Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plants in the form of essential oils to help support and enhance physical and emotional health. Essential ols can be absorbed into the body through the skin and nose. When essential oils are absorbed through the skin, they enter the bloodstream which distributes the healing molecules throughout the body. When inhaling an essential oil, the aromatic molecules travel through two routes. Through the nasal passages, stimulating smell sense memory in the limbic system of the brain. The limbic systeam is a primitive part of the brain that associates scent with memory and emotional response. This is why certain aromas can produce powerful memories, both positive and negative, and affect our emotional state. In the lungs, essential oils pass into the blood stream where they are carried throughout the entire body.

 

Throughout history, people have turned to nature to provide help during illness. Essential oils are nothing new and are not a passing fad, but an ancient and enduring harvest of nature's richness. Nature is a never-ending gift giver of life, without plants we would neither eat nor breathe; we depend upon them. Aromatherapy has taken these gifts and extracted them into a liquid form for our pleasurable and medicinal use.

 

Essential oils seem to have the effect of bringing balance to the human organism. Depending on which essential oil you are using, they are known to have certain molecules such as phytohormones which mimic some of the hormones naturally occuring in the body or adaptogens which work at balancing the sympathetic nervous systems. This basically means the essential oil will respond to the body's requirements at any given time.

 

We also know some essential oils are renowned for their immune supporting properties such as antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal. The antibiotic and other antimicrobial properties of essential oils have especially been reearched in France, where Aromatherapy has teaditionally been employed more for infection control then anything else. Around the world today, a lot of research is being carried out on the antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal action of essential oils.

 

The most important thing to remember is good health comes for a variety of aspects in your life. Ensuring you are are approaching your health holistically and not limiting yourself to a quick or unhealthy solution. Essential oils can help support you physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially and intellectually with respect to the whole person's holistic embodiment of health. You will reap the benefits of essential oils so much more if you have a balanced approach to health already.

Common health concerns essential oils may assist with

Sleep


Essential oils contain properties that can help ease us into a restful sleep and alleviate the physical symptoms that make it difficult to rest.

 

Sedative essential oils such as Cedarwood, Geranium, Lavender and Marjoram help calm us and promote feelings of tranquility. Sleeplessness linked to anxiety, grief, depression and stress may be improved with neurotic essential oils such as Clary Sage, Frankincense & Jasmine. Neurotic means you're afflicted by neurosis, a word that describes mental, emotional, or physical reactions that are drastic and irrational. Physical symptoms such as pain and muscle cramping may be improved with analgesic and amtispasmodic essential oils such as Chamomile, Mandarin, & Ylang Ylang. If digestive concerns are disrupting your sleep routines, reach for the Digestive Rollerball to help ease upset tummys or cramping simply by rolling onto your abdomen in a clock wise direction. Decongesting oils such as Cedarwood, Patchouli and Sandalwood may help clear blocked noses without adding too much stimulation to your mind before drifting off to sleep.

Anxiety


Our physical stress response is a truly intelligent and lifesaving system within the body. Feelings caused by stress and anxiety are often an important signal for our health. These messages may be telling us that we need to pay attention to something in our mind, body or lifestyle. Anxiety can be associated with an idetifiable cause and the feelings will subside after the event. Sometimes, we can find ourselves feeling nervous, wired or even frightened without an obvious cause and this seems to be the fine line between stress and anxiety. Either way, essential oils can help support us during times of anxiety by calming the nervous system, improving physical symptoms of stress and provide comfort to the mind.

Anxiety can produce a wide range of symptoms as seen in the below table. We also have a ready made blend called, Anxiety Blend. This blend has been shown to help support emotional and mental wellbeing, increase vitality, relieve feelings of general debility, calm the mind, soothe the nerves, help reduce the occurrence of symptoms of mild anxiety, relieve symptoms of mental overactivity, promote body relaxation, enhance mind relaxation, reduce symptoms of stress, enhance the body's adaptation to stress, help reduce disturbed sleep, improve sleep quality, and promote healthy sleep patterns. Aromatherapy is a gentle and natural approach that may be helpful in the treatment of anxiety.

Anxiety Symptom Supportive Essential Oils

Racing or fluttering heart

May Chang, Rose, Ylang Ylang

Rapid and shallow breathing

Frankincense, Sandalwood

Digestive upsets

Peppermint, Orange, Chamomile

Tight and aching muscles

Lavender, Chamomile, Marjoram

Racing thoughts and difficulty concentrating

Clary Sage, Frankincense, Lemon

Insomnia

Lavender, Vetiver, Chamomile

Depression

Jasmine, Rose, Orange

Immunity


Our bodies are amazing machines designed to protect us from diseases. Aromatherapy can be used to help support and reduce the burden placed on our immune system, which is particuarly useful when we are feeling run down, under stress or caring for those who are unwell.

 

All essential oils have antiseptic properties and many of them are effective at treating harmful bacteria, fungus and viruses. Some essential oils can help to stimulate the immune system by increasing blood and lymph circulation or by supporting the different body systems.

 

Essential oils can be:

Diffused: to help purify the air and prevent the spread of airborne germs.

 

Added to cleaning products: disinfectant surface sprays or the washing machine.

 

Diluted and applied: to help support the body during illness.

Emotional Care


Studies have been shown that the effectiveness of an essential oil is increased if the person likes the aroma. During emotionally challenging times, you may choose to use your favourite essential oil as support. As mentioned, when inhaling an essential oil the limbic system is stimulated which is a primitive part of the brain that is associated with momery and emotional response, so your favourite essential oil preferences may change during challenging times as particular oils may release unpleasant memories from past trauma.

Emotional Range

Irritability to anger Restlessness to anxiety Stress to emotional burnout

Chamomile

Ylang Ylang

Lavender

Mandarin

Lavender

Neroli

Bergamot

Geranium

May Chang

Lavender

Frankincense

Cedarwood

These are just a few common health concerns essential oils may assist with. "Good health" will look & feel very different to the individual with many varying factors. Aromatherapy can be used as a supportive aid to your health concerns and not necessarily an overall replacement, it is about finding a health balance overall to achieve the best outcome for yourself and loved ones.

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Author: Georgia Doherty
Content & Community Coordinator

Georgia is the Content & Community Coordinator at ECO. Modern Essentials. Georgia oversees the company's social media platforms, helps coordinate brand collaborations, is a leader for ECO.'s content creation + DIY recipes and manages ECO.'s affiliate program. She is a qualified Beauty Therapist with extensive Dermal Therapy qualifications, a Diploma in Training Design & Development with a Aromatherapy Practitioner Certificate. Georgia is passionate about leading a happy & healthy life and helping educate those around her.

 

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