Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Location: Cleveland, OH
|Posted: Dec Sun 17, 2006 10:34 am Post subject: Aromatherapy Introduction
Introduction to Aromatherapy
The Value of Essential Oils in Promoting Good Health
Aromatherapy is becoming increasingly recognized as a valuable way to promote both physical and emotional health. The following will introduce some of the benefits of essential oils (EO's). The material in this handout is taken from a forthcoming book by L. Carl Robinson entitled The Scents of Health: A User Friendly Guide to Aromatherapy.
The Power of Aromatherapy
Have you ever been in a eucalyptus grove or in the pine forest of a mountain? Did you notice how refreshing the air was? In each of these instances, the trees gave off aromatic components that had the effect of ionizing the air about them. That's right! Certain essential oils have the effect of ionizing and refreshing the air. That's why in many hospitals throughout Europe, especially in France, an aromatherapy diffuser is used to disinfect and clean the air. It should be noted that European hospitals using this means of air purification do not have problems with the airborne staph bacteria that are rampant in many American hospitals. EO's are well documented as to the effect they render on bacteria, viruses, fungus, molds and other germs, as well as the cleansing effect they have upon the air.
Essential oils have a specific affinity for the nerve tissues of the body. The most immediate point of nerve contact is that of the olfactory membranes located in the sinus cavity. These membranes contain the nerve endings which are responsible for the sense of smell. These nerves connect directly to a part of our brain known as the olfactory bulb, which has direct connections to many other areas of the mind.
One of these connections is to the hypothalamus, the stalk of the brain that controls the pituitary gland, which controls, in turn, the rest of the glandular system. Thus, aromatherapy is being shown to have a powerful impact on our endocrine system. Aromatherapy oils can relieve menstrual irregularities, enhance energy and even sexual desire.
The sense of smell is also intimately connected to that part of the brain called the limbic area, the area of memory. The limbic area deals with responses like fight or flight, pain and pleasure and perceptions of bad and good. Here we see that the sense of smell also has an immediate and powerful impact on both memory and emotion. Perhaps this is why we say, "the nose knows."
Choosing Essential Oils
As the molecules which make up an essential oil make contact with the olfactory nerves there is a distinct neurochemical response that takes place in the brain. This response almost always results in an immediate memory reflex throughout the body, which is usually felt most strongly in the solar plexus. This solar plexus response will usually be either a relaxed, calm, settled sensation or a tense, uptight, squeezing feeling. This is the first indicator of whether a particular essential oil or aromatherapy blend is compatible with the body (and the emotions) at that point in time. Tension indicates the oil is having a negative impact, while relaxation suggests a positive one.
The smell and taste approach to determining which EO's to use or recommend is also quite effective. In aromatherapy the premise is: "If it smells or tastes good to someone that person's body needs it. If it smells or tastes bad then the body doesn't need it." The body is designed so that generally bad aroma and taste is a warning-stay away. Pleasant fragrances are usually associated with influences which are vitalizing and replenishing and have positive influences on the body and nerves. Likewise, decay and petrification give off foul odors, warning us to "stay away."
A Few Popular Essential Oils
Here are a few popular essential oil blends with some of their uses for physical and emotional problems.
General Usage: This oil is useful for skin disorders such as "dry" eczema. It is also helpful when applied topically for herpes. It reduces lymphatic congestion, especially in the breast area (mammary glands). Geranium is adaptagenic and estrogenic. It stimulates the adrenals. it is also useful as a douche to tonify the vaginal area and uterus.
Neuro-emotional Usage: Geranium helps people who feel uptight and "out-of-balance." It also helps to relieve depression, especially the feeling of being invaded and/ or pressed upon.
General Usage: Lavender oil is antiseptic, analgesic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and vulnerary. It is one of the best oils for stimulating wound healing without scarring. It helps counter the poison of bites, stings and contact dermatitis. It is a valuable oil for the relief of headaches, especially vasoconstrictive migraines. The relaxing qualities of lavender make it useful for hypertension. It is also a vermifuge, meaning it destroys worms.
Neuro-emotional Usage: Lavender helps reduce anxiety and extreme frustration. It helps people who feel "out of balance," uptight,, "ready to explode," and enervated. it is helpful for insomnia where the person can't stop thinking or worrying. It also is useful for treating mental exhaustion and melancholia (sad, heavy feelings) caused by "burnout."
Special Note: Do not use on people with depression. Lavender oil is photo-reactive, meaning it will bleach the skin if it is applied and exposed to direct sunlight or ultraviolet rays.
General Usage: Eucalyptus is antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal. It is particularly useful for respiratory problems because it acts as an expectorant and reduces congestion. It also helps joint and muscle pain and heals bums with a minimum of scaring. It is also helpful for blood sugar problems and migraines.
Neuro-emotional Usage: Helps to cure a "give-a-way" attitude,"everyone's hanging on me," being 'bugged. It aids people who are too warm and passionate of heart.
Special Note: Eucalyptus is the best oil to cut all other essential oils for use in an aromatherapy diffuser. This is due to extremely low viscosity, high diffusibility and volatility index. For best results, blend 5 % to 15 % of other essential oils with 95% to 85% eucalyptus oil.
Thymus vulgaris (linalol)
General Usage: The oil of thyme is antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal. It is a drying expectorant, working primarily on the upper respiratory system. It also relaxes muscle spasms. Thyme oil aids digestion, especially fat and protein digestion. It is also helpful for the urinary tract, especially when combined with juniper or sandalwood oils. It is also used as a menstruation aid.
Neuro-emotional Usage: This oil is helpful for anxiety and frustration., It relieves the pressured, "Gotta-stay-on-schedule-or else" attitude. It is helpful for those who are mildly enervated.
For more information on Aromatherapy order the complete book: The Scents of Health, A User Friendly Guide to Aromatherapy, by L. Carl Robinson, M.H, T.T, C.H.T. The Scents of Health is a definitive guide to the history, biology, art and practice of aromatherapy. Written specifically for the lay person, it is based on the author's over 15 years of clinically based therapy counseling experience and his extensive studies and research in the field. To the best of our knowledge,'Carl was the first person in the U.S. natural health products industry to recommend and compound essential oils for internal, "nutritional" use.
Learn about the history and art of aromatherapy, which EO's are used for specific conditions (including emotional uses) user-friendly blends for specific purposes and contra-indications (when certain oils shouldn't be used).
For Educational Purposes Only. This handout was prepared by Nature's Field, P.O. Box 911239, St. George, UT 84791. This handout may be copied and distributed provided it is not altered in any way.
Distributed By NSP Herb Specialist: