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Smelling to Get Well with Aromatherapy

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 3 Jul 2015 | comments*Discuss
Smelling Wellness Aromatherapy Aroma

Every time you smell something, you are drawing molecules of scent into your nose, where they are detected by sensitive receptors and distinguished. This information is then passed into the brain, which identifies the aromas, when it is able. The mental and emotional effect of fragrances upon the brain is subtle but does make changes nevertheless. Aromas can make you feel more alert and awake; such as lemon or peppermint, or they can calm and relax you such as neroli or chamomile. More than 30,000 different aromatic compounds exist. In some cases, one essential oil can contain hundreds of different ones, each having its own therapeutic action.

Essential Oils

The molecules comprising essential oils are extremely small and therefore are able to pass through the skin very easily, though absorption doesn't happen all at once. The most easily absorbed oils pass through the skin in about twenty minutes, e.g. garlic, clove, lavender. Essential oils such as bergamot, anise and lemon can take between forty and sixty minutes to be absorbed by the skin. Oils such as citronella and peppermint take a little longer still. Any essential oil, which has been mixed with vegetable oil or moisturizer, will be absorbed more slowly, and a little less of the oil will pass through your skin. This is because carrier oils form a layer on the skin which traps a little of the oil.

The following list indicates the major aromatherapy chemical categories, their actions and exemplary oils:

Kill bacterial and viral infections and reduce inflammation. They are moisturizing to the skin. Examples are Birch and neroli.

These destroy bacterial and viral infections and are skin toners. Their scent is considered a tonic to the nervous system. Most alcohols are very safe to use. Examples are clary sage, carrot seed, coriander, geranium, ginger, marjoram, neroli, peppermint, petitgrain, rose, sandalwood,

These reduce inflammation and destroy bacterial infection. They produce a light sedative effect and when inhaled. Some aldehydes need to be used with caution as they may cause allergic reactions. Examples are cinnamon, citronella, cumin, lemongrass, lemon verbena, melissa and lemon balm.

These oils thin the blood and are comforting and emotionally uplifting. They should be used with caution as many of them may make skin photosensitive (sensitive to sunlight). Examples are angelica and bergamot.Esters; these oils sooth muscle spasms, irritated skin and kill fungal infections. Most of them are strongly aromatic and are very relaxing when inhaled. Examples are bergamot, clary sage, geranium, lavender, marjoram, neroli, roman chamomile and ylang ylang.

Ester Oxides;
These oils help to release lung congestion. Many oxides are mentally stimulating when inhaled. They tend to give off a camphor like scent. Examples are bay, eucalyptus, hyssop, rosemary and tea tree.

These oils reduce bacterial infections, inflammation and intestinal gas. This is one of the two most common types of oils. Examples are carrot seed, cypress, fir, ginger, grapefruit, lemon, orange, sandalwood, rosemary, sage.

Are powerful antibacterials that warm the skin and stimulate blood flow. Mentally they are stimulating upon inhalation but can irritate the skin. This is the other most common type of essential oil. Examples are basil, clove, oregano and thyme.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
According to my latest saliva & blood test ,my doctor said I'm a 'pre-diabetic'. So I started to consume aq couple of drops of Rosemary essential oil in the veg caps a few weeks ago as I was led to understand that it can help to curb the situation. Lately, I came across an article advising those people with hypertension should avoid Rosemary essential oil at all cost. Please advise.
MarieClaire - 3-Jul-15 @ 3:41 PM
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