Aromatherapy Chapter I
INTRODUCTION TO AROMATHERAPY by Deborah Dolen
Excerpt How to Make Perfume and Aromatherapy Basics Copyright © Deborah Dolen 2011 This e-book is available in full version on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook.
Intro to Aromatherapy– The term 'aromatherapy' was first used in the 1920's by the French chemist René Maurice Gattefossé who accidentally discovered in laboratory that lavender oil relieves pain and assists in healing of superficial burns. René had burned his hand in the lab and immersed it in the closest liquid he could find, which was lavender. He was fascinated by the benefits of lavender oil in healing his burned hand without leaving any scars. He started investigating the effect of other essential oils for healing and for their psychotherapeutic benefits. Aromatherapy had been used in many ways, by many cultures prior to this, but René helped isolate the phenomenon to its own science.
Now that's the gist of the story as it is told over and over again by Aroma therapists. Notice René was not “smelling” the lavender--he stuck his limb right in it. So, the story demonstrated that lavender had a medicinal quality above and beyond 'aroma.' All aromatherapy in most countries revolves around essential oils.
Most essential oils have healing properties above and beyond psychological olfactory impacts. It's quite possible that calling it 'aromatherapy' was a politically correct way to work with the power to heal and not be a licensed physician. The word aromatherapy is somewhat misleading, as it suggests that healing works using the sense of smell and on the emotions. However, aside from the scent, each oil has a combination of constituents that interacts with the chemistry of the body which then affects particular organs or systems as a whole. When oils are used externally as with a massage oil, they are easily absorbed by the skin (at different rates depending on the type of oil) and sent around the body. If you rub a clove of garlic on the sole of the foot, it can be smelled on the breath shortly after.
Essential oils have three modes of action as to how they interact with the human body. Firstly, the pharmacological effect is related to the chemical changes that occur when an oil enters the bloodstream and reacts with hormones and enzymes. Secondly, the physiological effect is related to the way that an oil affects the system of the body such as being sedated or stimulated and so on. Thirdly, the psychological effect which happens when an oil is inhaled and causes a response to the smell. As we journey through the power of essential oils, we will learn many amazing things--such as workers directly handling rosemary, basil, and/or oregano were not succumbing to the avian flu [bird flu] when relatives in their abodes were infected with it.
Excerpt Aromatherapy Basics Copyright © Deborah Dolen 2011 This e-book is available in full version on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook.
We will find in the story of the 'Toulouse Thieves' [a classical aromatherapy story in the next Chapter] people were fairly immune from the Plague--this wasn't as casual as smelling the scent of an essential oil. For now we will move forward with the classical definition. ~Revised by Group 7.18.2008 via Wiki.
Deborah Dolen is bestselling author of Aromatherapy Basics available on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble as well as Goodreads.