The use of essential oils for aromatherapy is not new. We have records of their use dating all the way back to ancient India, Persia, and Egypt, with evidence of an extensive essential oil trade between these civilizations with Rome and Greece.
In the past few years however, they have been making a strong comeback in everyday life as more and more households are now throwing out their artificial perfumes and fragrances in favor of essential oils for their homes or bodies.
So What Exactly Are Essential Oils?
It must first be pointed out that the word essential doesn’t refer to how much it is needed (this is definitely up to you to decide!). Essential oils are the components within the plant that are readily released in the air.
So essential oils are the reason you can distinctly identify a plant based on smell. They are why roses smell like roses. Which is ultimately why scientists thought that these compounds are the very essence of a plant, hence the name essential oils.
What Is Aromatherapy?
So now that we know what essential oils are, it’s time to go deeper into the sweet-scented rabbit-hole and discover the world of aromatherapy. It is the process of attaining a healing treatment using the scents from natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being.
To make an essential oil, the parts of the plant that contain them (these could be leaves, stems, bark, or seeds) are placed through a concentrated distilling process which separates the essential oil. The end product has been in use for healing and medicinal practices for thousands of years in different cultures all over the world.
The term aromatherapy was first used by the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé when he discovered the potential healing abilities of lavender in treating burn wounds. He later published a book in 1937 that discusses the use of essential oils in treating medical ailments.
How to Use Essential Oils for Aromatherapy
At its heart, aromatherapy aims to get the most benefit of a fragrance as a remedy or tool to achieve (or improve) health. Naturally there are more than one way to reach this; most famously of course:
Your nose is king in the world of aromatherapy. It is the easiest, oldest, and (arguably) the safest method of aromatherapy using essential oils. Oils can be diffused through the room or can be directly inhaled from a steam or bottle.
2. Topical Skin Absorption
This takes aromatherapy one step further. Its most common use is applying the essential oils directly on the skin during massages and physiotherapeutic sessions, so that they can breathe it in while they are treated.
How to Get Started Using Essential Oils for Aromatherapy
The easiest way to dip your toes in the world of aromatherapy is through familiar scents that have a personal connection to you. The natural fragrances of vanilla, lavender, or citrus oils are pretty common and are sure to invoke feelings of calmness and instill an aura of freshness in your home. Avoid using artificial or synthetic oils, as they can have harsher, less pleasant scents.
There are several ways you can use essential oils for aromatherapy.
Essential Oil Diffusers
To get started, the most common (and arguably most important) purchase would be a diffuser. These are devices that produce a gentle flow of steam carrying the scents of an essential oil, dispersing it throughout the room. Essential oil diffusers come in all shapes, sizes, and materials, but they all basically work in the same way.
Essential Oil Blends
Essential oils are most commonly used in a blend, like these, which are offered by Wholesale Botanics.
Some of our favorite Wholesale Botanics’ blends include:
- Romance Essential Oil Blend (Lavender, cedarwood, bergamot, blue lotus, cardamom, and others)
- Bedtime Essential Oil Blend (Lavender, bergamot, chamomile, lemongrass, peppermint, and others)
- Tranquility Essential Oil Blend (Lavender, fir, patchouli, chamomile, and others)
It may take some experimenting, but eventually you will come to know your favorite scents that work best for you.
Getting Started With Essential Oils for Aromatherapy
Using essential oils for aromatherapy can be a fun, simple way to help improve your mood or even potentially relieve some minor physical symptoms. Have fun trying out different blends to see what you prefer!