What is Aromatherapy?
It is the practice of using volatile plant oils (and essential oils) for physical and psychological well-being.
Before I get started take note that fragrance oils (fragrances) are not essential oils. This is because they contain unnatural chemicals and do not provide therapeutic benefits like essential oils.
Essential oils are the pure "essence" of a plant and when used properly will provide both psychological and physical benefits. There are many essential oils. Absolutes, CO2s and hydrosols are also commonly utilized in aromatherapy. CO2s and absolutes are often defined as part of the term "essential oil".
Essential oils are very powerful and concentrated and should never be applied to the skin in their undiluted form. When applied to the skin essential oils are believed to be absorbed into the bloodstream. The components of the various oils are believed to aid in a variety of physical conditions including: health, hygiene, mental and beauty. To apply essential oils to the skin carrier oils (pure vegetable oils) are used to dilute the essential oils and carry them to the skin.
Examples of carrier oils include (but are not limited to): apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil and grapeseed oil.
Inhaling essential oils is believed to offer both physical and psychological benefits. The aroma of a natural essential oil stimulate's the brain to trigger a reaction. The naturally occurring chemicals in essential oil are drawn into the lungs and can supply a physical benefit, as well. Be careful. It is easy to use essential oils in a dangerous way.
Oils can be blended together to provide a specific therapeutic action, or pleasing aroma. Synergistically blending oils in proper proportions is considered to have a further reaching effect than that of each oil working alone. This is what the art of essential oil blends is all about.
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