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Aromatherapy Awareness Week 12 - 16th June

AromatherapyEvery year the International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA) runs Aromatherapy Awareness Week to bring recognition of the benefits of Aromatherapy and its role in the health and well-being of the nation. This year the theme is focused on aromatherapy and mental health due to worrying statistics that one in six adults has or has had a common mental disorder. Since 2000 rates of these disorders has increased in women however is stable in men and even more worryingly UK based statistics now show that 10% of children and young people have a mental health problem.

Therapeautic benefits of essential oils has been known since ancient times and have been used by medical practitioners in Europe since the early 20th Century. But how can aromatherapy help mental health?

One study on ‘The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy for Depressive Symptoms’ looked into the growing popularity of aromatherapy for alleviating depressive symptoms; this included inhaled aromatherapy and massage aromatherapy. The conclusions drawn from this study were that ‘Aromatherapy showed potential to be used as an effective therapeutic option for the relief of depressive symptoms in a wide variety of subjects. Particularly, aromatherapy massage showed to have more beneficial effects than inhalation aromatherapy.’ 1.

Aromatheray involves the use of volatile plant materials, which we would call essential oils, and this is what can be inhaled by patients. It can be quite complex involving carrier oils, herbal distillates, vaporizer oils and phytoncides. One important part of aromatherapy is synergy, which is where many essential oils are combined to create a more powerful effect.

There are many other health benefits of aromatherapy:

  • Stress Relief – This is probable the most popular use of aromatherapy as the aromatic compounds from many essential oils are known as relaxants. The best essential oils for stress relief are lemon oil, lavender, bergamot, peppermint, vetiver and ylang ylang.
  • Antidepressant qualities – Another common use for aromatherapy which many people turn to due to suffering with side effects of pharmaceutical antidepressant drugs. While best used in conjunction with psychological help or counseling the best oils to use are peppermint, chamomile, lavender and jasmine.
  • Improving Memory – Aromatherapy has been used to supplement treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and studies have also shown that it is effective on younger patients to boost their memory capacity for a period of time after the treatment. Sage oil is commonly used for this.
  • Boost Energy – We could all use more energy with the hectic lives we live now but rather than turning to stimulants like coffee or caffeine pills which can be damaging to the body why not try something more natural instead? Many oils are known to increase circulation and raise energy for example black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, angelica, jasmine, tee tree, rosemary and sage.
  • Increasing Healing Rates – Many essential oils are stimulants so can increase the rate of healing in the whole body due to increased oxygen and blood flow in the body. Some oils also have anti-microbial properties which protect the body during the delicate healing process. Use lavender, calendula, rosehip and buckthorn for this reason.
  • Difficulty Sleeping – You may have heard that putting lavender under your pillow or drinking chamomile tea before bed will help you sleep…and its true! These essential oils along with jasmine, benzoin, neroli, rose, sandalwood, sweet marjoram and ylang ylang have a natural sedative effect on the body and help you to get a more balanced sleep!
  • Pain Relief – This is one of the most useful applications of aromatherapy. Many people would rather not take pain medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen due to the side effects on the body so this is a great alternative! Top oils for pain relief include lavender, chamomile, sage, juniper, eucalyptus, rosemary and peppermint.

If you choose to use aromatherapy to benefit you in any way remember to consult a professional, buy your oils from approved sources. We have been selling oils for over 20 years now so give us a call if you want to know more and by the way don’t attempt to mix oils yourself!

 

Resources:

1. Effectiveness of Aromatherapy for Depressive Symptoms: A Systematic Review

10 Amazing Benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy Awareness Week

 

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