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Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants for healing according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Essential oils are extracts taken from the plant’s leaves, stalks, bark, roots, and seeds, which are used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and perfumes. Essential oils help reduce stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, and insomnia. The oils used in aromatherapy are most commonly inhaled or massaged into the skin.
The use of aromatherapy and essential oils can be traced back to the ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans nearly 6,000 years ago. As time progressed, scientists discovered more and more uses for essential oils, including French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse who discovered the healing powers of lavender oils in the 1920s. Although aromatherapy continued to grow in popularity throughout the 20th century, it was not until the 1980s that the use of aromatherapy become popular in the United States. However, even today there is limited scientific evidence to support claims that aromatherapy and essential oils prevent or cure illnesses.
If you are interested in learning more about aromatherapy therapy and essential oils here are a few good resources to utilize from the library. Book of Step-by-Step Massage and Aromatherapy by Mark Evans gives different massage techniques to relieve tension, and help improve the nervous and circulatory systems. Complete Guide to Natural Home Remedies by Joe Graedon is another great book for holistic remedies and lifestyle changes to help fight illness and improve your overall health.
If you’re looking for something to take with you on the go, Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Hearling Art by Kathi Keville and Essential Oils for Beginners by Brittany Samons are great eBooks that help you understand the basics of aromatherapy.
It is always best to seek a professional or trained specialist before trying essential oils and aromatherapies on your own. Consult with your primary care physician for recommendations on a qualified aromatherapist.
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