Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plants in the form of essential oils to help support and enhance physical and emotional health. Essential oils 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 system 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 bloodstream 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 researched in France, where Aromatherapy has traditionally been employed more for infection control than 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 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.