Essential Oils Aromatherapy, what the heck is that eh??If you’re a fan of Mood Indigo, you’ve probably heard me talking about essential oils, and essential oil aromatherapy a fair bit. The use of high quality, pure essential oils in our products is what sets us apart from a lot of other soaps on the market claiming to be natural. And before I jump into discussing the aromatherapy benefits of essential oils, I think it’s important to have a good understanding of what essential oil really is.
Have you ever grabbed a bunch of lavender and squeezed the flower buds or rubbed your fingers against some sage leaves, and then taken a deep sniff? That wonderful aroma is the result of volatile oils being released when the tiny glands in the plant material burst open. The quantity and quality of the essential oils that a plant produces depend on many things. Just as soil, weather, temperature, elevation, genus and species play and essential role in the development of grapes for fine wine, so also do these elements influence the growth of plants in the production of therapeutic grade essential oils. The processing and handling of these plants has an even further impact on the quality of these oils.
According to Victoria Edwards (the Aromatherapy Companion),
chemically, essential oils are a “cocktail of molecules” bundled
together with names like terpenes, esters, alcohol, phenols etc.
that have a variety of significant properties and characteristics.
Some are anti-inflammatory; some bactericidal, some antifungal and antiviral, and all these “volatile oils represent the radiant energy of the sun, translated by the plant into a chemical form.” These oils are then extracted from the plants using steam distillation or other methods of extraction and often utilized beyond perfumery and cosmetics into commerce and medicine.
Increasing research in the field of aromatherapy tells us that essential oils provide some very real and concrete therapeutic benefits when used appropriately. Germany and France have always managed to marry herbal traditions with medicine, and as the science catches up with herbal traditions in the US,fast growing diaspora is looking to these alternative therapies for solutions, as well. I intend to spend some time exploring the benefits of essential oil aromatherapy in some detail, and hope you will join me on this exciting journey.
What experiences have you had with Essential Oils?