What is aromatherapy? It is the use of essential oils (EO's) to benefit an individual physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Sense of Smell (Olfaction): Olfaction is the function that allows a direct connection to the brain thereby creating a sense of smell. There are sensory cells in the mucous membrane of the nasal cavity and the membrane is stimulated when chemical particles are dissolved in the mucous.
The olfactory nerve in the brain ends with the olfactory bulb. The olfactory bulb is located high in the roof of the nose (between the eyes) and just above a small bone in the skull that has tiny holes. When the smell receptors are stimulated in the nasal mucosa they enter the tiny holes where they enter the olfactory bulb in the brain. The signals are then carried to a part of the brain called the limbic system (the rhinencephalon) where the smells are then analyzed.
What you perceive as an odor, is really the chemical particles that were stimulated. The brain can analyze over 10,000 different fragrances. Our sense of taste can only register 4 types of taste. Therefore, without our sense of smell, food would taste fairly bland. So when you have a cold and your sense of smell is blocked, so is your sense of taste.
What are essential oils (EO's)? EO's are extracted from a variety of plant parts: flowers, leaves, resin, twigs and wood. How the EO is extracted depends on the plant part. EO's are extremely concentrated and should only be used in small quantities. Even though EO's are called oils, they do not have a greasy texture. They will range from a watery consistency to a syrup-like texture. If EO's are left open to the air, they will evaporate.
Use throughout the ages: EO's have a long history. They have been used for cosmetic, medicinal and religious purposes throughout the ages.
Botanical Name: Laurus nobilis
Aroma: Medium, fruity, herbacous and camphorous
Add'l Info: Amenorrhea (absence of menses), colds, flu, loss of appetite and throat problems such as tonsillitis
Botanical Name: Styrax tonkinensis
Aroma: Light, warm, penetrating, slightly woody and vanilla-like scent
Texture: Thick and difficult to work with
Color: Golden Brown
Add'l Info: Arthritis and joint conditions such as gout, bronchitis, stimulates circulation, chapped skin, coughing, laryngitis and stress
Botanical Name: Melaleuca leucodendron
Aroma: Penetrating medicinal odor, spicy-camphorous, warm scent. This oil comes from the same family as Tea Tree, but it is harsher and more camphoraceous in aroma
Texture: Thin, water-like liquid
Color: Clear to slightly pale yellow/green
Add'l Info: Can be irritating to the skin and mucous membranes. This oil should only be used under the care of a qualified aromatherapist. It is an antiseptic that has been used in dentistry and the pharmaceutical industry. It has also been used as an insect repellant.
Botanical Name: Cinnamomum camphora
Aroma: Strong, penetrating, fragrant odor, slightly cold to the touch like menthol leaves
Add'l Info: This EO should ONLY be used under the care of a qualified aromatherapist. This oil can cause convulsions and vomiting, seizures, mental confusion, irritability, and neuromuscular hyperactivity in addition to being a skin irritant. It also numbs peripheral sensory nerves. DO NOT use this EO if you are prone to epilepsy, asthma, pregnant or have high blood pressure
Botanical Name: Carum carvi
Aroma: Pleasant, aromatic odor
Texture: Warming and stimulating, thin
Add'l Info: This EO should ONLY be used under the guidance of a qualified aromatherapist. Can be irritating to the skin, especially sensitive skin types.
Botanical Name: Cedrus atlantica
Aroma: Medium, woody, sweet, balsamic.
Texture: Medium and somewhat oily
Color: Yellow with a golden hue
Add'l Info: Acne, arthritis, bronchitis, catarrhal conditions, coughing, cystitis, dandruff, dermatitis, repels moths and other insects, stress, urinary tract infections and used in perfumes. High dosages may cause skin irritations. DO NOT use if pregnant.
Botanical Name: Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Aroma: Rich, spicy, warm and aromatic
Color: Clear with a brownish hue
Add'l Info: Considered by the ancients one of the most aromatic spices. Thought to have been the spice used to anoint the Ark of the Covenant. Used for nausea, circulation, digestion, antiseptic, flavoring in foods and drinks and an ingredient in some dental products. Use with care and in small amounts. Avoid when pregnant.
Botanical Name: Salvia sclarea
Aroma: Medium, slightly fruity, earthy and herbaceous
Texture: Thin to Medium
Color: Light golden hue
Add'l Info: It is a warming, euphoric and powerful relaxing oil. Amenorrhea (absence of menses), anxiety, asthma, coughing, dysmenorrhea (painful menses), exhaustion, gas, labor pains, night sweats, sore throat, and stress. DO NOT use when your alertness is required such as driving, operating machinery or caring for children because it can cause drowsiness. Avoid if you are pregnant.
Botanical Name: Eugenia caryophyllata
Aroma: Warming and spicy
Color: Pale yellow
Add'l Info: DO NOT use with a massage oil because it can irritate the skin. This is a powerful oil and should be used with care. Known as a tooth remedy and has been used for stomach upsets and a food flavoring agent. Also used as an antiseptic for infections.
Botanical Name: Coriandrum sativum
Aroma: Sweet, slightly musky, spicy, warm, herbaceous. Similar to the dried Coriander seeds used in cooking.
Color: Clear to pale yellow
Add'l Info: Traditionally used as an ingredient of the liqueurs Chartreuse and Benedictine. Can cause drowsiness in large doses.
Botanical Name: Cupressus sempervirens
Aroma: Medium,herbaceous, slightly woody with an evergreen aroma
Color: Pale Yellow
Add'l Info: Arthritic conditions, excessive perspiration, hemorrhoids, insect repellent, menorrhagia (excessive menstrual bleeding), oily skin, varicose veins, has been used to treat whooping cough and used as an aftershave lotion and deodorant for men. DO NOT use during pregnancy. DO NOT use directly on varicose veins.
Botanical Name: Eucalyptus Globulus
Aroma: Cooling, camphoraceous, with a woody undertone
Texture: Thin and slightly oily
Add'l Info: Eucalyptus is great for massaging sore, aching muscles and as an energizing sports massage. It is one of the best antiseptic EO's and it is also an anti-viral agent. Works well on colds, catarrh, aches and pains. It is a stimulating oil. Has also been used on fevers, snake bites, arthritic conditions and used in saunas to cleanse the atmosphere. Popular in the pharmaceutical industry for inhalants and congestion. Use sparingly so as not to irritate the skin.
Botanical Name: Foeniculum vulgare
Aroma: Sweet, earthy and herbaceous
Color: Pale yellow
Add'l Info: Has been used for digestion, cellulite and obesity, as an antidote for snake bites and poisonous plants. Counter-balances alcohol poisoning. DO NOT use on young children or anyone with a history of nervous conditions of epilepsy. May cause a skin irritation on those with sensitive skin.
Botanical Name: Boswellia carterii
Aroma: Mild to medium, woody, balsamic, slightly spicy and fruity
Color: Light yellow
Add'l Info: Anxiety, asthma, bronchial and respiratory conditions, heavy coughing, scars, stress and stretch marks. Used in ritualistic and religious ceremonies. Useful EO for meditation and relaxation. Rejuvenates the skin.
Botanical Name: Zingiber officinale
Aroma: Medium, warm, spicy, earthy and woody
Color: Light yellow
Add'l Info: Achy and sore muscles, arthritic conditions, colds, flu, appetite stimulant, nausea and stimulates circulation. Can irritate the skin. DO NOT use if you are pregnant.
Botanical Name: Hyssopus officinalis
Aroma: Medium, earthy, fruity, woody, slightly sweet.
Add'l Info: Cuts and bruises, coughing and chest infections, sore throat. DO NOT use if you are pregnant, have epilepsy or high blood pressure. Use under the guidance of a qualified aromatherapist.
Botanical Name: Jasminum officinalis
Aroma: Strong, warm, floral with an exotic scent
Color: Deep brown with a golden hue
Add'l Info: Used for depression, dry skin conditions, exhaustion, labor pains and sensitive skin. Used as an aphrodisiac and strong sensual stimulant. Used in the cosmetic industry. DO NOT overuse or if you are pregnant.
Botanical Name: Juniperus communis
Aroma: Peppery, turpentine-like, balsamic and warm, smoky, woody, reminiscent of evergreen oils
Add'l Info: Detoxifying and cleansing. Useful for urinary tract infections, respiratory ailments and gastro-intestinal conditions. Avoid is you are pregnant. If used excessively it can cause inflammation to the kidneys or urine retention.
Botanical Name: Citrus limon
Aroma: Strong, similar to fresh lemon rinds only more concentrated.
Add'l Info: Used by the pharmaceutical industry for colds and flu. Used in cooking and cleaning. Athlete's foot, chiliblains, colds, corns, dull skin, flu, oily skin, spots, varicose veins and warts
Botanical Name: Cymbopogon citratus
Aroma: Light, fresh citrus scent with earthy notes.
Color: Yellow hue
Add'l Info: Used in traditional Indian medicine for infections and to reduce fevers. It is used as an antiseptic and has antibacterial qualities. Used for gastrointestinal conditions and as an insect repellent. Useful in cooking.
Botanical Name: Citrus reticulata or Citrus madurensis
Aroma: Medium, very sweet and citrusy
Texture: Thin [ back to top ]
**This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.