Aromatherapy dates back 3,500 of years to ancient civilizations including the Indians, Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans.
Aromatherapy was used for perfumes, cosmetics, and medicines and was advocated for by Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. Still a popular therapeutic source today, there have been numerous studies on aromatherapy in recent years on its clinical effectiveness.
Essential oils are used every day for their aromatic scents including perfumes, candles, essential oil diffusers, fabric softeners, and even spices to add flavor to food. Essential oils come from a variety of sources including seeds, stems, leaves, needles, petals, flowers, rinds and fruits, woods and resins and roots.
An Alternative Treatment
Aromatherapy is considered an alternative treatment, alongside practices including yoga, mindfulness meditation, tai chi, acupuncture, and essential oils, and now clinical aromatherapy.
Clinical aromatherapy is an alternative medicine therapy being researched for its potential treatment for symptom management of pain in an inpatient and outpatient setting. Essential oils have great potential in the field of medicine. They have shown great potential to destroy several types of bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. [NCBI]
How Does Aromatherapy Work?
When used in aromatherapy, essential oils are inhaled. Tiny molecules then activate the olfactory, respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. These molecules are capable of releasing neurotransmitters, such as endorphins, that trigger a sense of well-being and an analgesic effect.
Aromatherapy is a popular complementary therapy across the globe. It is predicted the global market for complementary therapy will grow to $5 trillion in spend by 2050. [National Library of Medicine]
Read our last blog on the top 10 essential oils to help anxiety.