How Does Essential Oil Play a Role In Aromatherapy?

How Does Essential Oil Play a Role In Aromatherapy?

It may be asked: do essential oil is aromatherapy?

This is a question that many people who are beginning to touch essential oils will ask. Is that right? Let's talk about it together.

René-Maurice Gattefossé
The "aromatherapy" was first coined in 1928 by Gattefossé, a French chemist working in his family's perfumer business. 
He became fascinated with the therapeutic possibilities of the oils after discovering by accident that lavender was able to rapidly heal a severe burn on his hand and help prevent scarring.
He also found that many of the essential oils were more effective in their totality than their synthetic substitutes or their isolated active ingredients.
As early as 1904 Cuthbert Hall had shown that the antiseptic power of eucalyptus oil in its natural form was stronger than its isolated main active constituent, "eucalyptol" or "cineol".



Another French doctor and scientist, Dr Jean Valnet, used essential oils as part of his program by which he was able to successfully treat specific medical and psychiatric disorders, the results of which were published in 1964 as Aromatherapie.

The work of Valnet was studied by Madame Marguerite Maury who applied his research to her beauty therapy, in which she aimed to revitalize her clients by creating a

"strictly personal aromatic complex which she adapted to the subject's temperament and particular health problems. Hence, going far beyond any simple aesthetic objective, perfumed essences when correctly selected, represent many medicinal agents."


In some respects, the word "aromatherapy" can be misleading because it suggests that it is a form of healing which works exclusively through our sense of smell, and on the emotions. This is not the case for, apart from its scent, each essential oil has an individual combination of constituents which interacts with the body's chemistry in a direct manner, which then in turn affects certain organs or systems as a whole.

For example, when the oils are used externally in the form of a massage treatment, they are easily absorbed via the skin and transported throughout the body. This can be demonstrated by rubbing a clove of garlic on the soles of the feet; the volatile oil content will be taken into the blood and the odor will appear on the breath a little while later.



It is therefore important to recognize that essential oils have three distinct modes of action with regard to how they inter-relate with the human body:

A. Pharmacological

The pharmacological effect is concerned with the chemical changes which take place when an essential oil enters the bloodstream and reacts with the hormones and enzymes etc.

B. Physiological

the physiological mode is concerned with the way in which an essential oil affects the systems of the body, whether they are sedated or stimulated, etc

C. Psychological

the psychological effect takes place when an essence is inhaled, and an individual responds to its odor.

With relation to the first two points, aromatherapy has a great deal in common with the tradition of medical herbalism or phytotherapy – in other words, it is not simply the aroma which is important but also the chemical interaction between the oils and the body, and the physical changes which are brought about.

Now we have confirmed that aromatherapy mainly depends on the efficacy of essential oils, which can affect the body, including physiology, pharmacology and psychology.

From another point of view, essential oils are the essence of aromatherapy.

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