While aromatherapy and the use of essential oils have been around a long time, there is an ebb and flow to their popularity. I remember when I was in my 20s, they were gaining popularity in Canada. Now, some 20 years later, essential oils have again become popular, and some might even say trendy.
Aromatherapy is a holistic healing practice that uses essential oils and other aromatic plant extracts to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It is often used as a complementary therapy to traditional medical treatments, but it can also be used on its own as a form of self-care. Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that are believed to have therapeutic properties.
Some of the common uses of aromatherapy include:
Relaxation and stress relief: Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and bergamot are known for their calming properties, and can help to relieve stress, anxiety, and promote relaxation.
Pain relief: Essential oils like lavender, rosemary, peppermint and eucalyptus have analgesic properties and can be used to relieve pain and inflammation.
Boosting immunity: Essential oils like tea tree, eucalyptus, and lemon can be used to boost the immune system and prevent illness.
Improving sleep: Essential oils like lavender, marjoram and chamomile can help to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.
Enhancing mood: Essential oils like tangerine, lime and peppermint can be used to uplift the mood and promote feelings of happiness and well-being.
Aromatherapy can be practiced in a variety of ways, including inhaling essential oils, applying them topically to the skin, or adding them to baths or other products. When essential oils are inhaled, they can stimulate the olfactory system, which is responsible for the sense of smell, and the limbic system, which is involved in regulating emotions and memory.
However, it is important to note that while some studies have suggested that certain essential oils may have therapeutic properties, the evidence is often limited and more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of aromatherapy.
There are 100s of essential oils to choose from and I've listed just a few of the more accessible ones. It is important to note that aromatherapy should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care, but rather as a complementary therapy to support overall health and well-being. It is also important to use high-quality essential oils and to follow proper safety guidelines when using aromatherapy. It is also important to use essential oils safely and under the guidance of a Certified Aromatherapy Health Professional (CAHP) or healthcare professional.
Lisa J. Byers is a Certified Aromatherapy Health Professional practicing in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.