Aromatherapy has been practised for many centuries, with civilisations such as the Greeks and Egyptians believing in the powerful health benefits of theses fragrant herb and plant scents.
Today, we’re using it to treat body and mind, and are even super-charging skincare with its benefits.
How we inhale it
Aromatherapy involves inhaling concentrated essential oils or applying them to the skin through a carrier oil such as almond. When you breathe in these scent molecules, they travel to the nose where they come in contact with specialised olfactory nerve cells. These have tiny hairs which recognise a specific aroma, and produces a nerve impulse than then travel to the limbic system – the part of the brain related to emotions and instincts.
How we absorb it
Essential oil molecules are so small they can penetrate the skin and be absorbed into the bloodstream. Don’t apply the concentrated version directly to skin; instead, add drops to a warm bath or diffuser. Once in the bloodstream, some oils have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, or anti-inflammatory properties too, and can help reduce stress and boost feelings of wellbeing.
Ways to use it
Adding essential oils to a diffuser, steamer, or to your bathwater is one of the easiest ways to incorporate aromatherapy into your daily routine. Antibacterial and antifungal essential oils such as lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint and orange are a great way of keeping your respiratory system healthy.
Handpicked article: Three ways with peppermint