8 Amazing Health Benefits of Aromatherapy
People have been enjoying the benefits of aromatherapy for centuries now. The ancient Greeks and Egyptians are known to use fragrances, while the Chinese are said to be the first to use aromatic oils to enhance a person’s mood.
Aromatherapy, also known as essential oil therapy, is defined by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) as the application or use of essential oils or aromatic substances for “holistic healing.”
These oils are either applied topically or inhaled. You should never apply them directly on your skin. But you can use enjoy these fragrant oils in skin care products, soaps, massage oils, and diffusers.
There are numerous oils to choose from and each has their own special use. For instance, breathing in the scent of eucalyptus will help you breathe easier when you have a cold. Lavender can be used to relieve migraines and help you sleep better.
There are other health benefits of aromatherapy. Here are eight ways they can help you in your wellness journey:
1. Excellent for Relieving Stress
No matter how hard you try, you cannot avoid stress. It’s a part of modern life. But what you can do is to find ways to manage it. Aromatherapy has proven to be an excellent way of relieving stress and reducing the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
You can light a candle infused with essential oils like chamomile, geranium, jasmine, lavender, and lemongrass. These scents are great stress busters. Diffusers are also good because they spread the scent faster. You can also rub aromatherapy lotions or massage oils on your skin.
2. Let’s You Tap into You Energy Reserves
You probably feel like a sputtering candle sometime in the afternoon. Instead of reaching for your coffee cup, tap into the benefits of aromatherapy. Light a citrus scented candle or breathe in some peppermint. It’s a healthy alternative to caffeine and it will give your senses a boost.
Citrus oils are good because they have terpenes, an antioxidant with an energizing effect. Some peppermint oil or tea will also help the brain concentrate and decrease the feeling of tiredness. Meanwhile, a rollerball filled with the spicy and sweet scent of cinnamon can also combat exhaustion and lift your spirits.
3. Speeds Up Recovery Process
Many people suffer from a compromised immune system. The problem is aggravated by the rising resistance to antibiotics. Aromatherapy can help fight off or protect you from infections. Essential oils from eucalyptus, ginger, frankincense, myrrh, and oregano have antibacterial and antiviral properties that boost the immune system.
Aromatherapy can also kick your body’s repair and recovery functions into gear. For instance, jasmine has restorative properties that helps lower blood pressure and heart rate. Showering with a jasmine-scented soap or taking a whiff of a jasmine essential oil after an intense workout will help you recover faster.
4. Helps Control Appetite
People who want to lose weight or have digestive issues should also look into the benefits of aromatherapy. Scientists believe that the scent compound of certain oils slows down the absorption of glucose and causes you to feel full for a longer period.
Herbal scents can also increase serotonin production, which helps in digestion. You can inhale the scent of cloves and thyme or add them to your tea to keep your gastrointestinal system working smoothly and to reduce bloat. You can also use ginger oil and peppermint to relieve gas, treat IBS, and lessen abdominal pain.
5. Improves Concentration
Students or officer workers can learn faster and perform better, thanks to the benefits of aromatherapy.
Peppermint, sage and basil can keep you focused while also giving your memory and attention span a boost. Using a diffuser while studying helps improve your concentration. You can also give yourself a spritz of peppermint before a lecture or meeting to keep your mind sharp.
6. Helps Manage Feelings of Anxiety
One of the most crucial benefits of aromatherapy is how it helps manage anxiety and stave off a panic attack. One study showed that a blend of bergamot, frankincense, and lavender essential oils massaged on the hands of patients helped calm them down. It also lessened the pain and depression they felt.
Lavender is known for its soothing effects, but it can also improve your mood. You can mix a few drops with coconut oil and massage a small amount on your temple to relieve anxiety induced headaches. Lemon and ylang-ylang scents also help release feelings of tension while uplifting the mood. The former can relieve tiredness and feelings of sadness while the latter helps put you in a more positive frame of mind.
7. Gives You a Good Night’s Sleep
Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system and slow down your recovery. You’re also at a higher risk of developing diabetes and becoming obese. But what if you have trouble sleeping? Aromatherapy is the answer.
Essential oils are very effective sleeping aids, with lavender scientifically proven to induce good quality sleep. Inhaling lavender before and/or during sleep will help you get a good night’s rest. You can use a diffuser to ensure safety or spray the room with a freshener. Bergamot, chamomile, and ylang-ylang scents will also give you a peaceful rest.
8. Helps Women Maintain Hormone Levels
Women should also take advantage of the benefits of aromatherapy, especially with regards to their hormone levels. Researchers have proven that geranium and rose essential oils can help balance a woman’s estrogen levels. They also help alleviate the symptoms of low estrogen and menopause.
Aromatherapy also has more impact in decreasing pain, particularly the gynecological and postoperative varieties. Chamomile, eucalyptus, ginger, thyme, and turmeric oils are reportedly very effective in reducing pain.
You can mix these oils with some coconut oil and rub it on your body. If you’re suffering from PMS, adding ¼ cup of Epsom salt and several drops of lavender and clary oil to a warm bath and soaking in it for 30 minutes or more can help.
Aromatherapy can be a very powerful health tool. However, you need to consult your doctor and do your research before taking this approach. The right information and proper precautions will ensure you get the maximum benefits of aromatherapy.