Aromatherapy is the practice of using aromatic plant extracts to revitalize and restore health. The two most common delivery methods are inhalation and topical application. The third application is delivered orally, so precautions should be taken, as some oils may be toxic or harmful when ingested. There are approximately 150 essential oils used in aromatherapy. Each of these oils is believed to have specific properties that aid in the treatment of certain ailments and emotional problems. All living plants possess a unique energy, and by extracting a plant’s essential oil containing that energy, it can be used for healing. For example, some essential oil fragrances may have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antibacterial or antidepressant properties. Remember that essential oils are not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Please check with your physician before using or ingesting any oils.
Aromatherapy is a term coined by French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse in 1928, who discovered by accident that lavender oil healed his badly burned hand, with no blistering or scarring. That discovery led him to continue researching other essential plant oils and their medicinal, physical and psychological effects. The plant leaves, flowers, fruit, wood and roots are used when extracting their oils.