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Aromatherapy, the 'soul' of plants

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Essential oils extracted from plants contain chemical substances with beneficial health properties. Discover all that aromatherapy can do for your physical and mental well-being.

Aromatherapy, the 'soul' of plants

Essential oils extracted from plants contain chemical substances with beneficial health properties. Discover all that aromatherapy can do for your physical and mental well-being.

Aromatherapy, what is?

Known as aromatherapy using essential oils of plants for medicinal purposes. And what are essential oils? It's chemical substances present in plants - leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, roots and bark-, which are those that produce their characteristic aroma. As its name suggests, essential oils are the essence - the 'soul' - of the plant, and are the result of a series of chemical reactions that occur in plants.
The term aromatherapy was used for the first time in 1928, and the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefosé coined it. But aromatherapy did not arise at the beginning of the last century, but that it is much older, since for centuries, and throughout many countries and cultures - Egyptians, Sumerians, Babylonians, Arabs, Greeks, and Romans, among others, already used herbs and their extracts for curative purposes-, essential plant oils have been used therapeutically, either through inhalation, either by applying them to the skin.
However, despite the significant and proven benefits than plants in general, and these oils in particular, produce in our health, aromatherapy is not considered as a branch of traditional medicine.
There is a direct relationship between what smell and our State of mind. The reason is that when an odour enters through the nose, it stimulates the olfactory nerves, which act by sending these odours, in the form of chemical signals, the brain, specifically the hypothalamus and limbic system, being this last charge of the modulation of the basic emotions. Depending on the type of oil used, the feeling that triggers can be soothing or stimulating.
Therefore, it is not surprising that there is a branch of psychology that study the impact that have the smells on the human mind, or why it is frequent that we relate our memories and feelings with certain smells.

Properties and benefits of aromatherapy

Used in aromatherapy essential oils have important anti-infective properties (antibacterial and antiviral), anti-inflammatory and fungicidal. For this reason, they tend to be used as a complement to traditional treatments in situations such as:
· The immune system imbalances: such as infections and related diseases, mainly, with the Airways.
· Alterations in nervous system such as anxiety, depression, tachycardia or emotional imbalances.
· Dermatologic infections such as, for example, psoriasis, eczema, or even in processes of healing or acne.
In addition to these applications, other outstanding benefits of aromatherapy are:
· Reduces thestress, helps to counteract the insomnia, depression and anxiety, and at the same time it is a potent stimulant and even aphrodisiac.
· It relieves pain due to its analgesic effects, and also is antihistamine and Enhancer of defenses.
· The Properties antioxidants from plants do that this therapy will also help to prevent Aging of the cells.
While traditional medicine does not openly recognize the benefits of aromatherapy, there are many medical specialists that recommend this technique as a complement to their treatments to their patients.
In this sense, there are studies that demonstrate the improvements that produces this therapy, for example, in cancer patients. On the one hand, because the treatments with Aromatherapy decreases the levels of stress and depression that often these patients, contributing to improve both their psychological state and their quality of life. On the other hand, because the aromatherapy influences and enhances the immune system, key part for the recovery of these patients.

Contraindications of aromatherapy

Not everything is the aromatherapy benefits, due to the high concentration of essential oils, it is convenient to take into account a series of precautions when it comes to its use. For example, it is not recommended to apply them in their pure on the skin, they can cause burns, so it is necessary to dilute in water or in other oils known as bases.
It is not good that they come into contact with the eyes or ingest them. In the case of children, you should always use with great restraint and under medical supervision. As for pregnant women, it is not suitable to undergo this type of therapy because some oils can cause uterine contractions.
It is important to be always in the hands of specialists, they have mastered the technique and know which oils are best suited to treat our condition. In addition, it is necessary to make sure that I don't have allergy to products that will be used during the session, although in the case of natural substances, also can cause an allergic reaction.
Always, of course, you tell the aromatherapist if we suffer any illness or disorder, or if we are following a medical treatment. People with diseases of the respiratory, such as asthma or chronic lung diseases should consult your doctor about the convenience of attending these sessions.

How is an aromatherapy session

Prior to attending an aromatherapy session you must take into account that it is not one massage either. You have to be aware of that during the time that lasts not can you think of anything you're not you and your well-being. Therefore, our advice is that you book a space of time before, during, and after the session, to assimilate the benefits that this will bring you.
In general, the session begins when the specialist analyzes our general health status, i.e., physical or psychological problems they have and depending on this, guide the session to the treatment of diseases that affect us.
After checking that odors given off by the essential oils that supposedly should benefit us actually have a positive effect on us, that is, that does not displease us, massage will begin.
This massage involves the application of five essential oils along with an oil carrier or base in those affected areas. If we respond positively to the massage, i.e., if we experience a pleasant and relaxing feeling, the aromatherapist will continue using this blend of oils in the following sessions until our health problem has been mitigated.
There are almost as many essential oils as plants in nature, so it is almost impossible to list them all. Then we offer you a brief list of ailments, and some of the essential oils that are recommended to relieve each one of them:
· Acidity of stomach: Chamomile, lavender, lemon balm and Rosemary.
· Acne: Chamomile, Sage, violet and Marigold.
· Anemia: lemon, tooth of Lion, Rosemary, Sage and thyme.
· Anxietyanddepression: basil, bergamot, jasmine, vanilla, Valerian, lavender, pink and cedar.
· Asthmaandbronchitis: thyme, eucalyptus, Rosemary, lavender and pine.
· Scars andbruises: rosehip, tree tea, Marigold, cedar, geranium, jasmine and Sage.
The duration of sessions and the number of times that they must carry out will depend on your ailments and what you consider specialist. In some cases a single session just to make you feel good, but you may also need several to relieve all symptoms.
Regarding the price of this therapy, it ranges approximately between 20 euros per session of 30 minutes of duration to treat ailments very localised (back, feet, neck...), up to the 60 euros for therapies of one hour or 75 minutes long, in which make whole body massages.
Artigo fornecido para fins educacionais
Saúde e Bem-Estar


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