Aromatherapy is the ancient practice of using essential oils to treat diseases. These oils are extracted from rinds, flower petals, leaves, roots, barks, stems, and other parts of the plants, mixed with other substances, and are then applied on the skin, inhaled, or sprayed.
A common misconception about aromatherapy is that it heals through delightful scents. The source of confusion usually stems from the refreshing feeling that comes from taking a whiff of anything that smells good – such as potpourri, perfumes, scented candles, and even store-bought air fresheners. While pleasant smells do improve moods, there is more to the ancient art than what we commonly know now.
How Aromatherapy Works
One way of using essential oils is to apply them on the skin. Since skin is semi-permeable, or capable of absorbing substances into our body, the healing compounds found in essential oils are taken in.
Aromatherapy is, of course, also delivered through inhalation. When essential oils are inhaled, molecules stimulate the olfactory organs and sends signals to the limbic system in the brain. This can affect blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, stress levels, and release hormones that help reduce symptoms of the diseases, and promote relief.
Some essential oils contain antiviral properties that help boost the immune system. This means that not only are they ideal for treating disease as it happens, these oils are also great for preventing diseases that result from a poor immune system.