Aromatherapy is a holistic medicine that uses essential oils. Aromatherapy goes back thousands of years - think of the ancient Jews, who burned frankincense and myrrh regularly. Hippocrates used increase to control epidemics. Indian traditional medicine, Ayurveda, also uses essential oils.
The word aromatherapy was first used by the French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who successfully treated a burn with lavender essential oil.
Essential oils are concentrated (high in active ingredients) hydrophobic (insoluble in water) liquid compounds that are highly volatile (i.e. they evaporate at room temperature). So be sure to cap essential oils properly, as they can evaporate quickly. The word 'essential' means that it contains the essence of the plant (the characteristic active substances of the plant). It does not mean, as in the case of essential amino acids, that it is essential for life, but that it is characteristic and unique.
How are essential oils made? There are several ways of producing them, depending on the plant in question, which method gives the highest and most concentrated concentration of active ingredients. Essential oils can be produced by pressing, distillation (steaming), solvent extraction (liquid extraction).
Essential oils are essentially liquids with a very concentrated active ingredient, using a large quantity of plant material for 1 ml of essential oil.
Most are used mixed with oil and applied to the skin or evaporated (in a diffuser), but some oils can also be used internally - where possible this always indicated by the manufacturer.
The most popular essential oils are:
- Lavender: soothing, aids wound healing, has anti-infective and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used to improve the quality of sleep by vaporising before bedtime.
- Lemon: detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and also a mood enhacer.
- Peppermint: dilates capillaries (small blood vessels), stimulating blood flow and digestion, and may have performance-enhancing effects - helping you to concetrate.
- Mandarin oil: a powerful mood enhancer, with a sweet aroma. A diffuser is available which evaporates essential oils.
Dissolve the essential oils in our purified coconut oil and apply externally to the skin. For such use, we recommend levander oil, which can be applied to the back of the head and feet to help with stress management and sleep, or applied to wounds and injuries to help heal wounds.