Aromatherapy, What is it, how does it help us, and where do essential oils come from?
Most people have heard of the term “aromatherapy” or have perhaps seen it on a label of a product and another term associated with aromatherapy is essential oils. So what exactly are they?
Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts from plants. And the art of using these oils is aromatherapy. The explanation I like to use is: true aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for physical and emotional well being.
Hum, well-being. So how do they help us? They contain vitamins, hormones, antibiotics and antiseptics. Some of them can be used as natural preservatives, anti-inflammatories and a wide range of mental support. And there’s science behind them. Yup, science has actually confirmed that essential oils have healing properties.
How do we get them and from what part of the plants? Essential oils are obtained from an array of plant components. Some are from bark, some from roots, peels, grasses, leaves and seeds. And most are extracted from a steam distillation process. There are other ways of extracting plants, but they’ll be called something else. Like tincture for example.
Sometimes they use various parts of the same plant and have different names for the essential oils. For example, the orange tree. The blossom is called “neroli”, “pettigrain” is from the leaves and “orange” is from the peel.
So that is a quick intro in a nut shell of aromatherapy. Next segment we will cover olfactory system (our brain/ nose connection)