06 July 2008


Aromatherapy is basically using the aroma of various plants and flowers for healing and general feeling of well being. One of the first things that interested me when I moved to Singapore was Aromatherapy. Not only is it de-stressing and relaxing but makes you feel good. Sense of smell has long since been associated to our moods, When we smell the aroma of our favorite food we feel hungry, When we go to the seaside and smell the salty air, we feel free, when we smell a bouquet of flowers we get bowled over by its fragrance. It has also been associated with attraction.

In India, women adorn their hair with flowers. The strand of Jasmine or a rose or any other fragrant flower not only works in enhancing her appearance but the fragrance emanating rejuvenates her spirits and the fragrance also works in attracting her man to her. The sense of smell plays a vital role in our sense of well-being and the quality of our life.
Then again there are scents we don’t like, for example a vegetarian when he smells fish cooking he smells the stink of dead fish, certain scents are very pleasing to some and very revolting to yet others. The fragrance of rose may be liked by some and maybe be abhorred by yet another. Some smells make us feel nostalgic and some we associate with bad memories. All in all, when it comes to scents, it appears we really do know what we like – once we learn what those likes (and dislikes) are and what they mean to us.

How do they prepare the Aroma therapy oils?
Essential oils are extracted from plants, flowers and fruits by steam distillation.
Absolutes – fragrant oils that have been extracted mainly from flowers or delicate plant tissues
Phytoncides - these are volatile organic compounds from plants that kill microbes (germs)
Hydrosols – the liquid by-product of the distillation process
Infusions – the liquid extracts of plant materials
Carrier oils – these are oils that are used to dilute essential oils so that they may be safely used on the skin

How does Aromatherapy work?
Essential oils are the most commonly used aromatherapy oils. The essential oil has a scent that has a therapeutic effect. Different essential oils have different effects. The healing properties of Essential Oils are capable of not only treating our physical bodies, they are renowned for enhancing our state of mind as well.
For general wellness, though, aromatherapy is a good way to soothe and stimulate the senses as well as the major regulatory systems of the body, and creates an overall sense of balance.
Not all essential oils are safe for use in aromatherapy. Some unsafe aromatherapy oils include bitter almond, mug worth, mustard, arnica, onion, pennyroyal, rue, garlic, horseradish and wormwood.
Ask your doctor before using essential oils on your body or in your home/ if you have chronic health problems or are pregnant.
If severe symptoms of depression, anxiety, or pain are experienced, see a physician, as they may be a sign of a larger problem.

Avoid The Following Oils When Pregnant:
Basil, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Fennel, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavendar, Marjoram, Myrrh, Rose, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme.

Avoid the following oils if you have Epilepsy:
Champhor, Fennel, Hyssop, Sage, and Rosemary.

How to store Aromatherapy oils?
Aromatherapy oils usually come in dark colored bottles to safeguard the essential oils from light which can damage it. Don’t buy oils if they don’t come in dark brown or blue bottles. Always store the bottles in a cool and dry place.

How to use Aromatherapy?
There are many ways to use and enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy. Essential oils can be added to humidifiers, vaporizers, candle wax, diffusers, and spray bottles of water, baths, light bulb rings, inhaled directly from the bottle or added to massage oils, bath oils, bath salts, powders or body lotions. Essential oils used properly can have very beneficial effects on your life.
And have fun with this ancient art that’s sure to brighten up (and freshen up) your home.

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