After a long and chaotic day, home should be the place to go to wind down and relax. All of this can be possible with aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the newest way for people to relax. It has multiple health benefits: relieving stress, headaches, anxiety, inducing sleep, strengthening immune system, etc. Aromatherapy can also speed up the healing process and help avoid digestion problems.

Aromatherapy is a way to treat things without taking medicine. It uses plant materials known as essential oils that are inhaled by people with a wide variety of health conditions. It can also help affect emotions that are said to be the root of some physical illnesses. When the oils are released into the air, the amygdala is activated. The amygdala is a part of the brain that controls emotions and memory. This is also the part that connects smells to memory.

Essential oil diffusers are an easy way to disperse scents throughout a home or office to fill the area with the oils natural fragrance. Each diffuser is different in some ways but they generally run the same. When filling the diffuser with water, make sure to fill it to the reserved fill line placed on the inside. The water should be at room temperature. Overfilling the diffuser can cause it to not work properly. Depending on how much water the diffuser can hold, will depend on the amount of drops of essential oils placed inside. Typically five to 10 essential oil drops can be added into the diffuser.

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A typical essential oil diffuser. Photo taken by: Sophia DeVito

This “medicine replacement” isn’t a new concept. It is something that has been around since the 11th century. It became possible when steam distillations properly extracted essential oils from plant materials. Different cultures have now adopted this method for a wide range of functions.Rene Maurice Gattefosse, a French chemist who is referred to as the father of aromatherapy, discovered that essential oils could be used for healing properties in 1928.

Robert Tisserand is an aromatherapy expert. He is an international speaker and educator on the benefits of essential oils and their safe and effective uses. He has over 40 years of expertise in this field. Tisserand stated that today, there is more medicine being developed based on essential oils.

 

Benefits:

 

Stress Relief

There are a ton of different health benefits that come along with diffusing essential oils. Relieving stress is one of the top uses of a diffuser. Since there is loads of research on this aspect of aromatherapy, it is commonly practiced. The compounds of essential oils are known as relaxants. They can help relieve different forms of stress, such as anxiety. Some of the best essential oils for stress relief are peppermint, ylang-ylang, lavender and bergamot. Lemon oil is often used as well for its mood-improving and anger-reducing benefits.

 

Healing

Essential oils are often used for healing processes. The oils have anti-microbial properties that keep the body protected during delicate healing stages. Not only can oils based on lavender, calendula, rosehip or buckthorn help internally but they can also help reduce discomfort on the skin like eczema or psoriasis.

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A pack of essential oils. 
Photo taken by: Sophia DeVito

 

Headaches

Headaches are another common reason why people prefer to essential oils instead of regular Tylenol. Instead of spending large amounts of money on massages to help reduce headaches that can stop people dead in their tracks, aromatherapy is a way to fight the stubbornness that is uncontrollable. Oils that have been linked to reducing headaches are peppermint, eucalyptus, sandalwood and rosemary.


Insomnia/Sleep

Sleep is something that doesn’t come easy to some people. In the night is typically when those struggling with anxiety are kept up because it is difficult to shut their minds off. Oils such as lavender, ylang-ylang and vetiver are used to combat a restless sleep. The mist from a diffuser helps produce a long-lasting effect to help the body shut down and sleep. A good night’s sleep is the best way to ensure an energized and alerted start to the day.

 

Energy/Anxiety

To regain energy and start the day off on the right foot, people have been turning to essential oils. Sage essential oil is known for its calming effect. It also has spirit-boosting properties as well as increasing levels of alertness to the body. Lavender is another oil that is commonly used to decrease anxiety and improve moods. According to an interview done with Tisserand on his website, roberttisserand.com, lemon and bergamot are known for the positive effects they have on mood. Tisserand also said that lemon oil is an antidepressant and has anxiety reducing properties. Multiple studies have shown that people who diffused lavender oils were less anxious. For improving one’s energy, peppermint essential oil will be a friend. The oil, when diffused, enhances alertness and boosts energy levels.

 

Immune System

Fighting illnesses can be extremely difficult and can put stress on the immune system. Since essential oils are antimicrobial when introduced in air vapor form, they come in direct contact with airborne pathogens before they enter the body. The oils are also known for boosting the body’s immune system. Diffusers can also act as a dehumidifier that will keep the body’s airways moist and able to fight off microbes that can enter the body. Oils like tea tree, sage, rosemary, lemon or thyme are all used to help improve the immune system.

 

Every body is disparate and will react to things differently. It is important to conduct personal research that pertains to each individual body before using essential oils. Since everyone’s body is made differently, it is important to speak with a physician to see what will work best for a particular person.

 

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