The knowledge about the healing power of the herbs is old. Since a clay distillation apparatus was found in a 5000-year-old Pakistani tomb, it has been known that herbs were already used to make essential oils - perhaps even for medical purposes, such as today's aromatherapy.
The aromatherapy with essential oils in the modern era by its name came from the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé, who dealt intensively with the plant essences. His findings on their healing effects he published in 1936 under the title "Aromatherapy".
Essential oils in aromatherapy
Essential oils are slightly evaporating (ethereal = volatile) vegetable oils with a typically aromatic scent. It is the monoterpenes contained in most oils that penetrate easily through cell membranes and can be detected in the blood after a few minutes. Are essential oils z. B. added to the bath water, they can be absorbed both through the skin, as well as the nasal and / or bronchial mucous membrane and so get over the blood to the organs.
Essential oils have a clear effect on the central nervous system and, above all, influence the mood. They can be both soothing and stimulating and have a positive influence on the mood. The smell creates a sensory stimulus that triggers emotions and memories and influences various bodily functions.
Essential oils sit as tiny oil droplets in or on the plant tissue. Depending on their solubility and the plant part to be processed, different methods are used for the production. Most common, however, is the steam distillation. Essential oils are mainly used as additives for expectorant inhalations (eg eucalyptus), in whole and partial baths, as compresses and wraps, as liniments (eg to promote skin circulation), as massage oil, medicines or in fragrance lamps.
Effect of essential oils
Essential oils can be used to treat nervousness and stress, as well as various illnesses. Depending on the situation, however, different aroma oils are recommended.
- Cold: In case of bronchial catarrh, sore throat, cough or runny nose put 1-2 drops of peppermint oil in a glass of water and drink in sips.
- Massage: Massage oil is mainly used for energy stimulation. For a relaxing massage oil, mix 6 tbsp almond oil and 2 tbsp jojoba oil with 25 drops of lavender oil, 10 drops of rosemary oil and 5 drops of peppermint oil.
- Stress, anxiety, restlessness: For a bath against stress, add 250 g Epsom salt, 5 drops of lavender oil, 5 drops of sandalwood oil and 5 drops of ylang-ylang oil to the bath water. Add the Epsom salt first, then the oils. Bath time about 20 minutes.
- Indigestion: Peppermint oil helps against belching and flatulence: Drink 1-2 drops of oil daily in fruit juice, tea or water. For inhalation, place 1-2 drops in a glass of hot water or dribble 2-3 drops on a tissue. Then inhale the steam or fragrance. An even faster against bloating is a piece of sugar cubes with 5 drops of anise oil. For babies, oil with caraway helps against flatulence: To do so, massage the baby's stomach clockwise with warm caraway oil.
Worth knowing about essential oils
Bath salts with essential oils are mixed quickly. However, they must never be given undiluted to the skin. To combine the effect of an oil with the care of the skin, a mixture of a few drops of essential oil and natural emulsifiers such as cream, milk or honey is suitable.
The oils should definitely meet high quality standards: essential for the quality is the purity. Diluted and thus stretched or synthetically produced oils can not achieve the full effect. To get good quality, it is best to contact pharmacies and designated resellers.
Attention: Essential oils can cause allergic reactions. You should be careful especially with babies and allergy sufferers.