What are Essential Oils?


Essential oils are the liquid extracts from aromatic plants trees and grasses. The term essential oil is derived from the word quintessence, meaning an "extract of a substance containing its principle in its most concentrated form".

Essential oils are highly volatile and evaporate quickly if left in the open air. When left in the open air, the oils create an aromatic scent, as reflected in the name aromatherapy.

Essential oils may be found in different parts of aromatic plants. For example, in petals (rose oil), leaves (eucalyptus oils), grass roots (vetiver oil), and fruit rind (lemon oil). The essential oil itself may also be found in different parts of the same plant as, for example, the orange tree, from which neroli oil is obtained from the flowers, petitgrain oil from the leaves and orange oil from the fruit rind.


How do Essential Oils work?


Aromatherapy 2

The most common therapeutic methods of use for essential oils involves the oils entering the body's systems through the skin or via inhalation. Because of their small molecular structure, especially their fat-soluble nature, essential oils can penetrate the skin more freely than other types of plant oils (for example: vegetable oils).

Aromatherapists believe that the active chemicals in an essential oil that are detected by the sense of smell are sensed by the limbic system, part of the body's control system, and this in turn impacts on the emotions. In this way, aromatherapists consider that essential oils may have both a physiological effect and a psychological effect.


The Benefits of Aromatherapy



Aromatherapy massage has many health benefits helping you to maintain physical, mental and emotional well being, especially when it's part of your wellness routine.

  • Aromatherapy massage can calm the nervous system promoting a sense of relaxation and well-being.
  • Aromatherapy massage reduces tension, stress and anxiety.
  • Aromatherapy can help with depression and low mood.
  • Aromatherapy massage improves blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells in the body.
  • Aromatherapy massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which carries away the body's waste products and toxins.
  • Aromatherapy massage helps the release of endorphins, the body's feel good hormones which can also provide pain relief with conditions such as, arthritis, sciatica, muscle spasms, etc.


You, your body, your health and well-being are very go on treat yourself!


History of Aromatherapy



One could say that aromatherapy is as old as man’s relationship to the plant kingdom, and so the beginning of aromatherapy is shrouded in the mists of time. No one knows the identity of the first person to recognize the healing properties of plants, but detailed recipes using aromatic compounds are given in the Old Testament, and well sealed urns filled with aromatic resins have been unearthed in the tombs of Pharaohs.

Extensive therapeutic use of essential oils is recorded in ancient China and India and much of the Middle East. Roman soldiers on campaign had their wounds treated with honey and myrrh. Terra Cotta distillers have recently been found in archaeological digs, but widespread use of distilled essential oils from Europe began after the invention of glass distillation mechanisms in the 16th century which opened the door to extracting the volatile components from Chamomile, Lavender and Rosemary and other plants found mainly in the northern regions.

Modern interest is credited to the famous story of French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse and his miraculous cure after burning himself in his cosmetics lab in the early 1900’s. In fact, he coined that term ‘Aroma-therapie’ in 1937 and produced a Materia Medica of the therapeutic uses of the aromatic extracts (Essential Oils).


Note: Aromatherapy is not a good idea if you have a fever, infections, inflammation or any other serious medical condition. If you have any concerns you should consult your GP, or you can give me a call for further advice.