The term Aromatherapy comes from the Greek “aroma”, a term used in ancient Greece for spices or fragrances and “therapeia”, which means attention or healing. Therefore, “Aromatherapy” refers to healing with aromas or fragrances.
It is a technique in which 100% pure essential oils obtained from plants for therapeutic purposes are used. It is a natural therapy that complements very well with all other alternative therapies and conventional medicine.
One way that Essential oils enter our organism is by smelling them, reaching our olfactory bulb located in the brain through the olfactory epithelia causing a response in our limbic system that is connected with parts of the brain that controls the other systems of our organism.
Essential oils are attributed relaxing, balancing and stimulating properties. Depending on the part of the plant used, the essential oil will have a specific function. That is why we can find that from the same plant you can extract different types of essential oils and each one with its therapeutic use.
There are various ways we can apply the essential oils in our body: massage, baths, cosmetics, vaporisation, by the use of diffusers, etc. Topical application of essential oils acts systematically and by the olfactory bulb as their molecules are able to penetrate the membranes of the skin to the hypodermis, where it has contact with the blood vessels and hence spread through the tissues.
It is important not to confuse aromatherapy with commercial perfumes…
Commercial perfumes use synthetic essences designed primarily to attract the physical senses. However, they do not have therapeutic properties nor can they help the healing of the person in its different levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Nowadays,we can find essential oils used by the cosmetic and perfume industry whose objective is to achieve the greatest benefit of their products. The essential oils that are destined to this industry are produced synthetically and are not effective to be used in aromatherapy treatments or for therapeutic purposes since they do not contain the active principles of the plants since most do not come from nature but are treated in a lab. The objective of the cosmetic and perfume industry is that with a small amount of essential oil, make large quantities of synthetic or low quality oil.