the day and night are such that you greet them with joy and
life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet scented herbs -
that is your success. All nature is your congratulations."
Henry David Thoreaux.
use of pure essential oils from plants dates back many
centuries, and history of aroma therapy is in many ways part of
the history of herbal medicine as a whole. The Arabic countries
are usually credited with first discovering the process of
distillation of oils about a thousand years back. It then spread
to India and then the west. In modern times much research has
taken place on this - from perfumery applications to medicinal
concentrated extracts, essential oils thus need to be treated
with respect and care. Preferably used sparingly - large doses
not only increase immunity and reduce effectiveness, they can
prove irritating and even toxic to the skin - a large part of
their effect on our moods and emotions occurs through our sense
we breathe in air, the aroma molecules are translated into
signals by the receptor cells in the nose. This signal is sent
to the olfactory bulb and then on to the limbic and hypothalamic
parts of the brain. Although not scientifically proven, it is
believed that the essential oil aroma activates the `pharmacy'
within our brains - neurochemicals as seretonin, endorphins etc.
Which are `words' that our brain uses to communicate with our
nervous and other body systems. Thus the aroma of a calming oil
would cause release of seretonin - a euphoric aroma.
from pain and other physical effects are also experienced when
these neurochemicals are released. Studies done on effects of
essential oils on brain waves have shown that a rhythm
exhibiting calmness was produced when a oil with sedative
potential was inhaled and a stimulating aroma caused an alert
response. Our minds can thus play an important role in our well
therapy thus works through the brain, through the mind and
through the emotions e.g the tender yellow flower of the Ylang
Ylang tree is considered so worthy of love that it is placed on
wedding beds in Indonesia. Just as to calm your mind you need to
close your eyes and feel the lush coolness of an immense forest
filled with cedars, trees of frankincense and sandalwood through
deep breaths of the lovely, fresh scent of those trees.