The roots of aromatherapy and herbal medicine predate recorded history. In 1960 a Neanderthal grave was found with clear evidence of pollen from eight plants still used today for medicinal purposes. Ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian artifacts document herb and potions from as far back as the earliest written records. And this knowledge has grown and been refined ever since.
While some talk about herbal medicine as an alternative medicine that is only true to the extent that modern Western medicine is considered an alternative as well. For what ever their pedigree, medicines that work are medicine. And aromatherapy works.
Aromatherapy involves the use of various essential oils as aromas or as substances massaged into the skin, and very rarely ingested. There are over 500 different essentials oils in wide use today, each with specific uses and applications. Each one of these essential oils is thought to have very specific effects on the human body and/or human emotions.
Aroma therapy has specific effective uses for men and women, children, teenagers, and from our middle years to our late years. And there are many applications for our pets and animals as well.
Aromatherapy is completely natural and totally non invasive. The therapeutic benefits of essential oil are delivered in only two ways; through the nose and through the skin. Aromatherapy has the ability to replace sickness with health, eradicate pain, and restore calmness where stress once existed.
Today essential oils are produced using modern distillation processes that ensure a quality and purity unavailable to ancient practitioners. Modern day instruction in aromatherapy thus no longer requires the gathering of plants nor instructions in extracting essential oils from plants. And while some will see this as a loss, this information is not really necessary for a today’s aromatherapist. Instead the focus is on understanding the practical uses of the various oil and their potential combinations to bring about desired results.
Research into the benefits of aromatherapy is ongoing. Human health problems like high blood pressure, dementia, skin problems, premenstrual syndrome and even cancer can be treated to some degree by the use of aromatherapy. Human emotional problems like depression, anxiety and stress can also by treated effectively with aromatherapy. And research is proving it.
Many of what Western medicine refers to as ‘alternative medicines’ have always treated the body, the mind, the emotions and the soul as one entity. Only recently has Western medicine even begun to acknowledge the mind/body connection.
Aromatherapy is not only an old approach to health and well being it is an enduring and useful one.
Gottlieb Smith is an advocate for aromatherapy and herbal medicines in general. The uses of Aroma therapy and massage with essential oils are part of his new book called Aromatherapy Scents. He also offers a 10 part eCourse on Aromatherapy on his website aromathearapyscents.com.