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Benefits of the Medicinal Properties of Essential Oils

Updated on October 9, 2014

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is known for its use of natural essential oils that provide a wide range of cosmetic and medicinal benefits. However, its ability to significantly fight various illness-causing bacteria while improving overall health condition has drawn the biggest attention.

Medicinal Use of Aromatherapy

The history of aromatherapy can be traced as far back as during the time of ancient Egypt. Indeed, in as early as during this time, people have already recognized the healing properties of some of the substances in nature. But it is not just the Egyptians who utilized essential oils in aromatherapy but also includes the Chinese, Greeks, Romans, and Persians. One reason for this is that these ancient individuals have recognized the holistic benefits delivered by using plant oils for treatment. The physical relief is just one aspect of treatment, but their approach to treatment is closely associated with their religious aims, which is why spiritual relaxation and relief is just as important.

Since the start of the 20th century, aromatherapy has been used in daily living. In fact, several households have opted to use essential oils and aromatherapy as an alternative medicine that is both effective and cheap. However, the term aromatherapy is considered as a misnomer because it utilizes not just the aromatic essences of essential oils for its therapeutic benefits.

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Common Curative Oils

If you perform a research on all types of essential oils in the market, you will be surprised with the vastness of choices available. Therefore, your choice of essential oil to use will depend on a few factors such as the conditions that require treatment, the properties of an essential oil, and any other health risks involved such as possible allergic reactions or safety of application method.

Below is a list of common essential oil types used to cure a variety of health conditions:

•    Basil
•    Bergamot
•    Clary Sage
•    Black Pepper
•    Clove
•    Chamomile
•    Cypress
•    Eucalyptus
•    Fennel
•    Frankincense
•    Geranium
•    Ginger
•    Jasmine
•    Juniper
•    Lavender
•    Lemon
•    Marjoram
•    Myrrh
•    Neroli
•    Orange, etc

There are more essential oils that could make up this list. However, these are all used in aromatherapy for various purposes and it is therefore important to consult a medical practitioner or aromatherapist before using them, whether internally or externally. Since each individual is equipped with different body chemistry, different people react to essential oils differently. Thus, proper precaution is vital in preventing further danger.

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Health Problems Addressed

Considered as a branch of herbal medicine, aromatherapy works by penetration of scent into the brain and acting on it, the same way as synthetic drugs would but without the same risks for side effects. Depending on the scent produced, there is also a variety of responses that can be produced through these stimuli.

There are various properties contained with each essential oil types that is responsible for the effects it produce on the body. Common properties include antibacterial, antiseptic, antidepressant, decongestant, anti-fungal, anti-viral, calming, and revitalizing properties.

Among the health conditions that are addressed using aromatherapy are categorized as follows:

*Physical

  • allergies
  • diarrhea
  • earache
  • premenstrual syndrome
  • insect bites
  • poor digestion
  • headache
  • menopause
  • bruises
  • burns
  • nausea
  • bronchitis
  • flu
  • common cold
  • sinusitis
  • wounds
  • sprains
  • muscle and joint pain

*Psychological

  • insomnia
  • stress
  • restlessness

*Emotional

  • depression
  • anxiety

Methods of Medicinal Application

Now that you are aware of the importance of the type of essential oil to use, based on their therapeutic properties, in treating certain conditions, the next step is to determine the method of application. Each method are designed to provide the most convenient way for the body the absorb the healing properties present in the essential oil used.

Aromatherapy Bath

Using essential oils when bathing is an effective yet very convenient way to experience the healing substances of the oil. All you need to make your own aromatherapy bath is to add a few drops of the chosen essential oil into a tub filled with lukewarm water. Then, soak your body into the essential oil solution for approximately 15 minutes.

You will be able to experience quick relief and soothing muscles when you inhale the aroma of the essential oil or when it is absorbed by your skin.

Aromatherapy Vaporizer

Vaporizing the air inside your room also makes it easier for you to inhale and absorb the healing components of an essential oil. Simply use a vaporizer and add a few drops of essential oil into the vaporizer to slowly fill the room with the oil's scent. You can re-fill the vaporizer every 2-3 days to ensure that the aroma remains strong and you can get maximum benefits.

For people suffering from sleep disorders, adding a few drops of essential oil into the pillow also enables one to attain a calmer sense of mind and induce themselves to sleep. Most parents prefer this method over the inhalant since the latter requires handling hot water, which can be dangerous.

Aromatherapy Inhalants

To enjoy the benefits of an essential oil inhalant, follow the procedures below:

  • Secure a bowl or any open container. Add steaming water into the container.
  • Choose the ideal essential oil to use and mix a few drops into the steaming water.
  • Using a towel, duck your head above the opening of the bowl and cover it using the towel. Make sure the towel is large enough to cover your head and reach the edge of the bowl. This will ensure that the vapors will not be able to escape out.
  • As you inhale all the vapors from the steaming essential oil solution, it travels to your limbic system to provide immediate relief.

Massage Therapies

Here is another famous application of essential oil. Who doesn't love a massage? Then, add that with aromatherapy oils for lubrication for optimum benefits. Since the essential oil is directly applied onto the skin, aromatherapists suggest adding carrier oil to dilute the concentration of the essential oil. If not, then the strength of the oil's concentration can cause irritation on your skin.

It is also not advisable to apply essential oil on skin with open wounds or bruises, especially if you are doing the massage at home. Pregnant women are also not recommended to undergo aromatherapy massage, not unless performed by certified massage therapists. Also take note of the essential oil used since some types, such as peppermint, have been known to induce labor.

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