Aromatherapy is based on the beneficial properties of plant essences to produce results on our psychophysical health: this is how it was born
Aromatherapy is a branch of holistic (or alternative) medicine that is based on the potential of the sense of smell to improve the quality of our life and produce soothing effects on health. The extraction of cold-pressed essential oils from plants makes it a branch of herbal medicine that exploits the properties of flowers and vegetables to derive the most disparate benefits that vary, precisely, based on the oil used.
Contrary to popular belief, aromatherapy is not only linked to fragrances, but also performs its functions through topical applications (massages, wraps, pure applications), inhalations and oral. Although not scientifically recognized as a therapy, this discipline can improve the quality of life and have small beneficial effects on health.
Aromatherapy was born in conjunction with human cultures around the world, carried out above all by the importance that herbs have always held within culture and medicine. Loved for their organoleptic, soothing, spiritual and sometimes even medicinal characteristics, plants were considered fundamental tools of everyday life, secrets of beauty and long life. The ancients were therefore aware of the correlation between the perfume and flavor of plants and their possible beneficial effects on the body, and they produced creams or ointments for massages and special ablutions. Some scholars argue that the theory behind the distillation of essential oils was already known in Arabia around the year 1000 AD, but there is no evidence of this thesis until the early Middle Ages.
In the 1920s, the French chemist René Maurice Gettefossé revived the theories and practices of antiquity regarding natural treatments, studying the potential applications of lavender to relieve the wounded of the First World War. The first real text on aromatherapy, however, arrived only in 1964, thanks to the doctor Jean Valnet who could be considered the father of modern discipline.
What is aromatherapy for?
Aromatherapy is a practice that, in modernity, is mainly based on the use and possible applications of essential oils. Many naturopaths turn to extracts (strictly cold) of plants in search of analgesics, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory natural to find relief from small problems of physical and mental health. Although not a valid substitute for medicine, aromatherapy is able to integrate and harmonize perfectly with everyone's life, and improve the mood and quality of life of those who use it. The scent of a clean room, a bouquet of fresh flowers or a cake in the oven evoke pleasant memories and positive thoughts in our mind that help us reduce stress and daily anxieties.
Among the many benefits of aromatherapy, we mention:
- Improvement of mood and optimism;
- Reduction of anxiety and stress;
- Improvement of sleep quality and quantity;
- Reduction of muscle pain;
- Reduction of menstrual pain;
- Improvement of digestive functions;
- Support against menopause problems;
Each plant releases its characteristic aroma and is traditionally associated with specific benefits that support us every day. The right plant, used at the right time, can really help us feel good.