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Aromatherapy: What is it?

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Aromatherapy is the art and science of treating illnesses through essential oils and/or inhaling herbal mixtures. The sense of smell or olfactory senses are the quickest path to the brain. Once the scent molecules pass the brain, it enters the bloodstream through the lining in our lungs. Once the molecules enter the bloodstream they influence the nervous systems, adrenal glands, stomach, intestines, heart rate, circulatory, and immune systems. Now the scent molecules also stimulate or relax emotions, attitude, energy level, sex drive, concentration, memory and other brain activity. All of that from smelling scents that we already know. Essential oils used in ancient Egyptian times had many purposes. Burial, spiritual, medical and perfume are just some of their uses. The word perfume comes from the Latin phrase “through the smoke”. Egyptians closed themselves in small rooms and burnt herbs and oils to cover their body odor. This is where incense came from. The Egyptians also noticed that the scented smoke had medicinal purposes also. Rene- Maurice Gattefosse was a French chemist who coined the phrase Aromatherapy. It was actually an accident; He burned his hand then confused a bowl of water with a bowl of Lavender Oil. Instead of a bad chemical reaction, he learned that the lavender oil healed the burn quicker and left less scarring. This launched his research in Essential oils and Aromatherapy. The process of distillation is used to extract essential oils from grasses, leaves, trees, roots, and flowers. Some oils require a lot of raw material to make a small amount of oil, and then other oils are easier and less expensive to produce. Therefore, if oil has a higher price, and a few are quite expensive, then that means that particular oil is difficult to harvest and distill. A headache is relieved with essential oils such as Eucalyptus, Lavender, feverfew, chamomile and marjoram. You could place a few drops of any of these oils in a diffuser or aroma lamp to keep your home or workplace headache free. Many homeopathic doctors prescribe the herb feverfew for migraines. In addition, valerian root, hops and lavender, which are all sedatives and muscle relaxers for those tense stressed out, neck muscles. Yarrow is an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and helps control high blood pressure, common cause of migraines and headaches Who has kids? Most huh well you will need to pay attention here. Take out the aroma lamp and diffuser; put 6 drops of lavender, four of chamomile, and three of sandlewood or cedar wood. Turn it on and watch your house hold calm down almost immediately. You can also place chamomile or lavender in a small pillow and place it in your children’s bed. It is safe, pleasant; the child gets a better, more rejuvenating sleep. Jasmine also has a sedative quality as well as Patchouli. Cinnamon bark is neat oil. It is warm, calming, spicy and comforting. There have been surveys conducted about the effect that the scent of cinnamon has on men, for example. Most men stated that the smell of cinnamon reminds them of grandma’s kitchen, thus bringing on a feeling of love. However, it also helps women with cramps, regulates menstrual cycle, and even gives us a little boost in our love lives. Cinnamon also can be used for insect bites, treat infections and is used in cough elixirs. Be careful, cinnamon can irritate your skin if not diluted properly. There are some oils (like lavender, tea tree, and patchouli) can be applied directly to the skin with no dilution. To be safe I would dilute 2-4 drops of essential oil to 1 tsp. (5ml) of carrier oil. Carrier oils allow safe absorption into the skin and calms some of the more potent oils. Aromatherapy is the idea that through the senses of touch and smell the body can achieve harmony between mind, body, and spirit. Balance is important today due to the Contamination of chemicals in our world as shown in the ozone alerts. Today’s stress, busy schedules, full houses and all of the everyday problems, which have become part of our hectic existence. Aromatherapy is a healthy, easy, inexpensive way to naturally heal your mind and body. By Machelle Reaves via

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