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The Science of Smell
4 Jun 2017 09:00:00
Inspired by Aromatherapy Awareness Week (5th – 11th June 2017) we’ve been looking at how essential oils can be used for a variety of healing and cosmetic purposes.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a type of alternative medicine that uses essential oils to improve physical, mental and emotional health. Essential oils are compounds extracted from seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers and other parts of plants through either distillation or cold pressing. Once the aromatic chemicals have been extracted, they are combined with a carrier oil to create a product that’s ready for use.
How can you use essential oils?
Aromatherapy can be performed in several different ways:
- Diffusing essential oils into the air
- Inhaling oils through the nostrils directly from a cloth or from the bottle
- Through massage therapy
- Soaking in an oil-infused bath
- Rubbing oils directly onto the skin (although this is not appropriate for all essential oils)
Popular essential oils
There are more than 90 types of essential oils, each with their own unique smell and potential health benefits. Here are some of the most popular essential oils:
Lavender can help with relaxation, improves mood and heals burns and cuts.
Rosemary can naturally thicken hair so it’s great to add to homemade shampoos. It also improves brain function and memory so it’s good to use when working, reading or studying.
Geranium can help balance hormones, relieve stress, improve circulation and alleviate the effects of menopause.
Tea Tree is a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It reduces bad odours and can help stimulate the immune system.
Rose is incredible for reducing skin inflammation and great for creating glowing skin.
Eucalyptus improves respiratory issues such as bronchitis, sinusitis and allergies. It’s also invigorating and purifies the body.
Manuka is renowned for its potent antimicrobial and anti-acne properties and is used to treat everything from rheumatism and fevers to burns and skin disorders.