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Introduction and benefits of aromatherapy - Mālama

Introduction and benefits of aromatherapy

How to integrate aromatherapy in your daily life to improve your overall well-being. Learn the safety rules, how they effect your body and find the best way for you to use them.

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    The origins of aromatherapy

    Aromatherapy has been practiced for thousands of years in different cultures. It dates back to the ancient Egyptians, where essential oils were used for religious ceremonies, beauty treatments, and embalming the dead.

    The Greeks and Romans also used aromatherapy for its therapeutic benefits. In the Middle Ages, aromatherapy gained more popularity and was widely used in Europe for medicinal purposes, such as during the Plague, where essential oils were used as disinfect the aire and prevent the spread of diseases.

    Paracelsus, a Swiss physician, introduced in the 16th century the concept of using of "like cures like" in medicine, which paved the way for the use of essential oils.

    The modern era of aromatherapy began with the work of René-Maurice Gattefossé, a French chemist. In 1910, he accidentally burned his hand while working in his laboratory and instinctively plunged it into a container of lavender oil. To his surprise, the burn healed wuickly without scarring. This opened the doors to him to study the therapeutic properties of essential oils and develop the term "aromatherapy".

    What are essential oils?

    Essential oils are extracted from different parts of plants, including flowers, leaves, bark, tools and roots through distillation or cold-pressing. They contain the natural scent and therapeutic properties of the plant and are highly concentrated, which makes them potent and effective.

    Each essential oil has its unique properties, and some can be used for multiple purposes. For example, lavender oil is known for its calming and relaxing properties and is often used to promote restful sleep or reduce stress and anxiety. Lemongrass oil, on the other hand, is known for its energizing and invigorating properties and can be used to improve focus and concentration. Understanding the properties of different essential oils is essential to using them effectively. To use essential oils safely, it's important to understand their potency and how they should be diluted before use.

    How essential oils are made

    In general, essential oils can be a natural and effective way to support overall health and well-being. However, it is important to know that they can be very potent as essential oils are highly concentrated oils extracted from plants and flowers. Therefore, we always recommend consulting a healthcare specialist for individual treatment.

    Skin allergy test:
    It is always recommended by experts to perform a skin patch test before using essential oils. To do so, dilute your essential oil in any carrier oil like jojoba oil, coconut oil or avocado oil. Gently rub that mixture on your skin and allow it to absorb completely. Wait for the next 24 to 48 hours to see any sign of an allergic reaction. If no response happens, then it should be safe to use. We always recommend doing a skin allergy test with a healthcare specialist.

    The essential oil concentration should be at most 5 percent so that you can add 30 drops in 30 ml of carrier oil.

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