Christened by Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, a French perfume maker, aromatherapy, a popular wellness go-to, is a beautiful science of healing, balancing and rejuvenating the body and mind using aromatic essence extracted from herbs and plants in their purest form. Though accepted in modern medicine much later, aromatic oils extracted from herbs and roots of plants have been used for their medicinal properties for over 6000 years in Ayurveda and other alternative oriental therapies. Here we answer some commonly asked questions about aromatherapy!
1. How does Aromatherapy work?
Aromatherapy uses the rich aromatic effects of essential oils to work on our body and mind. The essence of selective herbs inhaled through the nose directly affects our olfactory lobes in the brain that have to do with sense of smell. On receiving these signals, the brain signals release of hormones and neuro-chemicals that bring about a sense of wellbeing, calm and healing.
2. What are the types of aromatic oils?
The three category of oils used in Aromatherapy include ones that invigorate and rejuvenate, the second one that balances and tones the body including healing our bodily functions and regulating them and the third one that calms the nervous system.
The aroma is administered in the form of diffusers, aromatic spritzers, bathing salts, creams and lotions, steamers, hot or cold compresses, inhalers and body oils.
3. What is an example of an essential oil used in aromatherapy?
For example, lavender is the most commonly used oil in aromatherapy with host of physiological and psychological benefits including:
· Anti-inflammatory properties
· Stress reduction
· Anit-microbial properties
· Eases heart rate
· Improves sleep in patients of Insomnia
· Reduces blood pressure
· Analgesic or pain relief
· Betters temperament by reducing impatience, anxiety, irritability and hysteria
In fact, Gatefosse started studying and researching the healing potential of plant oils after his burnt hand accidentally got cured by the use of lavender oil.
Essential oils are packed with antioxidants and when the right oil is used, can really elevate the atmosphere and provide positive results. Oils like peppermint, tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, orange, lemongrass and geranium are all powerful antibacterial oils and when diffused, they cleanse the atmosphere around and provide a beautiful aroma as well.
Shankara’s unique collection of Ayurveda inspired aromatherapy oils that balance the mind and emotions, calm the senses and invigorate it in equal measure throughout daily activities, also uses the eucalyptus essential oil which is also known for its great blending quality.
Shankara’s Aromatherapy collection brings together the following formulations:
Calming Essence: Grounding and Centering (Vata Pacifying): Cardamom EO, Sandalwood EO, Vetiver EOSoothing Essence: Cooling and Soothing (Pitta Pacifying): Sandalwood EO, Lavender EO, Geranium EOEnergizing Essence: Stimulating and Invigorating (Kapha Pacifying): Lemon EO, Bergamot EO, Cypress EO, Grapefruit EO and Eucalyptus EO.
4. What are the benefits of aromatherapy?
According to research, over 2000 therapists in the US recommend aromatherapy for treating various ailments including skin disorders, hypertension, stress related conditions, stomach illnesses, allergies and respiratory problems. Some of its benefits include:
· Pain management
· Better sleep
· Reduction in stress, anxiety and peace of mind
· Reduces soreness in joints
· Alleviates headaches and migraines
· Soothes side effects of chemotherapy
· Better digestion
· Anti-viral, anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties to deal with deadly fungi and bacteria
· Hygiene keeping
· Improves immunity
5. What is the process of extraction?
Aromatherapy uses oils extracted from between the cells of any or all parts of a plant including grass, herbs, peels, flowers or bark, leaves, fruits and roots. Due to the extreme care and labor that the process consumes, these oils are hard to find and expensive.
6. Is aromatherapy good for everyone?
One man’s medicine is another man’s poison-totally applies to aromatherapy. Unless its usage is mentioned in a generally applicable product, essential oil in its purest form can be unstable and sharp for use. For example, the type of oil one will need to fight issues related to acidity or over heat in the body will be different from the warmth in oils required for treating sleep disorders. To determine which oil can really benefit your body type, you can get your pulse diagnosis done with an Ayurveda expert to know your dosha constitution and imbalances.
7. Does it have a wider application?
Japanese firms are even using aromatic oils to increase productivity and employee performance by using them as diffusers in air cooling systems. Lemon and rosemary are some of the popular essences.