What are the important medical benefits of aromatherapy and aromatherapy remedies?

Essential oils contain numerous active chemical compounds which collectively impact the whole system. However, there are some compounds that have a more prominent effect than others, in any given essential oil.

For example, tarragon or clove essential oil predominantly has a harmonizing effect on the nervous system and is known to soothe anxiety disorders.

Some essential oils will induce relaxation; some have pain relieving effects and so forth.

There are other essential oils that will adapt to whatever the body requires – they possess self-calibrating properties that helps them adapt to the condition. These are adaptogenic essential oils and examples are lemon and lavender.

How are the medical benefits of aromatherapy harnessed? The key feature of essential oils is that they access the human system via inhalation or absorption.

They are certainly beneficial, but have little or no side effects if used in the appropriate manner. It is no wonder then that aromatherapy is offered as a complementary route to wellbeing and good health.

Which parts of plants are used to obtain the medical benefits of aromatherapy? The components used in aromatherapy for healing and relaxation are often essential oils that are extracted from aromatic plants, flowers, leaves, seeds, bark, and fruits. The process of extraction of essential oils involves steam distillation.

The types of uses that these oils are often put to include for the purpose of holistic treatment, where the oils are used for massages for the effective treatment of emotional blocks, physical disorders, muscle pain and problems and much, much more.

Next, these essential oils are also used for clinical purposes and used as a supplement to western medicinal treatment plans and therapies.

Thirdly, aromatherapy is also used for aesthetic purposes where the fragrance is evoked by special burners and diffusers in the homes, offices, and other environments, or added to bath water.

Aromatherapy is found to work beneficially in the treatment of minor disorders and ailments such as digestive disorders, stress and anxiety disorders and skin ailments but also has application with more serious illnesses as well.

Essential oils like tea-tree oil are used for antiseptic healing properties.

Conventional medicine is skeptical that aromatherapy can cure chronic major illnesses and does not support its use as a form of singular treatment and medication, as a substitute to conventional medicine. However, in clinical trials essential oils have been shown to work as well or better than conventional medicines. For instance, 80mg of lavender has been shown to be as effective as Xanax.

Even still, modern medicine is always reluctant to lend any credibility to anything they did not invent. Thus, in this regard, the medical validity of aromatherapy and potency of aromatherapy remedies may be somewhat limited. Aromatherapy is, however, generally acknowledged as a powerful remedy for alleviating the psychological stress issues that manifest in patients suffering from major diseases.

There has been some aromatherapy research to validate its acclaimed health benefits, and a couple of them are discussed here.

There have been a number of research studies that have been conducted to prove the efficacy of aromatherapy, its medicinal benefits to users, and aromatherapy remedies.

A self funded fragrance manufacturing organization in Japan conducted research and published the reports of its findings on the effects of smell on human people in the workplace.

The experiment involved spraying diverse fragrances in the workspaces of data entry operators and the effects were monitored, in terms of the number of mistakes made post inhalation of fragrances sprayed in the environment. The results were astonishing.

When the workers were exposed to the fragrance of lavender essential oil, which is known to be a relaxant, typographical errors were reduced by 20 percent.

Subsequently, when the workers were exposed to the fragrance of jasmine essential oil, which is known to be a mood-elevating, uplifting essential oil, the errors reduced by 33 percent.

Lastly, when the group of workers were exposed to the refreshing fragrance of lemon essential oil, which has stimulant properties, the errors fell by 55 percent.

This study in Japan is certainly an interesting and exciting piece of aromatherapy research.

Increasing numbers of experiments are being conducted such as the aforementioned study to determine and scientifically establish the health and medical benefits of aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy research is also being conducted regarding the use of essential oils to trigger responses of ‘post hypnotic suggestion’, where a state of relaxation is induced through inhalation of particular fragrances.

This principle was used effectively on a small group of epilepsy patients; when a seizure was likely to occur, these patients were made to inhale specific remedial oils, which stopped the seizure from happening.

A UK Cancer Research Campaign in 1998 commenced a three-year experimental trial to determine the efficacy of complementary medicine such as aromatherapy in reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety related to cancer and cancer-related pain.

This study was conducted on a randomly assigned group of 500 patients that were assigned aromatherapy treatments for inducing relaxation. Unfortunately, the results were inconclusive.

There have been many, many other studies done on essential oils. Try looking into some yourself.

Using aromatherapy for depression treatment and relief can be quite effective.

Studies and research have validated that aromatherapy is very effective to combat depression and stress related ailments.

Depression is related to a number of psychological problems which in turn can transform into serious ailments which are physiological in nature.

Aromatherapy helps the patient relax, reduces stress, and can prevent the onset of complications that will commence, if the depression is not treated, or is ineffectively treated. The ailments connected to depression are digestive disorders, skin problems, mental problems like anxiety and paranoia, and also insomnia.

When insomnia is treated by aromatherapy, the patient begins to sleep well, and there is an instantaneous beneficial effect on all other problems associated with depression. Thus, indirectly, aromatherapy for depression is useful in this regard.

Also, there is a corresponding improvement in energy levels, when depression is treated with aromatherapy, thereby setting the healing process in motion.

A study regarding brain wave frequency has proven that inhaling the fragrance of lavender sets alpha waves to increase, which happens in a state of relaxation. In a state of relaxation, it is easy for the body to self-heal. This makes it useful to use aromatherapy for depression relief and treatment.

In cases of mild depression, aromatherapy can help alleviate the condition. It will also help ease stress and mental fatigue, and enhance quality of sleep. Inhaling the fragrance of essential oils can instantly boost energy levels and improve one’s mood. A light blend of oils for baths, massages and body sprays can immediately lift the spirits of a depressed person.

However, in cases of severe depression, complementary therapy and support systems may be necessary. Aromatherapy for depression can help provide a supplementary support system to conventional treatment of clinical depression.

Some of the essential oils that combat depression are listed as follows:

  • Clary Sage essential oil – combats insomnia, anxiety disorder and mild depression.
  • Basil essential oil – Cures fatigue, anxiety and mild depression.
  • Rose essential oil – Boosts the nervous system.
  • Ylang-Ylang – Relaxant, sleep inducing properties.
  • Sandalwood – Has sedative properties that aid treatment of mild depression and tension.
  • Lavender – Cures nervous system ailments, aiding the treatment of depression. Also provides relief from headaches, stress and other related conditions.
  • Jasmine – Inhalation of jasmine fragrance increases beta waves on brain wave frequency mapping, indicating an alert and responsive state of mind.

Using aromatherapy for stress relief is a simple and inexpensive way of dealing with the problem.

Besides depression, stress is also alleviated by aromatherapy. Particular essential oils when used actively reduce symptoms of stress and provide therapeutic benefits.

A pleasant fragrance of an essential oil imparts a calming sense of grounding and joy just as the smell of wet earth after the first summer showers, the fragrance of a delicate rose, etc.

A similar principle as described for depression comes into play when aromatherapy treatment is provided to relieve stress. The olfactory stimulus is translated by the limbic response to create a de-stressed state of mind. In this manner, stress is alleviated by aromatherapy.

In utilizing aromatherapy for stress relief, a number of oils and blends can be used for the purpose of combating stress.

Lavender relieves anxiety and uplifts the mood. Jasmine, Frankincense, Tangerine, Ylang-Ylang, Sweet Marjoram, all have similar positive effects in relieving stress.

Even though stress is a common enough ailment throughout the world, it can effectively be dealt with by aromatherapy remedies. Indeed, using aromatherapy for stress relief is natural, safe, simple and relatively inexpensive.

There are hundreds of essential oils that are available in the market, and you can purchase these or you can create your own infusions at home.

Whatever be the method of choice, aromatherapy is at the top of the charts as a safe and effective natural healing and harmonizing agent of wellbeing and health, which can help you find remedies for innumerable conditions, whether it is depression, stress, headaches, digestive disorders, etc.

Or, aromatherapy can just help you in creating a joyful, mood-uplifting atmosphere in your workplace or home, by using natural aromatherapy candles, bath salts, spray mists and air fresheners that can transform the atmosphere of any given place to a positive one.

All of us have suffered from the common ailments mentioned below at one time or another. Happily, aromatherapy (through the use of essential oils) can be used naturally and effectively to successfully treat these conditions.

Essential oils bear the concentrated form of a plant’s healing or medicinal properties, a fact recognized by herbalists and traditional healers for centuries. The first documented use of essential oils in the treatment of maladies dates back to ancient Egypt, more than six thousand years ago.

The oils, carried via caravan from exotic lands such as India, Persia, and Babylon, played central roles in such ceremonies as embalming as well as in daily use. The use of aromatics spread to the Mediterranean world after already being established in the Far East.

Ancient Indian texts, including the Vedas, mention hundreds of specific ritual preparations using essential oils, and Ayurveda, the world’s oldest continuous form of medical practice, employs a great deal of aromatherapeutic practices when balancing the doshas, or an individual’s specific mind-body type.

During the medieval period, alchemists distilled a variety of essential oils that remained the only treatment for epidemic diseases that healers had at their disposal.

The Renaissance period saw the expansion of essential oil use into cosmetics and perfumery, in addition to the medical “potions” used by herbalists. The period saw the rise of various elixirs, balms, scented waters, and fragrant oils.

With the advent of modern science, however, use of essential oils in the treatment of disease diminished. It is only recently that a great revival of interest in the amazing healing properties of many plants and their essential oils, and hence aromatherapy remedies, has taken place.

In a therapeutic application, there are a few ways to use aromatherapy remedies. Essential oils can be applied topically, or released into the air by several different methods. As a part of a holistic healing system, aromatherapy remedies work powerfully because they affect three major means of action in the body – pharmacological, physiological, and psychological. Use 2 or 3 drops of the oils indicated in a carrier oil base.

Some Useful Aromatherapy Remedies

Backaches: Black Pepper, Cajeput, Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Helichrysum, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Nutmeg, Peppermint, Rosemary, Thyme

Bruises: Chamomile, Fennel, Helichrysum, Hyssop, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary

Congestion: Black Pepper, Black Spruce, Eucalyptus Globulous, Frankincense, Inula, Lemon Myrtle, Peppermint, Pine, Sweet Basil, Sweet Eucalyptus

Coughs: Balsam Fir, Cardamom Seed, Greek Sage, Hyssop, Inula (for dry, unproductive cough), Oregano, Pine

Cuts: Chamomile, Helichrysum, Lavender, Tea Tree

Fatigue: Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lemon, Pink Grapefruit, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sweet Basil

Headaches: Cajeput, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Clove, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Marjoram, Peppermint, Rosemary, Rosewood, Sweet Basil, Thyme

Indigestion / Upset Stomach: Anise Seed, Black Pepper, Cardamon, Cinnamon Leaf, Coriander, Fennel, Ginger, Lemongrass, Litsea, Melissa, Nutmeg, Peppermint, Sweet Fennel

Muscle aches, cramps or spasms: Black Pepper, Black Spruce, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Lavender, Rosemary, Sweet Basil, Vetiver

Nausea: Cardamon Seed, Ginger, Patchouli, Peppermint, Spearmint, Sweet Fennel

Sinus troubles: All Eucalyptus species, Angelica Root, Clove Bud, Hyssop, Inula, Lemon Myrtle, Lemon, Peppermint, Pine, Sweet Basil

Sunburn: Blue Tansy, Chamomile with Lavender, German Chamomile, Peppermint

PART III: Specific oils and their uses, specific recipes.

Need more info about essential oils?

You can download the most popular essential oil encyclopedia app on Amazon. This app is also available on the Google Play store.