While many new users of essential oils are enthusiastic about these awesome and awe-inspiring treasures provided by nature, it is also important to know about the wonderful wide world of aromatherapy, which they actually create.
Aromatherapy is a natural healing practice using the pure and natural concentrated essences from aromatic plants to enhance the wellbeing of mind, body and spirit, support our innate healing process, and improve quality of life.
Aromatic essences are concentrated chemical constituents isolated from whole plant parts such as flowers, leaves, woods and roots. Most commonly, these are in the form of essential oils, which are either distilled or mechanically expressed. Aromatic essences also include extracts and absolutes, which are isolated by means of solvent or CO2 extraction.
While forms of herbalism and aromatic healing have been practiced since ancient times, aromatherapy itself is a specific branch with roots dating back only about 1,000 years when stills were first introduced. Modern aromatherapy is most often credited to 1937 when the term was first coined by cosmetic chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse after studying the therapeutic benefits of essential oils.
Today, aromatherapy is employed in many ways, including the perfume and cosmetic industries, skincare, bodywork and spa treatments, medical and clinical healing by trained practitioners, and to provide psychological and spiritual support.
Aromatherapy is most often used in the forms of inhalation and topical use determined by which approach meets the specific need, as well as environmental use such as home care. There is also a specific branch of aromatherapy, called aromatic medicine, which includes some internal use as determined by those who have formal, advanced training, and is not for the home enthusiast or casual user.
While the use of essential oils and extracts is generally safe, we at Plant Therapy strongly encourage users to become familiar with the appropriate role of aromatherapy to create realistic expectations, as well as safe practices to prevent potential adverse reactions.
It is the chemical composition, as well as the very complexity of the composition, that provides these aromatic essences with the therapeutic value created in nature. Because these essences are extremely concentrated, these little powerhouses pack a potent punch that requires knowledge about proper application, such as blending, dilution rates and proper storage. We at Plant Therapy, with our team of Certified Aromatherapists, are here to support you.
Aromatherapy is a very expansive and dynamic field and there is always more to learn for beginners to professional practitioners alike. It is something about which we are very passionate, and we hope you will enjoy this very exciting opportunity to expand your own learning.