Theraputic use of Essential Oils

Aromatherapy, also referred to as Essential Oil therapy, can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.  It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.

Even though essential oils have been around for centuries, dating back to the early Egyptians and it was the French perfumer and chemist, Rene- Maurice Gattefosse, who coined the term “aromatherapie” in 1937 with his publication of a book by that name. His book “Gattefosse’s Aromatherapy” contains early clinical findings for utilizing essential oils for a range of physiological ailments and he clearly intended to distinguish the medicinal application of essential oils from their perfumery applications.

So we can interpret his coining of the word “Aromatherapie” to mean the therapeutic application or the medicinal use of aromatic substances (essential oils) for holistic healing. As the practice of aromatherapy has progressed, over the years, it has adopted a more holistic approach encompassing the whole body, mind and spirit (energy).

These oils not only smell wonderful, but they actually heal at the cellular level. Despite their name, essential oils are not oils but are aromatic, volatile substances or essences extracted from plants and parts such as seeds, flowers, fruit, stems, bark, roots and leaves by distillation or expression. It may take hundreds of pounds of flowers and leaves to distill one batch of pure essential oil. They have hundreds of uses for everything from minor ailments such as a paper cut or minor burn to large ailments like cancer.