True Aromatherapy and the Amazing Essential Oils



Fragrance is one of man's greatest enjoyments, stirring up passionate feelings and memories. Whether we realize it or not, our entire life is affected by smell. When we inhale air, we inhale aroma. This is the basis of aromatherapy. The term aromatherapy, coined in 1928, by Gattefosse, a French chemist, refers to the application of therapeutic essential oils, distilled from aromatic plants, to restore or enhance physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

True Aromatherapy, however, is not scented candles and potpourri. It does not include the use of fragrance oils or unnatural products. Perfumes, shampoos, and bath oils scented with herbs may smell wonderful, but they are artificially created fragrances or contain artificial substances and do not offer the therapeutic benefits that essential oils offer. In order to experience those benefits, one must be certain that the oils are grown organically, distilled properly, and bottled undiluted, and unchanged from their natural state. Most essential oils available are food or fragrance grade oils. Such oils are not therapeutic.

Essential oils are chemically very complex, highly concentrated and far more potent than herbs. It often requires an entire plant or more to produce a single drop of distilled essential oil. Imagine, it takes 5,000 pounds of rose petals to produce a pound of rose oil.

Essential oils, also known as incense, aroma, balm and spice, are referenced in both biblical and ancient secular history, and are generally regarded as being man's first known medicine. From Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese manuscripts, we know that priests and physicians have been using essential oils for thousands of years. During the time of Christ and before, oils were more precious than gold and the most prized commodity on the face of the earth. Medical journals now document their direct effect on the human body. Research has shown some oils to be anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-stimulating. For example, clinical research now shows that frankincense and myrrh, both mentioned in the Bible, are two of the most powerful immune-stimulating substances available.

Research published by the University of Georgia, Weber State University, and numerous medical journals have documented the inhibitory effect of essential oils against many strains of fungi, viruses, and gram negative and positive bacteria. Some of these include Streptococcus pneumoniae (responsible for lung and throat infections), Staphylococcus aureus, Herpes simplex, Salmonella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and many kinds of mold. According to Jean Valnet, in his book, The Practice of Aromatherapy (Beekman Publishing, 1995), oil of oregano is so powerful against microbes it can effectively sterilize raw sewage!

Blood studies reveal that the oils can pass throughout tissues within minutes. When applied to the body, by rubbing on the feet for example, the tiny molecules go right through the skin and travel throughout the body to affect every cell, within 20 minutes. Odor or fragrance is the only thing that directly affects the amygdala, a gland in the limbic system of the brain. These areas play a major role in the storing and releasing of emotional trauma, and are involved in the control of heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance. Many health practitioners are currently using these oils with excellent results. Aromatherapy can offer practical benefit for a variety of common ailments such as assisting with cuts, wounds, stings, bruises, pain, inflammation, indigestion, skincare, hair care, PMS, stress, fatigue, anxiety, and the list goes on and on!

Go ahead; try these multi-talented oils such as oil of oregano. You can use it for both cooking and cleaning your toilet bowl!

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