Aromatherapy: Know The Science, Origin And Health Benefits

Smell is one of the chief yet underestimated senses that, since primordial times has helped humans in their hunt for food and, has alerted them in dangerous situations. Smell is also linked to that part of the brain that processes emotions and long-term memory. Unfortunately, many people are of the opinion that fragrances are just for the purpose of beautifying.

But that is the not the case and cleaning products are perhaps the best examples of it. There's no need for cleaning products to be scented when their only function is to clean, yet we find them in numerous fragrances in departmental stores.

Studies have shown that fragrances have the power to transport you back to your past. It also has several healing properties. That's why it's ignorant to overlook our sense of smell when we all want washrooms, cars, clothes, and bodies to smell nice.

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy, also called Essential Oils Therapy uses aromatic essences extracted from various plants for therapeutic purposes. It affects your body in a way that is comprehensively holistic. It brings emotional, physical, spiritual and sexual well-being. There are several ways of performing aromatherapy such as diffusing of essential oils into the air, inhaling, massaging into the skin, and through water immersion. Aromatherapy evokes a response that has a positive impact on you.

History of Aromatherapy

Aromatic plants were made use of by several ancient civilizations such as Egypt, China, India, and Greece. Egypt was the earliest civilization that used incenses and extracted oils from aromatic plants. Egyptians burned frankincense at sunrise as an offering to the sun god and offered myrrh to the moon. Infact, they rubbed their bodies with essential oils after bathing. Traces of frankincense and myrrh were also found in the pots in Tutankhamen's tomb.

Similarly, Chinese would use aromatic herbs and burned scented woods to show respect to the gods. Traditionally, aromatic herbs were used to discourage pests and rodents.

Hippocrates, who is called the father of medicine advised massaging and bathing in essential oils. In India, aromatherapy is entwined with Ayurveda which is the ancient medical system of healing. Scented flowers and incense are really important in religious rituals in India.



Benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy can be used as complimentary therapy along with standard therapy. Aromatherapy is said to have the capability to treat several conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, cancer, fatigue, menopause, and erectile dysfunction.

We live in an age of distraction where it is extremely hard to focus when we are constantly bombarded with so much information. This inability to concentrate is taking toll on the productivity and happiness of individuals. Aromatherapy can aid in concentration and memory.

Essential oils also have meditative and relaxation-inducing properties.

This calming property can help you sleep better and enrich your quality of life. It also increases your immunity and energy level. It energizes your body through mind. It also helps with the feelings of irritability, nervousness, and sadness. It is said that French soldiers after returning from World War I were given aromatherapy to heal wounds and anxiety.

Essential oils also help in spiritual awakening. It is said that essential oils purify and cleanse the spirit from negative energies. It is believed that they have magical properties and help a person out of childhood trauma. It also attracts good luck and prosperity.

Eucalyptus, lemongrass, geraniums, rosemary, peppermint, tea tree and lavender are some of the famous essential oils.

Science Behind Aromatherapy

According to the experts, aromatherapy activates the limbic system in your brain which is responsible for long-term memory and emotional responses. When you encounter a fragrance it releases molecules that stimulate olfactory receptors. Then the olfactory neurons carry the signals from receptors to olfactory bulb which lead to different responses in humans.

It is also said that the oil’s higher frequency increases the vibratory quality of an individual. The mood improvement quality of essential oils is also called the placebo effect. According to this theory, an individual's expectancies rather than the scent's characteristics determine the effect of the scent.