Lavender, lemon balm, eucalyptus – these are just among the common essential oils used to administer aromatherapy. But, what really is this method and what does it do to the body and how does it help improve one’s life?
Aromatherapy is the kind of alternative medicine which mainly utilizes a variety of volatile plant materials and their essential oils along with the rest of their aromatic compounds to improve a person’s mood, one’s cognitive function, and promote better health. In this time and age, aromatherapy oils are used by a lot of people to alter the condition of how their bodies feel especially after all the stress brought about by their own lifestyle.
When the term “aromatherapy” is heard, the first thing that springs to mind is a massage parlor or a spa. After all, these are usually the establishments that integrate the use of this alternative medicine in their aim of providing service to people who seek relaxation.
Aromatherapy application falls under three vital categories. They are:
– Aerial diffusion. It is used to promote environmental fragrance while at the same time disinfecting the air in a specific premise.
– Direct inhalation. This is the mode used for the promotion of cure from various types of illnesses.
– Topical application. This aims to promote therapeutic skin care by means of massages.
So, how are the essential oils created? There are three basic methods. They are cold pressing, steam distillation, and solvent extraction.
Cold pressing is the mechanical method of pressing the oils from the peels of the fruit. However, the only ones used in this oil extraction process are the organic fruits since the non-organic ones are normally treated with pesticides and they get concentrated in the oils. The expressed oils are considered to be highly therapeutic and compared to the others, are less costly.
Steam distillation is so far the most conventional and mostly used method. The distillation procedure starts with the use of boilers that heat purified water to create the steam. The steam passes through a stainless steel chamber which contains the plant material. The aromatherapy oils are then released into the air that fuses with the steam and goes upwards into an entire system of pipes which is otherwise known as the condenser. Cold water is used to cool the steam which later condenses into a mixture of essential oils and water. After which, a separation device is utilized for the collection of the oil from the water.
Hydrocarbon solvent extraction is used to distill plants or flowers that contain only small quantities of oil and can’t be easily processed through steam distillation. The concrete product which is a mixture of resin, essential oil, wax, and plant material is distilled with grain alcohol to be able to extract the pure essential oil.
Needless to say, people love the benefits of the use of aromatherapy oils. The essential oils created out of the herbs are able to affect a part of the brain which therefore helps control the emotions, blood pressure, heartbeat, and behavior. Thus, the effect of which is calmness of the body.