What is Aromatherapy?

This article explains aromatherapy better than I can and it will help you get a better understanding if you are thinking about giving essential oils a try.

Definition of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy entails the use of essential oils and other natural aromatics for physical, psychological and spiritual well-being.

History of Aromatherapy

Although essential oils have been available for nearly one thousand years, the term aromatherapy was first introduced less than 100 years ago. Learn more about the fascinating history of essential oils and aromatherapy by reading AromaWeb’s History of Aromatherapy article.

Why Essential Oils are Used for Aromatherapy


Essential oils have been found to provide psychological and physical benefits when used correctly and safely. The Essential Oil Profiles area details over 130 essential oils. AbsolutesCO2s and Hydrosols are also commonly utilized in aromatherapy. Although CO2 extracts and absolutes are not steam distilled and thus are not considered essential oils, the term essential oil is sometimes used as a blanket term to include all natural, aromatic, volatile, plant oils including CO2s and absolutes.

In addition to essential oils, aromatherapy encourages the use of other complementary natural ingredients including vegetable oils (also known as carrier oils) and hydrosols.

Products that include synthetic ingredients are frowned upon in holistic aromatherapy. It is important to note that perfume oils also known as fragrance oils (and usually listed as “fragrance” on an ingredient label) are not the same as essential oils. Fragrance oils and perfume oils contain synthetic chemicals and do not provide the therapeutic benefits of essential oils.

What to Look Out for When Buying Aromatherapy Products

The United States does not regulate the use of the word aromatherapy on product packaging, labeling or in product advertising. Therefore, any product can be marketed as a product suitable for aromatherapy. There are quite a few products on the market that are fragranced with fragrance oils that are marketed as being aromatherapeutic. It’s important to look at the ingredient label when seeking true aromatherapy products.

Also, use caution with marketing claims that state a product is “Made With Essential Oils” or “Made With Natural Ingredients.” Claims like these do not state that the product is only made with the ingredient(s) specified. Such products may contain heavy proportions of synthetic fragrance oils and only contain a minute quantity of essential oil to simply be able to profess the “Made With Essential Oils” claim.

Don’t let false marketing hype scare you away from the benefits of holistic aromatherapy. By exploring AromaWeb and other reputable aromatherapy resources, you can learn how to safely use just a few essential oils and start gaining the benefits of aromatherapy. If you realize you hold an even deeper interest, you can learn to make your own products and control the exact ingredients included in your own personal aromatherapy products.

The Benefit of Inhaling Essential Oils

Essential oils that are inhaled into the lungs offer both psychological and physical benefits. Not only does the aroma of the natural essential oil stimulate the brain to trigger a reaction, but when inhaled into the lungs, the natural constituents (naturally occurring chemicals) can supply therapeutic benefit. Diffusing eucalyptus essential oil to help ease congestion is a prominent example.

If not done correctly and safely, however, the use of essential oils can have severe consequences.

The Benefit of Topical Application

Essential oils that are applied to the skin can be helpful with skin care and addressing topical and muscular concerns. Since essential oils are so powerful and concentrated, they should never be applied to the skin in their undiluted form. To apply essential oils to the skin, essential oils are typically diluted into a carrier such as a cold pressed vegetable oil, also known as a carrier oil. Common carrier oils include sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil and grapeseed oil. A more detailed definition of Carrier Oils is found on the What are Carrier Oils page. A detailed list of carrier oils and their properties can be found on the Carrier Oils Used in Aromatherapy properties page.

Additional Benefits of Aromatherapy

In addition to therapeutic benefit at the emotional and physical level, essential oils are helpful in other applications. Essential oils can be used in household and laundry cleaners. Some oils act as a natural insect repellent and pesticide. You may recall using citronella candles during the summer to keep mosquitoes away. Citronella essential oil is the ingredient in the candles that is responsible for repelling the mosquitoes. Visit the Essential Oil Uses page for additional information on ways that you can use essential oils.

Aromatherapy Blends

Essential oils can be blended together to create appealing and complex aromas. Essential oils can also be blended for a specific therapeutic application. Essential oils that are carefully blended with a specific therapeutic purpose in mind within the scope of aromatherapy may be referred to as an essential oil synergy. A synergistic essential oil blend is considered to be greater in total action than each oil working independently. AromaWeb’s Recipes area offers a variety of recipes and synergies.

About Aromatherapy Products

As touched on above, not all ready-made aromatherapy products labeled with the word aromatherapy are pure and natural. Products that contain artificial ingredients do not provide true aromatherapy benefits. At worst, they provide no benefit or be harmful. At best, they provide only a fraction of the benefit that natural products supply. Buyers seeking true aromatherapy products must look at the ingredient label to ensure that the product does not contain fragrance oils or unpure (chemical) components. A general rule-of-thumb is to be wary of products that do not list their ingredients and those that do not boast of having pure essential oils (look for products that contain pure essential oils on their ingredient list and avoid those that have words like fragrance). A note, however, is that some sellers of good-quality aromatherapy blends do not list their ingredients because they are worried that others may copy their creation. By asking the seller more about the blend, and listening to how they respond, you should have a better idea about the quality of the blend being sold. Good suppliers should be happy to provide you with a list of the ingredients. They understand that some individuals must avoid particular essential oils due to health problems.


This article has been taken from my new favorite essential oils website http://www.aromaweb.com


Essential Oils – Why You Should Try Them

Now I am not here to argue any points about how many roses it takes to make rose oil or how essential oil farming practices are killing the planet,really?, I am here simply to tell you how they have worked for me and my family.  I am studying an aromatherapy specialist course (specializing in menopause) currently, but I have been using oils for about 3 years now. I have not made any money from MLM even though I am involved in them, I just love to use them. I will be launching my own brand in the near future but that is not the reason I am making this post today.

I think we all know what essential oils are by now, I mean you can’t open a magazine or look at your news feed without an ad for essential oils popping up.  Essential oils are the blood of the plant so to speak, they are what keep a plant safe from predators, disease and they also provide the plant with it’s distinct aroma.  For example in Citrus fruit, when you squeeze the rind and all that liquid squirts out, that’s it’s essential oil, roses have that distinct rose smell from the essential oils contained within its petals, some essential oils come from seeds, roots and even the bark and some plants can be used in their entirety.  Essential oils are extracted from their host plants by way of steam distillation or cold pressing.

So, why has the world gone mad and  started replacing main stream medicine with these natural essential oils?  Essential oils have hundreds of different chemical constituents in each drop.  These chemicals interact with our cells in a way that brings wellness and healing to a damaged cell.  Aromatically, the smells of the oils work directly with our brain to induce memories, or they can create new memories relating to that specific oil. For this reason oils are great to use for emotional support.  Here is an example;

When you were a kid you used to visit your grandmothers house on the holidays, (for me it was my aunt), she always had something baking, cakes, biscuits, roasts, puddings. It was always the best time and you have very fond memories of that, so now, every time you smell something baking it reminds you of a fond time in your life. The same is said for essential oils or perfumes, it can be a good or bad experience so make sure when you are using an essential oil for the first time that you are in a good place.  If you want to try lavender for the first time and you are sad or angry, that is the emotion you will relate to smelling that specific oil.  Look, there are technical terms for all this but seriously lets just talk plain English that everyone can understand.

My main use of essential oils is for the emotions. Going through peri menopause nearly did me in, my emotions were on high all the time, I was super angry or super depressed, it’s a terrible place to be.  I was introduced to essential oils and was not at all impressed by the rep so I judged the oils on her lack of knowledge of the product.  I thought they were hippie crap and didn’t want a bar of them.  But I eventually bought a pack and have been using them ever since.  I joined the 2 big mlm companies, yes I know this isn’t allowed, but too bad I love oils from both companies, and like I said, I haven’t made any money out of them so I don’t think they would really care.  So essential oils saved my sanity. They reduced the chemical load I had bought into the house via scented candles, air sprays and those plug in things, all are very toxic and wreak havoc with our endochrine systems.  Suddenly moods improved, and I wasn’t some crazy psycho who wanted to neck herself every other day.  See, I told you, oils literally saved my life.  The other incredible thing was that we didn’t get sick as often. I would have my diffuser going every day and even to this day we have probably been sick half a dozen times, if that, in the past 3 years, for me, this is amazing, winter usually spells disaster for me, but not anymore.

Anxiety is rampant in the world, 3 of my 4 kids suffer from anxiety on different levels.  After much convincing they are now avid essential oil users with manageable anxiety levels.  Don’t get me wrong, essential oils don’t take away all your anxiety but they bring them down to a level you can manage and function with. In some people the anxiety disappears altogether.  What we need to remember is that essential oils are adaptogens, they will adapt with you, if you start using an essential oil with a mindset that they won’t work, then they actually won’t.  Some call this placebo I call this understand how your brain works.  This is sometimes the case with patients who have used meds their whole lives and become totally dependant on them and fear not using them. Chances are the oils won’t work for them because they have a mindset that medicine is the only thing that will work. You will find this a lot in the older generation.  But if you have an open mind to try natural things you will be pleasantly surprised how effectively they do work.

Medically – look I really think there is a place in our world for medicine, without it my youngest daughter would have died, but I think we could be diligent in seeking out the areas that we don’t really need to be using medicines. Headache tablets are a good example, grab some peppermint or lavender in place of tylenol, both work equally as well but the essential oils offer a natural solution and the tylenol a synthetic one.  I would never ingest oils, even though some of the best experts in the world will tell you it’s safe, I have read far too many articles that makes me believe otherwise. Most trained aromatherapists will warn you against it but, you do you.  My advice would be to not listen to your MLM uplines as most times they are not trained, do your own research and then do what you think is best for you and your family. Me, nope, not doing it unless it’s in the form of a supplement. The difference here is the supplement has to go through a process, if you ingest essential oils direct, you are taking the oil in it’s purest form which can be dangerous.

Diffusing is the most effective way to use essential oils for your emotions, clearing your space from negative energies and great for when you are not feeling so well.  Using the essential oils topically (on your skin) is another great way as this will send the oils straight into your blood stream giving you maximum effect. Ingesting is not only dangerous but not as effective as the other 2 methods as the oils have to pass through all your stomach acids which breaks down the oils effectiveness.

Oh I almost forgot, it is CRITICAL that you buy 100% pure oils. Oils you get from the chemist or grocery store will be full of synthetics and fillers. Ingest that and you are on a path to liver hell!  Always buy your oils from reputable companies, do your research, there are a lot of oil companies out there, look for recommendations, ratings and referrals.  Just because an oil label says 100% pure oil will only mean the oil content in that bottle is 100% pure. About 5% of that bottle will contain essential oil and the rest synthetics and fillers.  So be super careful.

So there you have it, if you are interested in natural remedies and solutions then try essential oils!