Aromatherapy-Does It Really Work?

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The other day I read an article about aromatherapy in the paper and that set me wondering ‘Does it really live up to its name?’.Some of you out there might be wondering as to what I am talking about.If you already know what is it then fine,if not keep reading to find out more about this old form of treatment.Now a days,people are ready to spend for this form of treatment.Now as I say this,another question pops into my mind.I am sure it does into yours as well.Is it really worth spending our money on it?I hope your doubts get cleared by the time you finish reading this article.
For all of you who don’t know what aromatherapy is,well here goes.Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials, known as essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering a person’s mind, mood, cognitive function or health.So basically,aromatherapy is the form of treatment that deals with the wonderful fragrances of nature.
The following are some of the materials that are used.
CARRIER OILS:They are used to dilute essential oils and absolutes before applying on your skin for massage.They are so named because they carry the essential oils to the skin.They are also known as base oil or vegetable oil.A perfect example for this is almond oil.
ESSENTIAL OILS:They are fragrant oils that are extracted from plants.Steam distillation or expression is used to extract these oils from the plants. Eucalyptus oil is extracted by steam distillation and grapefruit oil is extracted by expression.
ABSOLUTES:They are fragrant oils that are extracted from flowers od delicate plant tissues.They are obtained by solvent or supercritical fluid extraction.
INFUSIONS:They are aqueous extracts of plant material.
HERBAL DISTILLATES:They are the aqueous by-products of the distillation process.Common herbal distillates are chamomile, rose, and lemon balm.
PHTONCIDES:They are volatile organic compounds from plants that are used to kill microbes.
VAPORIZER:Typically higher oil content plant based materials dried, crushed, and heated to extract and inhale the aromatic oil vapors in a direct inhalation modality.
I am sure now you all would have got an insight as to what aromatherapy is.Now its time we learn the magic it does.To begin with.let me give you a small example which you might have experienced in your day to day life.When you use your favourite perfume on yourself or if someone near you uses it,don’t you feel calm and relaxed the moment the sweet smell reaches your nose.Well there you have it.Thats the basic principle of this technique.It is said to calm the mind and reduce stress.This may arise from the placebo effect rather than from any physiological effect.It is said to have the ability to fight cancer though available scientific evidence do not support these claims made by the American Cancer Society.
The following are some of the popular oils used in this technique.
BERGAMOT
CEDARWOOD
PATCHOULI
MAJORAM
CHAMOMILE
PEPPERMINT
ROSE
EUCALYPTUS
There’s more actually.To learn more about them,do check out the following link.

http://www.aromatherapy.com/

But there are also certain safety concerns related to it. Because essential oils are highly concentrated they can irritate the skin when used in undiluted form.So they are diluted with carrier oils.Oils both ingested and applied to the skin can potentially have negative interaction with conventional medicine. For example, the topical use of methyl salicylate heavy oils like Sweet Birch and Wintergreen may cause hemorrhaging in users taking the anticoagulant Warfarin.
So though this technique is a great stress buster,it does have some safety concerns.But if you be careful and reject what your body does not like,then its definitely worth spending your money for it.