Aromatherapy is a branch of herbal medicine that uses the medicinal properties of the essential oils of plants and herbs. The use of plant essential oils dates back to the ancient times in Egypt, Italy, India, and China. The essential oils used in aromatherapy are oils from the flowers, leaves, stems, buds, branches, or roots that have been extracted using distillation or cold pressing.
How does aromatherapy works?
Essential oils can affect almost every organ system in the body. It has a unique effect including anti-bacterial, antiviral and diuretic. Essential oils when inhaled stimulate the senses thus bringing about emotional and physiological balance.
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Aromatherapy is often used for variety of health conditions, such as allergies, stress, bruises, burns, diarrhea, earache, energy, insect bites, relaxation, indigestion, headache, menopause, insomnia, nausea, bronchitis, colds, flu, sinusitis, sprains, wounds, muscle and joint pain, arthritis, nervousness, restlessness and scars.
Home remedies using aromatherapy
Essential oils can be used at home by inhalation or topical application. Steam inhalation is often used for respiratory conditions. Steam inhalation involves adding 2-3 drops of essential oil of eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, or other oil to hot water and holding the face over the pot with a towel draped to form a tent.
A few drops of essential oils can also be added to baths, compresses, or massage oils.
- Essential oils can be toxic so they should only be taken under the guidance of a qualified professional.
- In addition, some individuals may experience irritation when applying sandalwood essential oil to the skin. A skin patch test should be done before using any new essential oil.
- The oil should not be applied at full strength to the skin or used in excessive amounts.
- Pregnant women and children should consult their primary health care providers prior to using essential oils.