Aromatherapy: An Ancient Healing Art

Wrap yourself in the sweet notes of lavender, warm, tropical wood or marjoram scent of ylang-ylang. While enjoying the fragrance of incense or aromatherapy oil you also help to calm frazzled nerves, cure infections, the balance of blood pressure and even improve mental clarity.

The aromatic oils have been used throughout the centuries for healing, soothing and energizing. The ancient Egyptians practiced the healing art of aromatherapy over five thousand years ago and the records show that essential oils are already used in 1800 BC in the civilizations of Babylon and the Indus (modern Iraq and Pakistan). Later, the ancient Greeks discovered the therapeutic qualities of aromatherapy, the Romans used for fragrance, and during the plagues of Europe were valuable antiseptic essential oils.

This ancient healing therapy uses powerful concentrations of essential plant oils to balance and heal the body in a variety of ways. Today aromatherapy for physical, mental and emotional relief is used. Some essential oils are used for healing and relaxing, strengthen the immune system, fight infection, decreasing stress and anxiety or their antifungal and antiviral properties. All essential oils have antiseptic properties that fight the disease.

Among the many plants rich in essential oils are anise, lemon balm lemon balm, basil, chamomile, cinnamon, cardamom, cypress, fennel, eucalyptus, elecampane, feverfew, juniper, lavender, calendula, marjoram, mandarin, mint , pine, rosemary, rose, sage, thyme, valerian and yarrow.

Although aromatherapy has not yet gained a firm foundation in conventional medicine in North America, doctors regularly prescribe essential oils in France, and pharmacies sell aromatherapy remedies with prescription drugs. In England and Germany essential oils are mainly used for its calming effects, such as sleep inducers and respiratory treatments.

This may change in some areas of medicine, such as research in the UK shows that the diffusion of lavender oil in the air can successfully replace sleep aid drugs in some cases of insomnia. Other recent studies have shown that aromatherapy can be used to improve mood and increase awareness of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other memory disorders.

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