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10 facts you should know about aromatherapy

Find out more about aromatherapy, a type of alternative medicine where you just have to smell to get well.

aromatherapyA type of alternative medicine, just like Ayurveda or homoeopathy, aromatherapy relies on the use of essential oils and other aromatic plant compounds which are aimed at improving a person's health and mood. In this post, we tell you 10 things you need to know about this alternative therapy.

1. You just have to smell to get well

Yes, you won't have to take any pills, drink a concoction or consume anything at all. All you need to do is dab some oil in a tissue or sprinkle some on a pillow and sniff it.

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2. The oils are created by extracting tiny droplets from virtually every part of the plant

Essential oils are present as tiny droplets between plant cells. These droplets are aromatic in nature, and are extracted from flowers, grass, seeds, herbs, peel of citrus fruits, leaves, bark and roots. Read more about the practice and principles of aromatherapy.

3. The oils are not cheap

These oils are extremely expensive as the process of creating them is slow, laborious and expensive. Over 30 roses are used to produce a single drop of rose oil, and a litre of this liquid can cost as much as Rs 4-5 Lakh.

4. These oils contain the plant's vital essence

The reason these oils have so many therapeutic properties is because they contain the plant's vital essence. These are the oils that protect the plant from climatic changes, pests, diseases, etc and research is increasingly demonstrating their efficacy for humans too!

5. The form of treatment is highly personalised

A scent that might work for one person, may not work for another. A person prone to acidity, anger, ulcers, fever, etc. will benefit from cooling and calming oils such as gardenia, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, etc. whereas a person prone to headaches, nervous anxiety, insomnia, etc. will benefit from warm, energizing oils such as camphor. Read more about how you can understand your dosha according to Ayurveda.

6. The 'more is better' theory doesn't work here

Using a lot of oil doesn't help, and the overpowering aroma can unsettle you and others living with you. Use only the amount recommended by your therapist as it is expensive and adding more oil will not speed your recovery.

7. You could use these oils to treat a variety of ailments

There are various oils used in Aromatherapy that could treat a variety of ailments like indigestion, insomnia, acne, aches, anxiety, etc. Besides these, you could also use these oils to arouse erotic sensuality, sharpen memory or even expand your consciousness. Read more about alternative therapies that originated in India.

8. Firms in Japan are pumping these oils through air conditioning to improve employee efficiency

Aromatherapy is growing at a fast rate, and many firms in Japan are pumping aromatherapy oils such as lemon and rosemary through the air-cooling systems to improve employee efficiency especially during periods when employee efficiency is low.

9. These oils can be used in hospitals and crowded public places to prevent airborne infections

Aromatherapy oils can also be used to improve public healthcare. They have air-purifying, anti-viral, antibacterial and antiseptic properties which make them ideal for vaporizing in hospitals and crowded public places to prevent airborne infections.

10. Hospitals and universities are researching further on the use of aromatherapy oils

Renowned hospitals and universities across the world are validating the use of aromatherapy oils by conducting research on it and using it in their treatments. For example, some hospitals in Oxford, England have replaced chemical sedatives with essential oil blends like lavender, geranium and cardamom oil.

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