Plants have been revered for their healing abilities in people for thousands of years. Their flowers, seeds, roots, leaves, and bark, contain powerful nutrients that heal our bodies.
Our ancestors could heal the entire community with a mixture of plants and herbs. It was a different kind of bacteria around then as well. In ancient times, herbal essences were commonly used for healing. Ancient Egyptians used essentials oils and plants in ceremonies and health practices. It was used across the planet by Persians, Asians, and Native Americans. In the 1800s researchers in Europe began studying the effects. Many modern researchers are studying the effects of essential oils now.
Aromatherapy is an alternative form of healing that uses extracts from plants as a way to ease certain ailments. Utilized throughout the years, the practice promotes positive well-being in a person. Through understanding the body and chemistry a practitioner can aid in the appearance and spiritual livelihood of others.
Who Benefits From Aromatherapy?
People suffering from the health conditions listed below can benefit:
- Blood sugar fluctuations
- Anxiety or prolonged stress
- Digestive upset
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- PMS or menopause
- Respiratory infections
- Skin problems or disorders, including acne, eczema, scars, and more
Aromatherapy is the missing link in our health care today. It is the use of essential oils to uplift and accelerate the healing process by increasing the body’s ability to transport oxygen into human cells. The aroma can be inhaled into the bloodstream or absorbed through points on the body. Aromatherapy helps to heal the physical, mental, and spiritual body.
How Are Essential Oils Extracted?
There are several ways that essential oils are extracted from plants. Depending on the method used, chemical molecules of plants can change and affect users differently.
To extract the oil, steam is directed through the plant. As the steam passes through the material, it vaporizes chemicals in the plant. The steam is caught and cooled to create two by-products, essential oil and hydrosol.
During this process, the essential oil is extracted by grating or smashing the plant material. Once the collected, the oil doesn’t’ need any further refinements.
Carbon Dioxide (C02) Extraction
This process uses carbon dioxide as a solvent with plants. The carbon dioxide creates a high-grade extract that is very close to the natural plant.
How To Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are the aromatic liquids found within shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, resins, and seeds. These oils contain unique constituents that provide therapeutic results. When used, essential oils used through aromatherapy can have a variety of effects on a person. Finding the right combination for a person creates a powerful energy that can be utilized.
While many essential oils do smell nice, they can enhance the physical well-being of a person when inhaled. Effects can include decongestion, disinfection, and a mood-shifting scent. When inhaled the scent can impact the limbic system; i.e. emotions, memory, blood pressure, and stress level.
There are many ways to utilize essential oils. A quick way is to inhale directly from the oil container. Using a diffuser or spray is a great way to add the smell of essential oil to a room. Spray has the advantage of an instant burst of smell and the effects of oils. Depending on the processing, sprays can have a lingering impact. People can also add several drops of oil to hot, steaming water. Placing your head over the bowl with a towel will have a greater effect with breathing in.
Another mode of aromatherapeutic use of essential oils is through dry evaporation. This is simply adding several drops of your favorite oil to a cotton ball, tissue, or diffuser stick. The scent fills the area and you can change the strength of the smell by adding more dry mediums or placement.
Place several drops of the essential oil in your hand or the desired area. Massage the oil in circular movements for some time to ease the oils into the bloodstream. As a caution, essential oils should be mixed with carrier oils. Ratios can depend on individual usage, but generally, one teaspoon for several drops is sufficient.
Used topically, essential oils are absorbed through contact with skin. This is can be found in oils, lotions, body butters, and more. When the area is massaged, it can boost circulation and increase absorption into the body.
Some essential oils are packed with nutrients that are better used when ingested. There are several ways to ingest essential oils.
- Place drops into a gelatin capsule then swallow with water.
- Add several drops to your liquid drink or food
- Swallow the oil using teaspoons
Does it really work?
Some people experience and absorb things differently than others. It’s no different with essential oils or crystal stones either. Many of the effects of aromatherapy are based on user experience. In a time when people have the ability to research and buy, why not try something that has a chance to make you feel better? For instance, if you’re at work wouldn’t you rather be under pressure in a room that’s refreshing verus one that smells like stuffy, smelly air?
Popular essential oils used in aromatherapy include lavender, peppermint, ginger, chamomile, rosemary, bergamot, tea tree, sage, cedarwood, and several others. There are many healers and businesses that are working in aromatherapy. The practice uses the sense of smell and touch with most products. These can include:
- Bath salts
- Hot/cold compress
- Body oils and butters
When someone has more stress, sleep fewer hours, or a physical ailment, there’s a greater likelihood for other areas in life to suffer. While everyone is impacted, Black and Spanish people suffer from these problems longer. The upward trend sees people seeking healing practices for alternative forms of medicine and eventually prosperity. We hope that this becomes the norm for many people, especially Black people. At Zambo Aroma, we’re taking great strides to bring alternate forms of healing to the community. For those interested in learning more about Africa’s history should read an enlightening article titled African Aromatherapy by Stephanie Rose Bird.
A Caution to those who are Sensitive
Not all oils will benefit everyone. The chemical molecules of certain oils can create negative effects on a person. People with certain ailments may want to be mindful of the interactions they have with oils. Concentrated amounts of oils can be poisonous or painful to a user. Please handle with care. People with allergies, asthma, skin conditions, or epilepsy should be mindful when using aromatherapy. For some people, essential oils can have unpleasant effects such as:
- Skin Reactions
- Stomach Cramps
Be mindful of placement when storing essential oils. They should generally be kept in a cool, dark place so that the chemical compounds are not damaged because of heat or extreme light.
What’s your relationship with aromatherapy and essential oils? Leave us a comment.