Essential oils are a key part of life. They were discovered in ancient times and have been used for decades in medicinal practices ever since. The reason these oils have grown in popularity is because they take a more holistic approach to healing. When used correctly, essential oils can help improve your mental, emotional, and even physical health. This is a much more viable and safe option in comparison to excessive pharmaceuticals.
Unfortunately, a lot of people aren’t aware of the therapeutic properties that essential oils hold. In today’s post, we’ll explore these properties. We’ll also dive into the history of aromatherapy and get a better understanding of how these ancient oils can be used practically every day.
History of Aromatherapy
It’s important to look at the history of essential oils. This gives us a better understanding of how we can conceptualize its ancient and modern usage as a form of alternative health care.
The most recognized historical era of aromatherapy use was during the Egyptians’ practice of mummification. Spices such as juniper and cinnamon were prepared with the embalming oils to help the departed’s journey into the afterlife.
Historians have traced the Ebers Papyrus from 1,500 B.C. as the first scroll that encompassed aromatic recipes from ancient Egyptian healers. With over centuries of botanic treatments recorded, it’s truly a testament to the cultural importance of essential oils in Egypt.
Egyptians revolutionized the use of these specialized liquids and propagated treatments around the ancient world. For that, today’s herbal medicine owes a debt of gratitude to our distant ancestors in the Middle East.
How Essential Oils Are Made
Essential oils are derived from a plethora of organic plant compounds. Fruits, roots, seeds, and leaves are all used in the process and the combinations create different aromas. Each different aroma remedies different health problems.
To access the beneficial aroma, you simply need to steam the plants. This separates the oils from water composites and creates a concentrated fragrant liquid. The effects depend heavily on the type of fruits or aromatic flowers used.
The list of benefits from using essential oils is long. It encompasses everything from better sleep to more revitalized skin. To get a general idea of some of the benefits, here are a few examples of specific aromas and their results.
- Lavender can positively influence REM sleep
- Ginger can mitigate nausea—popular among cancer patients and women experiencing strong symptoms of morning sickness
- Oranges can reduce anxiety
- Lemon can promote concentration
- Rosemary can help improve memory retention and reduce physical exhaustion
- Cinnamon can fight against mental fatigue
- Peppermint can give you a natural boost of invigorating energy
Additionally, the use of essential oils in general has overall positive health boosts. Research indicates that with continued use, they can:
- Boost your immune system
- Enrich your skin through nutrients and antioxidants released from the oils
- Help stimulate digestion
- Lower blood pressure
- Help fight against viral, bacterial, and fungal infections
How to Use
Thanks to the Egyptians, these ancient oils are still commonly used today. Some of our favorite ways to use them in our daily routines include:
- With a diffuser
- Inhaling the aroma from the bottle or after being rubbed between your palms
- Topical application on your pulse points
- Adding a few drops to your bath water
- Through an at-home massage
If you’re interested in using essential oils in your everyday life, it’s important to find the best products available. At Willow Massage + Spa, we recommend Young Living. Follow us on Facebook for more information on our Essential Oil Workshops. They’re held the first Monday of every month and will help you further discover how to improve your overall wellness.