The term Aromatherapy was coined by French chemist, René Maurice Gattefossé. Aromatherapy is a generic term that refers to any of the various traditions that make use of essential oils sometimes in combination with other alternative medical practices and spiritual beliefs. Aromatherapy is the treatment or prevention of disease by use of essential oils (An essential oil is any concentrated, hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants).
It is defined as follows in Medical Encyclopedia, Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being. It is sometimes used in combination with massage and other therapeutic techniques as part of a holistic treatment approach. In France Aromatherapy is incorporated into mainstream medicine, where the use of the anti-septic, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties of oils in the control of infections is emphasized
Materials in Aromatherapy • Essential oils: Fragrant oils extracted from plants chiefly through. • Absolutes: Fragrant oils extracted primarily from flowers or delicate plant tissues. • Phytoncides: Various volatile organic compounds from plants that kill microbes. • Herbal distillates or hydrosols: The aqueous by-products of the distillation process. • Infusions: Aqueous extracts of various plant material. • Carrier oils: Typically oily plant base triacylglycerides that are used to dilute essential oils for use on the skin. Essential oils, phytoncides and other natural VOCs work in different ways. At the scent level they activate the limbic system and emotional centers of the brain. When applied to the skin (commonly in form of "massage oils" i.e. 1-10% solutions of EO in carrier oil) they activate thermal receptors, and kill microbes and fungi. Internal application of essential oil preparations (mainly in pharmacological drugs; generally not recommended for home use apart from dilution - 1-5% in fats or mineral oils, or hydrosoles) may stimulate the immune system.
Popular uses of aromatherapy essential oil • Basil is used in perfumery for its clear, sweet and mildly spicy aroma. In aromatherapy, it is used for sharpening concentration, for its uplifting effect on depression, and to relieve headaches and migraines. Basil oil has many chemotypes and some are known to be emmenagogues and should be avoided during pregnancy. • Bergamot is one of the most popular oils in perfumery. It is an excellent insect repellent and may be helpful for both the urinary tract and for the digestive tract. It is useful for skin conditions linked to stress, such as cold sores and chicken pox, especially when combined with eucalyptus oil. Bergamot is a flavoring agent in Earl Grey tea. But cold-pressed Bergamot oil contains bergaptene, a strong photosensitizer when applied to the skin, so only distilled or 'bergaptene-free' types can be topically used. • Black pepper has a sharp and spicy aroma. Common uses include stimulating the circulation and for muscular aches and pains. Skin application is useful for bruises, since it stimulates the circulation. • Citronella oil, obtained from a relative of lemongrass, is used as an insect repellant and in perfumery. • Tea tree oil and many other essential oils have topical (external) antimicrobial (i.e. antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, or antiparasitic) activity and are used as antiseptics and disinfectants. • Eucalyptus oil • Sandalwood oil • Thyme oil • Clove oil is a topical analgesic, especially useful in dentistry. It is also used an antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, and antiemetic. • Lavender oil is used as an antiseptic, to soothe minor cuts and burns, to calm and relax, and to soothe headaches and migraines. • Yarrow oil is used to reduce joint inflammation and relieve cold and influenza symptoms. • Jasmine, Rose, Sandalwood and Ylang-ylang oil are used as aphrodisiacs. • Lemon oil is uplifting and anti-stress/anti-depressant. In a Japanese study, lemon essential oil in vapour form has been found to reduce stress in mice. The most popular aromatherapy essential oil with their attributes. • Achillea oil. Anti-inflammatory and haemostatic. Against hypertension, insomnia and haemorrhoids. For gynecological diseases and neuralgia. • Angelica oil. Carminative and relaxing. For heart, respiratory and skin problems, anorexia, asthma, stomach ulcer, arthritis and psoriasis. • Aniseed oil. Emmenagogu, antispasmodic and tonic. For menstruation, menopause’s disease, dyspepsia, colitis, asthmatic bronchitis and tachycardia. • Bassilicum oil. Tonic, refreshing, memory boosting and insectifuge. For headaches, insomnia, depression and nervous tension. • Balsam (Canada) oil. Antiseptic and relaxing. For asthma, bronchitis, dejection and sore throat. • Balsam (Peru) oil. Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, disinfectant. For wounds and stomach ulcer. • Balsam (Tolu) oil. Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, excretory and antitussive. • Benzoin oil. Excretory, calefacient, pulmonic and antiseptic. For acne, eczema, psoriasis, coughs and bad blood circulation. • Bergamot oil. Refreshing, tonic and calming. For stress, depression and insomnia. • Bitter Almond oil. Aromatic. Can cause eruption of the skin. • Bitter Orange oil. Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, styptic, antibacterial, fungicide, stomachic and laxative. For stomachic problems, enteric fermentation, constipation, acne, greasy skin and dyspepsia. • Cajeput oil. Antiseptic, calefacient. For respiratory infections, varicose veins and haemorrhoids. • Calendula oil. Anti-bleeding, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, styptic, cicatrizant and fungicide. For burns, wounds, eczema, greasy skin, skin inflammation and eruption and against bites of insects. • Cardamon oil. Antiseptic, diuretic emmenagogue and dilatant for blood vessels. For digestive system, bronchitis and enteric convulsion. • Carrot (seed) oil. Antiseptic, diuretic, dilatant for blood vessels and emmenagogue. For dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rheumatisms, arthritis, anemia, dyspepsia, anorexia, colics, and menstruation’s problems. It refreshes mature skin and relieves menstruation’s pain. • Cedar oil. Insectifuge, antiseptic, calming, aphrodisiac, diuretic, styptic and fungicide. For acne, greasy skin, dandruff, hair loss, cough, bronchitis, cystitis, leucorrhoea, nervous tension and genitals’ itching. It helps hair regrowing and invigorates blood circulation. • Chamomile (Blue) oil. Calming, refreshing, antiseptic and emollient. For skin infections and stomach derangement. • Chamomile (Roman) oil. Calming, relaxant and antiseptic. For asthma and enteric parasites. • Clove oil. Anti-infectious, antispasmodic, insectifuge, anti-fungicide and tonic. For migraine, vertigo, stress, toothache, acne, wounds, burns, sprains, colic, sea sickness and dyspepsia. • Cinnamon oil. Antiseptic and antibacterial. For diarrhea, dyspepsia, bad blood circulation and rheumatisms. • Citronella oil. Cardiotonic, antispasmodic, calming, insectifuge and anti-louse. For rheumatisms, insomnia, stress, depression, otitis, arthritis, various colics and pelvis pain. • Cistus oil. Styptic, relaxing and calming. For elder skin and wrinkles. • Coriander oil. Calefacient, tonic and peptic. For stress and insomnia. • Cumin oil. Calefacient, tonic, and antiseptic. For dyspepsia, enteric convulsions and insomnia. • Cypress oil. Deodorant, styptic, diuretic, calming and refreshing. For asthma, bronchitis, cellulites, greasy skin, phlebitis, suppuration, gynecological and circulation problems. • Elecampane oil. Bactericidal, antifungal and antiparasitic. For mycosis, bronchitis and anemia. • Eucalyptus oil. Antiseptic, analgesic, pesticide. For flu, cold, sinusitis, laryngitis, cough, coxalgia, neuralgia, rheumatisms and mental lucidity. • Fennel seed oil. Alleviative, anti-parasitic, purge and against enteric fermentations. For all gynecological problems, water retention and cystitis. • Fir (Black) oil. Antimicrobial, ejaculatory and tonic. For rheumatisms, respiratory diseases, flu, cough and stress. • Fir (Siberian) oil. Antiseptic and refreshing. For acne and bronchitis. • Frankincense oil. Refreshing, anti-inflammatory and immunizer. For asthma and bronchitis. • Ginger oil. Calefacient and peptic. For sea sickness and various enteric diseases. • Grape – Fruit oil. Antioxidant and antispasmodic. For cellulites, obesity and urine retention. • Geranium oil. Circulation tonic, anti-ageing, styptic, anti-cellulite, haemostatic and insectifuge. For stress, nervousness, urine retention, cellulites, haemorrhoids, greasy skin, menopause’s and gynecological problems. • Helichrysum oil. For wounds, burns, thrombosis, cirrhosis and acne. It helps circulation and cholesterol problems. • Hypericum oil. Styptic, calming, cicatrizant and anti-inflammatory. For enteric inflammation, healing internal and external injuries, various pains (back, neck, muscle). Also for greasy hair and dandruff. • Hyssop oil. Antiseptic. For blood dialysis, tonsillitis and pneumonia. • Jasmine oil. Relaxing, calming and aphrodisiac. For headache, menstrual period, dejection and nervous fatigue. • Juniper oil. Anti-rheumatic, anti-toxic, emmenagogue and tonic. For nervous strain, stress, gynaecological diseases, arteriosclerosis, rheumatism, cellulites and obesity. • Laurel oil. Insectifuge, antiseptic, diuretic, bactericide, fungicide, tonic and refreshing. For rheumatisms, wounds and hematoma. • Lavender oil. Analgesic, diuretic, styptic, refreshing, relaxing, and calming. For rheumatisms, muscle’s pain, colics, dyspepsia, depression, headaches, hypertension, insomnia, stress and skin diseases. • Lemon oil. Refreshing, stimulating, antimicrobial, febrifuge, diuretic, antitoxic, haemostatic and antiseptic. For rheumatisms, digestive and hepatic problems, greasy skin, arthritis, varicose veins, cellulites, obesity, brittle nails, flu, fever, sniffles and dyspepsia. • Lemongrass oil. Analgesic, antidepressant, antiseptic and insecticidal. For digestive and hepatic problems. • Mandarin oil. Calming, antispasmodic and anti-wrinkle. For acne, greasy skin, urine retention, obesity, dyspepsia, enteric problems and insomnia. • Manuka oil. Antibacterial, fungicide and relaxant. For skin diseases, mycosis and psoriasis. • Marigold oil. For mycosis, respiratory infections and enteric parasites. • Marjoram oil. Calefacient, corroborant, antispasmodic and muscle booster. For arthritis, rheumatisms, lumbago, colics, strains, constipation, cellulites, dyspnoea, migraine, nervous tension, insomnia and dizziness. • Mastic oil. Anti-inflammatory and antibiotic. For skin problems, arthritis, coxalgia, bronchitis and urethritis. • May Chang oil. Antiseptic, deodorant, disinfectant, insecticidal stomachic and calming. For acne, dermatitis, sudation, bloat, dyspepsia, heart arrhythmia, hypertension and nervous tension. • Melissa oil. Antispasmodic, refreshing and calming. For chronic cough, asthma, bronchitis, colics, menopause’s’ problems, stress, migraines, vertigo, insomnia, hysteria and erethism. • Mentha oil. Antiseptic, tonic and diuretic. For acne, dyspepsia, sea sickness, fever, stress and migraine. • Myrrh oil. Tonic and anti-ageing. For dysentery, hemorrhoids and hyperthyroidism. • Myrtle oil. For skin invigoration, greasy skin, hormone counterbalance, hemorrhoids and ovary and thyroid problems. • Neroli oil. Refreshing, calming and nervine. For parasites, hemorrhoids, exhaustion and depression. • Niaouli oil. Antiseptic, anti-allergic against viruses. For otitis, laryngitis and hormone problems. • Nutmeg oil. Peptic, calefacient, antioxidant and analgesic. For bloat, dyspepsia, sea sickness and muscle pain. • Orange oil. Calming, antispasmodic and anti-wrinkle. For skin care, obesity, fluid retention, obesity, constipation, nervous tension and stress. • Oregano oil. Antiseptic, deodorant, aphrodisiac, tonic, febrifuge, peptic and pesticide. For massage (especially to painful articulations), rheumatisms, cough, asthma, bronchitis and cellulites. Don not use undiluted oregano essential oil to skin. • Patchouli oil. Relaxing and refreshing. For dry skin, acne, eczema. It helps nervous invigoration. • Pefitgrain oil. Antiseptic, deodorant, peptic and tonic. For acne, sudation, greasy skin and hair, dyspepsia, insomnia and nervous exhaustion. • Pennyroyal oil. Tonic, insectifuge and emmenagogue. • Pepper (Black) oil. Tonic to digestive and respiratory system, waterworks, toothache, bronchitis, rheumatisms and sexual impotence. • Pepper (Red) oil. Antiseptic. It invigorates blood circulation and helps flu healing. • Ravensara oil. Anti-infectious, nervine and excretory. For insomnia and invigoration of chronic fatigue of the muscles. • Rose oil. Calming, relaxing, antidepressant and anti-wrinkle. For chronic bronchitis, asthma and sexual impotence. • Rosemary oil. Corroborant, emmenagogue, tonic and antiseptic. For memory, and energy boosting, muscle’s pain, rheumatisms, bad circulation. One of the best tonic massage oils. It helps hair growing. • Rosewood oil. Anti-ageing and tonic. For depression, fatigue and respiratory infections. • Sage oil. Antiseptic. For cold, fever, stomach’s and peptic problems, cellulites, obesity, herpes and menstruation’s problems. It is considered decongestant for blood circulation. • Salvia Sclarea oil. Calming and antidepressant. For mental euphoria, menstruation’s problems, hemorrhoids and nervous distress. • Sandalwood oil. Calming, anti-ageing and cardiotonic. Considered decongestant for vein and lymph. • Savory oil. Tonic, calefacient, aphrodisiac, antibiotic and anti-parasitic. Don’t apply it undiluted to skin. • Tarragon oil. Calefacient and stimulating. For peptic and equilibration of the nervous system. • Tea Tree oil. Antiseptic and local anaesthetic. For mycosis, enteric parasites and various infections. • Thuya oil. Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-bactericidal. It helps blood circulation. • Thyme oil. Antiseptic and antibiotic. For bronchitis and otitis. • Valerian oil. Soporific, hypotensive and calming. For insomnia, migraine, nervous dyspepsia and dandruff. • Vanilla oil. Aromatic, balsam and aphrodisiac. • Vetiver oil. Antiseptic, circulation tonic and antispasmodic. For acne, arthritis and rheumatism. • Vitex agnus castus oil. For gynecological and menopause problems, toothache and prostate. Used in hormonotherapy. • Ylang – Ylang oil. Calming, antiseptic, aphrodisiac. For hypertension and skin diseases.
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