer. He is also the director of the Holistic Healing Centre.
The word aromatherapy means 'treatment using scents'. It refers to the use of essential oils in Holistic Healing to improve health and emotional well being and in restoring balance to the body.
Essential oils are aromatic essences extracted from plants, flowers, trees, fruit, bark, grasses and seeds. There are more than 150 types of oils that can be extracted. These oils have distinctive therapeutic, psy- chological and physiological Prorerties that improve health and prevent illness. All essential oils have unique healing and valuable antiseptic properties. Some oils are anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, pain- relieving, anti-depressant, stimu- lating, relaxing, expectorating, support digestion and have diuretic properties too.
Essential oils get absorbed into our body and exert an influence on it. The residue gets dispersed from the body naturally. They can also affect our mind and emotions. They enter the body in three ways: by inhalation, absorption and con- sumption.
From the chemist's point of view, essential oils are a mixture of organic compounds viz., ketones, terpenes, esters, alcohol, aldehyde and hundreds of other molecules which are extremely difficult to classify, as they are small and complex. The essential oils' molecules are small. They penetrate human skin easily and enter the blood stream directly and finally get flushed out through our elementary system.
A concentrate of essential oils is not greasy; it is more like water in texture and evaporates quickly. Some of them are light liquid insoluble in water and evaporate instantly when exposed to air. It would take 100 kg of lavender to yield 3 kg of lavender oil; one would need 8 million jasmine flowers to yield barely 1 kg of jasmine oil.
Some of these aroma oils are very expensive. They are extracted using maceration. The purification process called defleurage is employed, and in some cases fat is used instead of oil. Then this process, called enfleurage, is used for final purification.
Some of the common essential oils used in aromatherapy for their versatile application are:
1. Clary Sage (Salvia Scarea)
2. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Globulus)
3. Geranium (Pelargonium Grav- eolens)
4. Lavender (Lavendula Vera Officinals)
5. Lemon (Citrus Limonem)
6. Peppermint (Mentha Piperita)
7. Petitgrain(Citus Aurantium Leaves)
8. Rosemary (Rosmarin us Officinals )
9. Tea-tree (Melaleuca AIternifolia)
10. Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odorata) The oils mentioned can be good in a beginner's kit.
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