About Aromatherapy

About Aromatherapy
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  While it hasn't always been called aromatherapy, the benefits and use of plants and their extracts dates back to ancient times.  It has been said that Cleopatra, well aware of the effects of fragrant essences used aromatics extensively. It is said that she covered the floors of her chambers with twelve inches of rose petals, which are known for their aphrodisiac qualities and also saturated the sails of her ship with fragrance when sailing to meet with Mark Anthony in her effort to win over his heart.  Roman gladiators anointed themselves with oils prior to battle to improve their strength and endurance.  Although the use of pure, natural fragrance has diminished with the onset of synthetic fragrances, it is beginning to become more popular once again as people find themselves desiring more natural products.

Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts which are derived from the flowers, leaves, bark and roots of various plants. They are the "soul" of the plant itself.  Each of these extracts are believed to possess qualities which directly produce chemical responses from the brain resulting in different effects from different plants.  For example, lavender is considered to be relaxing and soothing while peppermint is invigorating.  It's no accident that we brush our teeth with a fresh, minty toothpaste.

The effects of essential oils can be obtained through inhalation or applications to the skin.  Inhalation can be achieved by directly inhaling the vapors from an open bottle of oil , through the use of a diffuser or steam vapors.  Application to the skin can be accomplished through massage or in the bath.  CAUTION!  Essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin undiluted.  They should first be diluted with a carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond oil before application to the skin.  Use one tablespoon of carrier oil with three to ten drops of essential oil.  Please see our essential oils page for dilution rates. Use the lower number of drops for oils that may cause possible irritation or sensitization and the higher number of drops for the gentle oils such as lavender. Massage is one of the more beneficial and therapeutic methods of using aromatherapy since it combines the sense of touch with the sense of smell.  Another excellent way to get the benefits of aromatherapy is by using essential oils in the bath.  The oils come in contact with the skin and the warmth of the water also releases the vapors of the oils so that they can also be inhaled.

A word of caution about essential oils.  Some oils contain properties that could pose risks to certain individuals such as those who are pregnant or have certain medical conditions.  We have attempted not to use any oils that may pose hazards to the health of individuals in our products.  We have listed appropriate precautions to individual essential oils that we carry, please read them.  If in doubt, contact a qualified aromatherapist or naturopath.