The power of aromatherapy and pure essential oils
Throughout the ages aromatherapy has been used to help cure ailments, induce relaxation, and heighten the health benefits of massage. Aromatic essences have been used since antiquity in medicine, incense, cosmetics, perfumes and ritual worship – and their enduring appeal continues well into our modern-day existence.
The science of aromatherapy is reputed to be around 60,000 years old. Our early ancestors’ sense of smell was very acute, and aromatics were commonly used to treat ailments and condition the skin. Ancient Egyptians, along with Greeks and Romans, used aromatherapy scents in their baths, for massage and even in the embalming process. A medical paper dated 1,555BC describes various treatments, with many of them still in use today.
There is also documented evidence from China dating back to 2,700BC that lists infusions made from 300 different plants, many of which are used in modern-day aromatherapy.
More recent studies of brainwave activity, blood pressure and pulse rates scientifically confirm that essential oils can have powerful effects on us psychologically and physiologically. France, for examples, recognises the therapeutic value of aromatherapy and its national health care system supports its use.
The healing properties of essential oils can help relieve headaches, muscular pain and cold and flu symptoms, while a few drops incorporated into a skincare routine can help increase hydration, improve acne and regenerate damaged skin. What’s more, essential oils can may even improve sleep patterns and lower feelings of anxiety.
What are pure essential oils?
Pure essential oils are naturally occurring extracts from aromatic plants, highly potent and each with its own unique healing properties – whether it be antiseptic, bacterial, anti-viral or anti-inflammatory. The methods of use are what makes aromatherapy so unique, there are countless ways to experience the benefits of essential oils such as vaporising, massage, misting, inhalation, bathing and spritzing to name a few.
Pat Princi-Jones has over 30 years of industry experience, is an associate member of the International Aromatherapy & Aromatic Medicine Association (IAAMA), and resident expert and educator at In Essence. ‘Scent is a powerful bridge between ourselves and nature,’ she says. ‘Essential oils do more than just fill a room with beautiful aromas; just a few drops are capable of reducing stress levels, treating respiratory problems and balancing hormones. The possibilities are endless.’