Archive for May 3rd, 2010

Essential oils – Where they come from and common aromatherapy uses

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Essentials oils are, in a word, essential to the practice of aromatherapy. They are great for helping heal ailments and can be used to relax and refresh the body. But where do these oils come from and what gives them their therapeutic qualities?

Aromatherapy Essential Oils

Aromatherapy Essential Oils

Essential oils are man-made substances that are produced from taking the volatile oils (essences) of plants and exposing them to extraction processes that alter the chemical composition such as steam distillation and solvent extraction. These essences are produced within a plant as a reaction to sunlight – more specifically, the process of photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, plants absorb sunlight and convert it into light energy (glucose). Plant essences are produced when this stored sunlight energy is released. They are called the “life blood” of plants because they perform many important biological functions such as pollination, insect deterrence, and protection from rival plants.

Here’s a list of some essential oils and their therapeutic qualities:

  • Bergamot is refreshing and uplifting with a sweet and spicy scent. It is used in treating acne, boils, chicken pox, colds, cold sores, cystitis, loss of appetite, mouth infections and sore throat.
  • Jasmine is used for treating anxiety, cough, depression, headache, mental tension and sensitive or dry skin. It has relaxing and soothing effects with a warm, floral scent.
  • Rose has a warm and floral scent and is an effective all-purpose oil. It can be used to fight depression, grief, and fear. It is also good for the heart, digestive system, and for treating PMS symptoms. In addition, Rose is one of the best oils to use on dry and sensitive skin.
  • Tea tree is one of the most used essentials oils because of its ability to stimulate the immune system. It fights infections of all kinds, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. It can also help clear the skin. Tea tree has a spicy and pungent smell.
  • Rosemary has a pronounced effect on the brain and central nervous system. It used for stimulating the brain, improving memory and increasing mental awareness. It has a refreshing, woody, herbal scent.
  • Lavender is a calming and relaxing oil and is effective in times of stress and crisis. It relieves tension, depression and nervous exhaustion. Lavender has a floral, sweet, woody and herbal scent.

To learn more about essential oils and aromatherapy simply visit our Aromatherapy Section!


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