There is an extra ordinary connection between the Mind, the Body & the Soul and aromatherapy can knit them all together.
The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy defines aromatherapy as “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted essential oils (aromatic essences) from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind, and spirit.” As a form of alternative medicine, it is used to enhance physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Aromatherapy has a lot of proven benefits to mind and body. Just the way we practice yoga and meditation to calm and relax our body and mind, similarly by simply inhaling these aromas, the body will experience numerous relaxing effects. Whether it is insomnia, anxiety, depression, stress or even chronic pain, aromatherapy has been looked at.
How are Essential oils made?
Popular extraction methods include: Steam Distillation, Solvent Extraction, CO2 Extraction, Maceration (that’s the aforementioned crushing), Enfleurage (as the name indicates, this method is often used for flowers), Cold Press Extraction, and Water Distillation.
- The method of extraction affects essential oil quality by way of pressure and temperatures applied, as well as any chemicals used in the process.
- It can take an extraordinary amount of plant material to produce a very tiny amount of essential oil.
- Some extraction methods are best suited to particular plant types and parts; for example, Cold Press extraction is better than Enfleurage for obtaining oils from citrus fruit peels, because the peels need to be pierced and squeezed, which is not achievable through Enfleurage.
Steam distillation: Most pure essential oils are extracted from plants through this method. Freshly picked plants are suspended over boiling water, and the steam pulls the oils out of the plant. The steam rises, is captured in a vessel, and is pushed along tubing. Then the steam is rapidly cooled, causing it to condense back into water. Since water and essential oils do not mix, the two separate, and the essential oil is collected.
How do Essential oils work?
The Science: When inhaled, essential oil molecules bind with our olfactory system receptor hairs that then send them via neurons to the olfactory bulb under the frontal lobe of the brain, which then sends them throughout the body via the limbic, endocrine, and autonomic nervous system. They travel towards the midbrain, onward to the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, pineal gland, medula oblongata, sympathetic chain, and thyroid down the spinal cord to the rest of the body.
When applied topically, essential oils penetrate the skin through pores and hair follicles, where they are absorbed by tiny capillaries where they enter the microcirculatory system and travel throughout the body until they are excreted via urine, feces, perspiration, or exhalation.
When ingested in food/drinks or capsule form, the essential oils are directly absorbed into the olfactory system, bloodstream, and digestive tract. Essential oils act quicker than other pill forms, because they are already broken down into their smallest digestible state. Less energy is needed to metabolize essential oils than traditional medicines.
The Layman’s Terms: When inhaled, essential oils go straight to the brain where they travel down the spinal cord, and disperse throughout the rest of the body visiting all your cell glands, nerves, and body systems. When applied to the skin, they are absorbed into the bloodstream where they are distributed visiting all your cell organs, tissues, and body systems. When taken by mouth, they are absorbed through your nose to the brain, and through the tongue to your bloodstream. So when inhaled, topically applied or consumed, essential oil boosts the mood to a healthy human body frequency which aids to soothe, calm and relax the mind, body and thus the inner soul.
Essential oil that suits you
Another important element of aromatherapy is synergy. This refers to the blending to two or more essential oils; “syn” meaning together and “ergon” means work. When essential oils are blended together, the chemical constituents in individual oil can have a mutually enhancing effect on the others. Synergy blends have been created in order to promote even more health benefits are more specific, such as for relaxing, sensual, alertness, respiratory or applications for use in pain. During pregnancy take caution while you use essential oils, but when diluted there are a few that are safe.
Some examples of the best synergy blends include:
- Peppermint, Lemon and Rosemary for mental clarity
- Grapefruit and Peppermint for energy
- Sage, Lavender and Ylang Ylang for stress relief
- Bergamot, Geranium, and Lavender for a mood lifter
So if you are feeling down, want to elevate pain, soothe your anxiety or want a way to invoke inner peace, aromatherapy might be just what you need.
We at SoulPure formulate recipes with essential oils and essential oil blends to bring a complete sense of well-being.
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