Aromatherapy - Essential Oils
The first written list of herbs was compiled around 3,000
years ago by the Chinese. Since then herbs and formulas for
their use have appeared in Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman
writings. This somewhat forgotten branch of the healing arts has
seen a revival with the rise in the popularity of alternative
medicine. For some years, western medicine shunned herbal
remedies in favor of synthesized drugs. Now, some of the more
realistic thinkers in the medical field accept it as a parallel
approach to health care, not replacing traditional medicine, but
rather operating in conjunction with it.
What is an essential oil?
This is the oil removed from a plantís, leaves, flowers or
stems through various processing methods. When first extracted
these essences are in their most concentrated and volatile
state. Some of the essences are actually toxic at such a high
concentration and they must always be used in a diluted form.
Since these essential oils are volatile, they evaporate quite
easily and have to be kept in sealed containers. Even when
blending, a closed container must also be used.
Base oils are used to dilute the essential oils. A few are
Almond, Corn, Hazelnut, Safflower, Soya and Sunflower.
How they are used.
Salve. Mixed in a cream they
are applied directly to the skin for beauty care or treatment of
sores or irritations.
through the skin, this form is used by massage therapists.
Used to distribute their aromas directly into a room for setting
a mood or for clearing the sinuses, breathing passages, for
colds or the flu.
Tincture. Mixed with alcohol
are used for external application, used for applying to insect
bites and beauty applications.
Several drops of oil essence is placed in bath water.
Essential oils are
internally, they are used for external application.
Always try a small skin test with a diluted sample prior to
This basic introduction is not meant to take the place of
good instruction that can be obtained from proper training and
practice. Check out our links for schools and organizations that