With the simple aid of pleasant scents, the body can be protected against the detrimental effects that stress can have both emotionally and physically. Most pleasant scents are able to stimulate feelings of comfort and tranquility, which helps regulate respiratory functions and thereby boosts immunity to infections and viruses. In particular, scents that are derived from natural botanicals have enhanced efficacy in improving emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual well-being.

The therapeutic fragrances we smell in nature come from the precious liquids found inside and extracted from the barks, flowers, leaves, rinds, roots, seeds or other parts of almost all botanicals. These liquids are known as Essential Oils. While some essential oils are known to offer energizing benefits, the general and greatest benefit of most essential oils is their ability to return the feeling of harmony to our bodies when we’re over stimulated and experiencing fatigue, restlessness, sadness, and other negative, exhausting emotions. Essential Oils are reputed to support and facilitate the release and balance of emotions. This is the perception associated with the concept of “Aromatherapy.”

The word Aromatherapy was coined in the 20thcentury – when natural fragrances first began to be used in therapeutic practices – by French chemist and perfumer Rene Maurice Gattefosse. When his hand was burned, Gattefosse discovered by accident that applying Lavender Essential Oil to the burn accelerated the healing process. Because the oil was both aromatic and therapeutic, he created the term Aromatherapy.

While modern life separates us from nature, the use of fragrant essential oils drawn out of plants and flowers reconnects us to it.“Aromatic herbalism,” that is the application of fragrant plants, flowers, resins, and woods, is an ancient practice that began with Neanderthals, who ensured that the deceased members of their communities were buried along with aromatic flowers and herbs. Similar practices involving the use of aromatic botanicals eventually came to be used globally such as by the Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Arabs. It then became a long-standing tradition to use the advantages of Essential Oils for manufacturing natural cosmetics, disinfecting and facilitating the healing of wounds, purifying the atmosphere, embalming, and enhancing the ambiance for spiritual and religious practices.

In wholistic Aromatherapy, therapists create synergy blends of specific oils that treat conditions of the body, mind, and spirit based on the individual’s aromatic preferences and health symptoms. This creates a prescription unique to each individual. The 3 ways in which essential oils pass into the body include inhalation, dermal absorption, and oral ingestion; however, unless prescribed and supervised by a qualified medical practitioner, the ingestion method is not recommended.

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It is highly recommended that each essential oil’s unique properties be fully understood by the user. The potency of essential oils and their ability to potentially trigger sensitivities may have negative health effects on some individuals. To learn more about using essential oils safely in Aromatherapy, visit New Directions Aromatics