ESSENTIAL OILS and AROMA THERAPY

by Walter Last

Aroma Therapy is not only a natural way to treat health conditions, but it is also among the oldest. Aroma Therapy involves the use of essential oils, also called aromatic oils, that have been created from herb and plant extracts. And it is a pleasant way to get cured with these fragrant oils being applied all over the body – the ultimate natural solution.

Essential oils in Aroma Therapy were used even way back in 18000 B.C. France. People in the Stone Age used aromatherapy for the cure of sickness and fatigue. Ancient Egypt used aromatic oils in religious rituals. The Pharaohs exchanged essential oils and sometimes they were more valuable than Gold. Aromatic oils for Aroma Therapy have been used in China from the era of Shen Nong. In 3000 B.C., the first Chinese medical book 'Yellow Emperors Private Manual' listed in details the curative effects of aromatic oils.

Aromatic Oils and Genital Warts

An example of the use of aromatic oils is in the treatment of genital warts. These spread quickly, and so whenever the symptoms of genital warts appear, they need to be doused. Aromatic oils created from herbs and plants have been known to cure genital warts successfully. Goldenseal has natural antibiotic properties that destroy viral infections, Tea Tree oil is an anti-viral essential oil, Aloe Vera has healing and soothing properties, and garlic oil enables the blood cells to fight infections better. Many of these aromatic oils directly fight the virus and others improve the natural immunity of the body thereby strengthening its fighting abilities.

Application of Aromatic Oils

It is sometimes wrongly believed that since they are known as 'Aromatic', these oils can benefit only from inhalation. This is not correct. Though they work through the nose, there are other applications as well. Here are a few applications of aromatic oils and ways they can be used to get the maximum benefit. It needs to be remembered that the skin is the largest organ we have in our body and so application of the oil is best on the skin. These oils seep into the body when they are applied on the skin and affect the various organs in a positive way.

Application - How to Use

Body Lotion - 25 drops of essential oil

Facial Oil - 6 drops of essential oil to 30 ml of jojoba oil

Massage Oil - 25 drops of essential oil to 60 ml of almond oil

Shampoo - 12 drops of essential oil to 500 ml unscented shampoo

Hair Conditioner - 1 drop of essential oil to 200 ml of unscented conditioner

Baths - 8 drops essential oil for one tub of water

In addition it is very effective to rub undiluted essential oils into the soles of the feet. You may combine this with Reflexology by rubbing the oil preferentially onto the reflex area of an organ or part of the body that you want to treat.

Many users also take drops of essential oils internally, e.g. diluted in a glass of liquid. Health authorities in most countries regard the internal use of essential oils as highly dangerous; they want us to use pharmaceutical drugs instead. However, it is difficult to find fatalities due to improper use of aromatherapy, while there are millions of fatalities from proper use of prescription drugs.

Indications for Using Aromatic Oils

Despite a lack of scientific research, aromatic oils are widely used by European medical practitioners and aroma-therapists. Aromatic oils are used for a variety of complaints, including sinusitis, colds and flu, digestive problems, insomnia, migraine, and muscle aches and pains. Some of the more common aromatherapy recommendations are:

  • Eucalyptus and wintergreen oils for relieving congestion
  • Jasmine oil for easing depression
  • Lavender for insomnia, reducing anxiety, headaches, burns, aches and pains
  • Lemon and orange for improving mood and increasing mental alertness
  • Peppermint for relieving nausea and digestive disorders
  • Rosemary for muscular pains, muscle relaxation and as a mental stimulant
  • Sandalwood for anxiety, depression and nervous tension
  • Tea tree for respiratory problems and fungal, bacterial and viral infections.

Some useful oils for specific problems are:

Candida: Essential oils of tea tree, neem, cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, mustard, wild oregano and thyme.

Infections: Borneol, lemon, clove, eucalyptus, lavender, neem, wild oregano, tea tree, thyme.

Pain: Oils of cloves, lavender, rosemary and wintergreen.

Sinus Problems: Rinse with cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus, lavender1 pine, rosemary, tea tree and thyme.

Sore throat: Gargle with lemon, geranium, hyssop, sage, tea tree and thyme.

Stomach Ulcers: Very effective are 6 drops of tea tree oil in liquid taken orally before breakfast for 3 to 6 days (initially take a test drop to see that you are not oversensitive to it).

How Aromatic Oils Help

Though not much scientific evidence is available to support the claims, but those who practice Aroma therapy are of the opinion that the aromatic oils can completely cure health problems. And history certainly seems to be on their side as Aroma therapy has been successfully used for centuries. Modern science is only just beginning to fully understand the benefits, and extensive research is underway on the subject. So unless there is anything concrete to prove otherwise, we really should not have anything against the use of aromatic oils in treating health problems.

Aroma therapists say that aromatic oils when applied activate cells in the body, sending sensory signals to the limbic system of the brain, and prompt it to take necessary action. When the aromatic oils are applied on the skin, they get absorbed and go directly into the blood stream. The oils are lipophilic in nature, and thus can enter the body cells to exert their healing effect easily.

And here is some Proof

In studies conducted on 105 people it was observed that those who inhaled a chocolate-like aroma when they felt hungry lost almost 3 pounds in 2 weeks. Another research found that a whiff of banana, green apples or peppermint scents lead to an average weight loss of 30 pounds in 6 months. A combination of Orange and Cinnamon has been proved to bring in a sense of refreshment and inspiration. Lavender works as an excellent stress reliever and reduces depression as well. Balsam Fir, it is said, improves focus and clarity.

Studies at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center revealed that the vanilla-like smell of heliotropin helped patients relax while undergoing MRI scans. A study of patients who had undergone heart surgery found that those who received a foot massage with neroli (orange) oil were less anxious than those who received the same massage with non-aromatic oil.

In a controlled trial in Scotland researchers reported that some drops of diluted thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedar oils rubbed into the scalp daily for seven months was highly effective and safe in treating alopecia areata, a stress-related form of hair loss.

Cautions

  • Use essential oils internally only according to reliable instructions.
  • If you are sensitive and want to avoid allergic reactions, first test any essential oil on a small patch of clean skin. Mix a drop of the essential oil with a few drops of olive oil. Place a bandage over the area and wait 24 hours. If no irritation occurs, you can use the oil. If you develop a rash, try another essential oil.
  • If you become sensitive to an essential oil after using it for a while, stop using it.
  • If you have asthma be careful as some aromatic oils can trigger bronchial spasms.
  • During pregnancy use only oils considered to be safe in this condition. The essential oils of basil, calamus, juniper, mugwort, pennyroyal, rosemary, sage, thyme and wintergreen may cause problems if taken internally, possibly even if applied externally.