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What are Essential Oils? How do they work?

One of the most traditional and yet growing areas of medical health care lies in alternative medicines. None perhaps more so popular and well known as aromatherapy, but what exactly is it? What does it involve?

Well the short answer to that is the blending and/or burning of essential oils. But the real wonder behind this practice is the essential oils themselves. Essential oils are extracted from plants through distillation, giving them the fragrance and specific health traits of that particular source.

The benefits are largely felt through inhalation, as the essential oils fumes, when heated; stimulate the olfactory nerves which in turn

aromasend signals to the brains limbic system. This then sets off either an emotional, physiological, hormonal or an immune system response from the body. It is from this that we get the therapeutic effects of the oils. However essential oils can also be applied and benefited from though ingestion or skin application, but they must be heavily diluted down with either water or a base/carrier oil as pure essential oils are very concentrated and can cause damage. It is important to follow recipe instructions when using the oils.

There are hundreds of different types of essential oils, and seemingly endless combinations. All of them have some sort of benefit which can help treat or ease a vast array of conditions. Please bear in mind they do not cure illnesses or diseases, simply act as a helping hand.

Despite the array of essential oils available there are some particularly common and useful specifics which offer a nice range of emotional and medicinal benefits. Lavender essential oil is a particularly popular choice out there largely for that reason. It is used as a relaxant, a treatment for colds and the flu, and also eases arthritic pain. There are some that have more skin orientated benefits; lemon essential oil for example is incredibly good at cleansing and revitalising the skin; treating acne, cellulite whilst generally reinvigorating the pores. The multi-functional nature of these oils gives you much choice and creative licence.


There are also organic oil equivalents on the market which have been extracted from plants that have been grown without the use of pesticides or any other chemicals as certified by the UK soil association.


If you have a good understanding of what essential oils are and how they work it means that you can have a much more enjoyable and ultimately more fulfilling experience of aromatherapy.


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