7 Health Benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is an alternative medicine that involves the use of aromatic plant extracts known as essential oils that can be inhaled by patients with a wide variety of health conditions. Aromatherapy is most widely known for its ability to relax the patient and improve his or her mood.

Additional benefits of this supplemental medicinal approach include the ability to reduce or eliminate anxiety, ease depression, increase energy levels, speed the healing process, eliminate headaches, increase brain function and cognitive performance, promote restful sleep, strengthen the immune system, ease pain, improve digestion and increase circulation.

Essential oils are at the heart of aromatherapy. These oils are either inhaled or applied directly to the skin. These oils can interact with your body in a number of ways. When applied to your skin, some plant chemicals are absorbed directly through the skin which may be helped by the application of heat or pressure, as in massage. Inhaling the aromas from essential oils stimulates your limbic system, the part of your brain that supports emotions, behaviors and long-term memory.

The seven most common health benefits of aromatherapy are:

  1. Stress Relief – The aromatic compounds found in essential oils are known as relaxants and can help soothe your mind and body and eliminate anxiety. The most effective essential oils for stress relief are lemon oil, lavender, bergamot, peppermint and ylang-ylang oils.
  1. Antidepressant Properties – Aromatherapy is frequently used to eliminate feelings of depression without drugs or chemicals. Essential oils known for reducing depression include peppermint, chamomile, lavender, and jasmine.
  1. Memory Improvement – Aromatherapy is an alternative or supplemental treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A brain boost can be useful no matter what your age. Sage oil is most commonly recommended for its memory-enhancing effect.
  1. Increased Energy – Several essential oils have been shown to increase circulation, boost energy levels, and stimulate the body and mind without the dangerous side effects of stimulants. Essential oils shown to boost energy include cardamom, cinnamon, clove, angelica, jasmine, tea tree, rosemary, and sage.
  1. Improves Healing – Essential oils increase oxygen and blood flow to wounds, both internal and external. Antimicrobial properties also protect your body during delicate healing stages. Essential oils that improve healing include lavender, calendula, rosehip, helichrysum, and buckthorn.
  1. Improves Sleep Quality – Aromatherapy promotes a more balanced sleep schedule and can support circadian rhythms so that your body naturally gets tired at an appropriate time, then sleeps restfully through the night, allowing you to wake energized in the morning. Essential oils for managing sleep include lavender, chamomile, jasmine, benzoin, neroli, rose, sandalwood, sweet marjoram, and ylang-ylang.
  1. Relieves Pain – Aromatherapy can relieve many types of pain without harmful side effects. Pain relief is a useful application of aromatherapy using the essential oils lavender, chamomile, clary sage, juniper, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint.

The energetic vibrations from the oils can be used to re-align and direct the flow of energy within the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies returning them to a state of health and wholeness. For more information on aromatherapy click here.

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