The use of alchemical potions empower us to look into the root of our issues and start there - holistically. Plants were put on earth with their unique chemistry, resilience and survival mechanisms to show us how we too can survive. These plant compounds are of sacred intelligence and reaffirm our connection to Mother Earth which our bodies understand intuitively. We are plants, plants are us.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the holistic therapeutic use of essential oils extracted from plants to enhance the mind, body and spirit connection.
Aromatherapy has received a lot of attention over the last few years in part due to advances in neuroscience. Our five senses are each unique in their relationship with how we interact with our environment. Our sense of smell is thought to be the "most primal of the senses and holds sway over cognition, emotion and even our other senses." What is different about smell is that it is directly relayed to the amygdala (learning, memory processing, decision-making and emotional responses: fear, anxiety, aggression) whereas all our other senses are integrated through our thalamus (consciousness: processes and relays sensory information). Sometimes just thinking about certain smells can be as powerful as actually smelling them.
What is an Essential Oil (EO)?
Essential oils are highly volatile chemical extracts of plants. These extracts are unique to the plant and at a very basic level can be compared to how human immune systems work. They are extracted from plant materials like leafs, bark, flowers, roots.
Each oil will have different properties and characteristics such as Antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, anxiolytic, antidepressant, analgesic, and antidiabetic activities.
What Are the Benefits of Aromatherapy?
I am not a doctor. Always contact a medical professional before beginning any new course of treatment.
Aromatherapy has been shown to support issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, headaches, migraines, chronic pain, acute pain, muscular and joint pain, inflammation, arthritis, upset stomach, relaxation, sport injuries, skin disorders, spirituality, improving circulation, emotional issues, balance sebum production, anti-aging, detoxification of the skin, wound healing, scar reduction, detoxification of the body, stimulating lymph circulation, fatigue, exhaustion and endless more.
Methods of EO Application
EO's can enter the body in three ways: topical application, inhalation or ingestion. I invite you to do your own research regarding ingestion. Due to the highly concentrated nature of these aromatic compounds, you could be doing damage to your intestinal system consuming oils undiluted. We also want to be careful to avoid applying EO's undiluted to the skin. We can become sensitized unpredictably.
How Does Aromatherapy Work?
Smell is a chemical reaction; receptors in the brain respond to chemicals within essential oils. When we breathe in, these chemicals move up behind the bridge of the nose, attaching themselves to millions of hair-like receptors connected to the olfactory bulb. These receptors are so sensitive that they can be stimulated by even subtle scents, and different odors bind to distinct arrays of receptors, enabling people to discriminate between more than 10,000 odors! Credible evidence suggests that odors can affect mood, physiology and behavior. This is due to the proximity and connections of the olfactory bulb to the limbic system, responsible for emotional memory. We know immediately if a smell is pleasant or unpleasant and what memories it evokes. This is not an accident, our senses can be engaged to experience beyond the conscious realms of touch, smell, hear, see and taste.