Aromatherapy: healing with plants
What is aromatherapy? Aromatherapy is a part of physiotherapy (herbal Medicinee) and refers to the practice of using essential aromas of aromatic plants from which the oils are extracted by a distillation process using a large sanitized stainless steel barrel. These essential oils are used to treat pathologies and improve health and well-being. These oils, which are full of active ingredients, are endowed with an extraordinary energy allowing the restoration of the vital impetus of individuals. The therapeutic action of essential oils is currently highly successful worldwide.
When tired, the body must rest, eat when truly hungry and drink when thirsty.
The same goes for the mind which needs to ventilate when overloaded, relax after a physical activity or long period of concentration, and clear itself when facing certain challenges or problems. When ignoring these basic needs of the mind and body, the immune system weakens and fatigue sets in.
Each essential oil has molecular aromatic properties which give it its characteristics and therapeutic values. Their benefits on the body are felt on the nervous system, the circulatory, llymphatic, muscular, respiratory, and cutaneous systems as well as on the organs and the glands. As for their effects on the mind and spirit, essential oils can increase concentration, calm, soothe, and act as an antidepressant as well as stimulate and increase vitality. The essential oils of lemon, lavender, peppermint, orange and red thyme are excellent anti-bacterials.
Moreover, you can find on the web many recipes to create your own household cleaners from essential oils. You can also use essential oils in your bath: Simply dilute them with a bit of soap on the palm of your hand to facilitate their diffusion in the water. For relaxation I recommend lavender oil (calming and soothing effects, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant), eucalyptus oil for a cold or a flu (Bronchial expectorant and anti-infective), orange oil (antiseptic, sedative, restores the connective tissues) and pine oil for the sinuses and bronchitis (to fight weakness and the lack of vitality). Essential oils that are rich in terpenes such as camphor, thymee, lemon, and rosemary oil should be avoided for bathing as they irritate the skin. Mint oil should also be avoided since it causes discomfort due to its cold sensation.
When choosing essential oils, it is important to watch for contraindications no matter what purpose you want to use it for. Note that pregnant or breast feeding women and children, must use essential oils carefully since they contain ketones and phenols which are to be avoided. Also, a study shows that lavender can be toxic for cats and other felines. The volatile molecules of lavender oil are indeed absorbed through their skin and since they are unable to eliminate certain components, an accumulation of toxic waste is created in their bodies causing damages to their liver and kidneys.
This phenomenon applies to cats only and not to other domestic animals. Also before buying an essential oil at the health food store, It is important to always ask about its quality to a certified consultant or naturopaths on site. Certain ingredients and components might affect its quality, its concentration and thus its benefits.
Enjoy the discovery!
Text written by Veronica Briand, mother of two, certified yoga teacher, massage therapist, ambassador and collaborator of Rose Buddha.
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