Aromatherapy is concerned with the use of essential oils to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit in the physiological, psychological and spiritual realms of  the individual’s response to aromatic extracts to reduce stress and enhance the individuals healing process.

Ways of using essential oils:

• Aerial diffusion - to enhance or mask a smell; sanitise an area (kill bacteria)

• Inhalation - to alleviate lung problems e.g. congestion, breathing

• Massage - to introduce the oil into the system for absorption

• Applications - skin-care products, baths, compresses

Essential oils can be produced artificially so that even if it smells like a rose it is completely chemically made and  nothing in common with a rose except it is the same chemical as the smell.

Caution & Concerns:

• keep essential oils stored well away from children

• neat essential oils may burn or cause allergies on some skin types.

• pregnant and lactating women to seek advice on suitability of any oil

• on the subject of ingestion of essential oils for therapeutic purposes, professionals  are averse to self prescription due to the highly toxic nature of some essential oils. e.g. eucalyptus oil

• seizures or liver damage have occurred after ingestion of plants like comfrey, hyssop, sage, cedar, and thuja.

• some adverse synergistic problems when combined with some hospital medicine  can occur e.g. methyl salicylate in heavy oils like Sweet Birch and Wintergreen may cause haemorrhaging if Warfarin (an anticoagulant) is being used as a treatment to thin blood.

Summing Up - Aromatherapy requires very little equipment other than the essential oils and a bed or couch. The therapy is effective, but should be used with care.  Essential oils benefits can be obtained through inhalation or by

external application but normally not by ingestion

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