Our sense of smell is amazingly powerful. It influences many physiological pathways including the stimulation of hormones and other metabolic processes throughout our bodies. Aromatherapy is using aroma to impact our body for greater health.
Certain essential oils, when diffused in the air, can be very stimulating while others can be calming and soothing. Using an oil aromatically is the fastest way to impact your mood – to uplift, invigorate or relax. In addition to the many emotional benefits, diffusing essential oils can support our respiratory systems and can the purify air of unwanted odors.
Using an oil aromatically can be as simply as smelling it from the bottle. Other ways to use aromatically would be to put a few drops in the palm of your hand, rub together and then hold up near your face to inhale.
Oil diffusers are another great way to use essential oils aromatically, and there are many different types of diffusers available. Ultrasonic and forced air / jet diffusers are very popular. When diffusing, low or no-heat essential oil diffusers are recommended, because they won’t change the chemical structure of the oil being diffused.
Essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin and can be safely applied topically. Essential oils can have immediate, localized benefit to the area you’ve applied. For example, using marjoram and cypress to sooth a stiff muscle or applying lavender after being out in the sun are common ways to use an oil topically. Oils also have restorative and calming properties. Oils are used frequently and effectively with massage and in skin care products.
The chemical structure of essential oils also allows them to be absorbed into the bloodstream, so they can provide internal benefit throughout the body. Be aware that some essential oils, such as cinnamon, thyme, oregano, cassia should be diluted with a carrier or before being applied topically, so that skin irritation or sensitivity do not occur.
Essential oils can also be used as dietary supplements, and can support a variety of healthy goals. Why would you want to use an oil internally? Some essential oils have powerful antioxidant properties while others help support healthy & normal inflammatory response in cells. Many essential oils are generally regarded as being safe for dietary use, but there are some oils that should not be taken internally. Do not use any essential oil product internally that does not have the appropriate dietary supplement facts on its label.