Aromatherapy, also called essential oil therapy, is an alternative and integrative form of medicine that supports and sustains the body’s natural capacity to heal, regenerate, and stay healthy. Essential oils can be used on its own or blended with other aromatic plant compounds using the following methods:
- through inhalation
- for topical application
- with a diffuser
- in a humidifier
- in bath
- during massage therapy
- for facial steamers
Though there is limited scientific evidences to the therapeutic properties or curative effectiveness of aromatherapy – and should not totally replace any doctor-approved program – this holistic healing treatment can restore the body’s homeostasis (a steady and stable internal state).
That being said, the ten health benefits of aromatherapy are explained below.
1. Relieve stress
Aromatherapy can soothe feelings of nervousness, agitation, or tension. The calming effect of lavender, rose, and other similar essential oils can bring down cortisol or the stress hormone; hence, it is used for pregnant women about to give birth or to promote relaxation and sleep for crying infants.
2. Reduce depression
Aromatherapy alone cannot treat depression but the chemicals in essential oils can trigger brain activities affecting mood and mental health. Clary sage and frankincense, for example, can encourage tranquil energy while chamomile and jasmine can produce feelings of optimism, cheerfulness, and confidence.
3. Treat nausea
It can be triggered by almost anything – from drinking too much alcohol, emotional stress, and pregnancy to motion sickness, medication side effect, or food poisoning. Peppermint, lavender, or ginger oil have varying effects for diminishing or curing nausea.
4. Promote better circulation
Proper blood flow throughout the body is essential for our overall well-being. The use of the right essential oils for aromatherapy such as cypress, almond, or eucalyptus can help in keeping your circulatory system functioning properly.
5. Boost cognitive performance
Smelling the aroma from organic spearmint, rosemary, and lemon oil can stimulate the mind and promote concentration while help improve speed and accuracy for performing and completing mental tasks.
6. Regulate sleep
A good night sleep is what happens when your mind is free from fear, anxiety, and pressure. Using valerian root, frankincense, and marjoram for aromatherapy can help induce a deep slumber due to its sedative effects.
7. Strengthen the immune system
Essential oils from eucalyptus, tea tree, and clary sage each have its own remarkable ability to strengthen the immune system and supporting the body’s rate of healing. A lymphatic massage using grapefruit, lemon, or rosemary oil can stimulate the cleansing action of the body.
8. Reduce pain
Clove oil can serve as a temporary toothache treatment while nutmeg oil has anti-inflammatory qualities for cancer-stricken patients. Lavender oil is known for its analgesic properties while chamomile oil can reduce spams and soothe muscle tension.
9. Fight germs
While some microbes are relatively harmless, there are also those that can lead to an endless list of health problems and life-threatening diseases. Aromatherapy as an exclusive solution for deadly bacteria, fungi, and viruses won’t be as effective as you would hope it to be; however, using essential oils from citronella, sage, citrus fruits, and lemongrass can help kill off infections or treat certain ailments.
10. Improve digestion
Basil and sandalwood oils don’t just encourage the release of digestive fluids but can also help reduce the symptoms of upset stomach. Juniper berry oil, on the other hand, is for individuals experiencing bloating, indigestion, and acid reflux.
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