WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Essential oils are the chemical and aromatic compounds from specific medicinal plants. Each extract holds a super concentrated version of the plant’s aromatic, healing, and chemical properties – the plant’s immune system, protective mechanism and regenerative properties. When using essential oils, the molecules from these extracts are absorbed by the body and used to treat certain physical and emotional ailments. Essential oils are extracted from different parts of the plant such as leaves, roots, petals, or rinds. Once extract is distilled from the plant, it is called an essential oil. The most common methods of extraction include steam distillation, cold pressing, or solvent extraction. Every single essential oil is made up of many chemical compounds or constituents. This chemical composition and aroma can provide immense psychological and physical therapeutic benefits.
HOW AROMATHERAPY WORKS
When you inhale an essential oil, the molecules go into your nasal passage to the olfactory system. From there, they move to the limbic system, which deals with your body’s emotions, memories, and physical response. The limbic system also influences the Endocrine System and Autonomic Nervous System. The Endocrine System contains glands that secrete hormones into the blood stream. These hormones act like chemical mediators that regulate body function such as mood, metabolism, and development. The Autonomic Nervous System regulates instinctive bodily functions such as heart rate, respiration, perspiration, and digestion. Through topical application, essential oil particles are absorbed into the bloodstream and dispersed. Some components can pass through the blood brain barrier and to the limbic system, where they can influence the Endocrine and Autonomic systems. When applied topically, the essential oil molecules affect the body, skin, muscles, joints, and organs by penetrating the skin, entering the dermal layer and interacting with blood and lymph vessels, connective tissue, and sensory nerves.
HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR THEIR BENEFITS
The most common ways to obtain the benefits from essentials oils include inhalation and topical application. Inhalation is a very direct method of delivering healing components of essential oils. Through the nasal cavity, chemical messengers have direct access to the brain and go to work on systems that balance and moderate the body. Inhaling an essential oil affects the mind, mood, and emotions. This process releases hormones to your organs and body cells. Reactions can be calming, cooling, invigorating, energizing, and more. Topical application is another popular method of using essential oils. When applied topically, the essential oil molecules are absorbed into the bloodstream and influence bodily systems. It is important to use pure, high quality essential oils such as organic or wild crafted to receive the best healing effects without toxins.