Although the word aromatherapy has not been around forever, the use of plants, herbs, fruits and flowers for healing have been centuries long. Aromatherapy is still being researched today for it's wide variety of uses, including the healing effects that is has on the body.
The most effective method of using essential oils is surprisingly enough not orally, but through inhalation or external application methods. When taken internally the oils mix with digestive juices and other matter, therefore changing the essential oil's chemistry. External methods that you use to apply essential oils involves but is not limited to: body oils, compresses, baths, lotions, foot baths & rubs, applications on certain pressure points pertaining to particular areas of the body, inhalations (steam or direct from the bottle or on a tissue), room sprays and perfumes.
Most essential oils are both antiviral and antiseptics and can be extremely powerful as well as having a wide range of pleasant aromas. Such an example of that power is the essential oil of oregano, which is 26 times more powerful as an antiseptic than phenol- an active ingredient in many commercial cleaners.
Due to the rise in technology we have left many effective natural healing methods behind. Although technology is certainly very useful and beneficial, we must also remember everything Mother Nature has provided us with and take full advantage of these natural wonders.
Scents in and of themselves leave lasting impressions on our mind, body and spirit. How many of us are reminded of a person place or event when we get a whiff of a familiar scent? My Grandmother had a beautiful garden filled with peonies and roses during the summers when I was a child. When I smell them in my own garden now, I am instantly taken back in time to Grandma's backyard on a lazy summer day.
We always associate smells with events. Turkeys and pumpkin pies make us think of Thanksgiving, and fall......Pine and peppermint brings thoughts of Christmas with our family and friends. These scents not only affect our noses, but our minds and well, not to mention our bodies and spirits.
For those of you who haven't ventured beyond the 'aromatic' properties of natural essential oils, maybe it's time you take another step forward and do so. With some integration of these fabulous gifts from Mother Nature into your daily life, you can discover just how many wonderful ways you can use them- not just for the mind, but for the body and spirit as well.
Lisa Hoskins lives in Michigan with her family and owns two businesses. Animal Spirit Jewelry- Handcrafted American Indian inspired & animal totem jewelry, and she is a consultant for Ravenwood Spa-aromatherapy bath & body products.