Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine and a branch of the phytotherapy, that uses essential oils from different parts of the plant, but mostly flowers, leafs and barks. The natural oils are used to relieve different illnesses and their symptoms.
The “father” of the aromatherapy is the French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse. He found out the lavender's healing power, while treating burns on his face and hands. This is when he started to research the ingredients of the lavender and other essential oils and how they affect the human body.
The ingredients in the plants are numerous, but most common are: inorganic salts, carbohydrates, proteins, anthraquinones, flavonoids, saponins, alkaloids, glycosides. The most important ingredient in the aromatherapy is the essential oil inside the plant. It is able to reduce muscle stiffness, stress, phobias, headache and treat sex dysfunction, skin problems, depression and other neurological disorders. The natural oils are able to stimulate the brain activity and increase the cognitive functions. Some of the most common ingredients inside the oils are: methyl salicylate, eugenol, menthol, thymol, linalool, linalyl acetate, phenyl ethanol.
One of the most discussed properties of the aromatherapy is their ability to treat different viral and bacterial infectious diseases. In 1977 the University of Utah proved the powerful antimicrobial property of the combination between 5 different natural oils – cloves, rosemary, lemon, eucalyptus and cinnamon. Only 10 minutes after their dispersal in the air in a closed room the level of the bacteria Micrococcus luteus was decreased by 82%, Pseudomonas aeruginosa by 96% and Staphylococcus aureus – by 44%.
The so called “aromagrams’ are evidence of the essential oil’s healing power. They are a lot like a classic antibiogram, used in microbiology, but instead of using antibiotics to inhibit the growth of the bacteria, they are using natural oils.
Widely used essential oils are:
Lavender – sedative, antiseptic, diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Chamomile – analgesic, antiseptic, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile oil also stimulates the regeneration of the liver and gall cells.
Lemon – it enhances immunity, improves concentration, treats acne, cellulites, headache, high temperature and digestion disorders.
Eucalyptus – antiseptic and diuretic properties. It reduces muscle pain, because of its cooling effect