Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile liquid plant materials, known as essential oils, and other scented compounds from plants for the purpose of affecting a person's mood or health. Essential oils differ in chemical composition from other herbal products because the distillation process only recovers the lighter phytomolecules; what we sometimes refer to as “top notes“ of a fragrance. For this reason essential oils are rich in monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, as well as other VOC substances (esters, aromatic compounds, non-terpene hydrocarbones, some organic sulfides etc.) which make up the rest of a scent.

Aromatherapy is a generic term that refers to any of the various traditions that make use of essential oils; sometimes in combination with other alternative medical practices and spiritual beliefs. It is considered particularly a Western practice and persuasion. Medical treatment involving aromatic scents may exist outside of the West, but may or may not be included in the our term “aromatherapy”.

Aromatherapy is an ancient practice. We know that Cleopatra conquered powerful Roman men with the use of aromatic oils. As currently defined, aromatherapy involves the use of distilled plant volatiles, a twentieth century innovation. The word, aromatherapy, was first used in the 1920s by French chemist René Maurice Gattefossé, who devoted his life to researching the healing properties of essential oils after a lucky accident in his perfume laboratory. In the accident, he set his arm on fire and thrust it into the nearest cold liquid, which happened to be a vat of lavender oil. Immediately he noticed surprising pain relief, and instead of requiring the extended healing process he had experienced during recovery from previous burns, which caused redness, heat, inflammation, blisters, and scarring, this burn healed remarkably quickly, with minimal discomfort and no scarring. Jean Valnet continued the work of Gattefossé. During World War I Valnet using essential oils to treat gangrene in wounded soldiers.

Some practical applications of aromatherapy include:
aerial diffusion for environmental fragrancing or aerial disinfection
direct inhalation for respiratory disinfection, decongestion, expectoration
topical applications for general massage, baths, compresses, therapeutic skin care
oral, rectal, vaginal treatments for infection, congestion, parasites, perfumery for body fragrancing & annointments.

Some of the materials used include:

ESSENTIAL OILS: Fragrant oils extracted from plants chiefly through distillation (e.g. eucalyptus oil) or expression (grapefruit oil). However, the term is also occasionally used to describe fragrant oils extracted from plant material by any solvent extraction.

ABSOLUTES: Fragrant oils extracted primarily from flowers or delicate plant tissues through solvent or supercritical fluid extraction (e.g. rose absolute). The term is also used to describe oils extracted from fragrant butters, concretes, and pomades using ethanol.

PHYTONCIDES: Various volatile organic compounds from plants that kill microbes. Many terpene-based fragrant oils and sulfuric compounds from plants in the genus are likely less commonly used in aromatherapy due to their disagreeable odors.

HERBAL DISTILLATES or hydrosols: The aqueous by-products of the distillation process (e.g. rosewater). There are many herbs that make herbal distillates and they have culinary uses, medicinal uses and skin care uses. Common herbal distillates are rose, lemon balm and chamomile.

INFUSIONS: Aqueous extracts of various plant material (e.g. infusion of chamomile)

CARRIER OILS: Typically oily plant base triacylglycerides that dilute essential oils for use on the skin (e.g. sweet almond oil)

Aromatherapy can be the key to a successful business environment. It has been proven that a change in scent can elevate moods, banish depression, increase enthusiasm and more. Every one of us can benefit from the positive effects of Aromatherapy! Give It A Try!

Author's Bio: 

I am a self-actualized Entrepreneur who creates and selectively imports quality personal care products from the finest ingredients. That line is the Zuri's Pride Naturals Collection….. guaranteed to address your skin issues. Some of those ingredients include, but are not limited to Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Mango Butter, Virgin Coconut Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Shea Nut Butter, Japanese Peppermint Oil,Eucalyptus Oil, Aloe Vera Gel & more. My research into the products I distribute are the basis for my informative articles on SelfGrowth.com.