19 Essential Oils for Beginners


Is Aromatherapy Herbalism?

No and yes. No, because they're different disciplines using botanical materials in different ways. Yes, because aromatherapy is used by many herbalists to complement an herbal treatment, or, in many cases, to complete it. Both disciplines use plants to support healing. Herbalists use a holistic approach, considering all aspects of a person's dis-ease. In using both herbal preparations(infusions, decoctions, tinctures, etc.) and essential oils (water-insoluble components of the plant), an herbalist can create a broader holistic approach to address imbalance.

19 Essential Oils For Beginners


Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to support healing. Essential oils are volatile substances extracted from plants, typically by a distillation process. Their properties aren't released in any significant amount in typical herbal preparations. Essential oils are comprised of numerous chemical constituents, with each chemical having a particular signature and mode of action. The majority of the constituents in essential oils are produced by the plants, either for their own protection, to attract pollinators, or to heal wounds. Their modes of action and therapeutic properties are also effective on humans, and we can use essential oils to affect our physical and emotional health.

Photo by Pixabay/erinstone

Over 100,000 aromas can be found in nature, but as humans, we can recognize only about 300. Receptors in our sinuses (the olfactory bulb) lead to the limbic system of the brain that corresponds to our emotions and feelings. When we inhale aroma molecules, we have a direct path to our emotions and memories. That's why when you smell certain aromas, such as a cake baking in the oven or a soup pot on the stove, it can bring you back to a different place and time. You have effectively experienced aromatherapy! This is a simple example for a complex healing art, but you get the point I’m sure.

Essential oils are most commonly administered aromatically via inhalation, and topically via absorption through the skin. Essential oils are rarely taken internally, and never without the supervision of a professional health care provider with extensive knowledge in the practice of aromatherapy and its effects on the body. Safe use of essential oils is paramount! Learn more about safety guidelines for aromatic, internal, and topical use as well as dilution recommendations in the article "Essential Oil Safety."

Many essential oils are antiviral and antibacterial and can be used in diffusers to help fight cold and flu infections as well as ease congestion. Essential oils with nervine properties can be used to calm anxiety, soothe headaches, and alleviate sleeplessness. The stimulating effect of some essential oils can be used to energize the mind and body, improve mental focus and memory, and ease mental fatigue.

D M Hutchinson
12/3/2017 5:08:08 PM

Well you may not ingest Essential Oils but I sure do. Along with over a million other ladies and there families. The key is education on Essential Oils and if you don't have the desire to do this then you shouldn't. Not all Essential Oils are created equal. Know the source the company acquires them from. The government does not regulate the industry. Do your research. To say that it is done rarely is not true. I use these oils to support a whole array of things in hopes of a better lifestyle. Often, not rarely.

3/26/2016 9:12:55 PM

Research has found that Sandalwood, Cedarwood & frankincense is good for brain power as it increases oxygen flow to the brain by 28%.

11/20/2015 7:53:31 AM

Essential oils and aromatherapy can do a lot of great things. You just need to know what you are buying and why. To learn more about essential oils and their benefits, I suggest visiting http://healingsolutions.com/ and checking their products.

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