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Aromatherapy and Essential Oils

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1 Aromatherapy and Essential Oils
Unit 4 Assignment Jodie Szmagalski HW499: Bachelor’s Capstone in Health and Wellness Kaplan University

2 Overview What is Aromatherapy? What Are Essential Oils? The History
The Effect Aromatherapy Has on Mind and Body Scientific Evidence Common and Useful Essential Oils A to Z Risks and Contraindications Where to Receive Aromatherapy? Conclusion

3 How Does Aromatherapy Work?
What is Aromatherapy? “Aromatherapy, or essential oils therapy, is using a plant's aroma-producing oils (essential oils) to treat disease.” ( The use of Essential oils to be inhaled, infused in the air or applied to the skin via massage or adding to bath water. How Does Aromatherapy Work? The inhalation or application of essential oils trigger the nerve receptors in the nose and communicate to portions of the brain to create specific effect such as relaxation, sleep, energy, happiness and healing. “The oils are thought to interact with the body's hormones and enzymes to cause changes in blood pressure, pulse, and other body functions.” (

4 What Are Essential Oils?
“The term “essential oil” is a contraction of the original “quintessential oil.” This stems from the Aristotelian idea that matter is composed of four elements, namely, fire, air, earth, and water. The fifth element, or quintessence, was then considered to be spirit or life force.” ( Essential oils are produced by the distillation, evaporation and extraction of oils from a variety of plants, this includes seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruit, ect.

5 History Aromatherapy dates for thousands of years and used worldwide for it’s healing powers. Ancient Egypt – hieroglyphics Eastern Medicine – Manuscripts Bible – “There are 188 references to essential oils” (Higley, 2013). Ayurvedic – India’s traditional medical practice, dates 5,000 years. Modern Usage- Mass production of oils, used for massage, bath, diffusion, ingestion and more.

6 The Effects Aromatherapy has on Mind and Body
Essential oils contain a substance referred to as sesquiterpenes that have the ability to go beyond the blood-brain barrier, the membrane that protects the cerebrospinal fluid from damaging substances. (Higley, 2013). Some essential oils promote an increase of oxygen to the limbic system of the brain, which then increases secretion of antibodies, endorphins and neurotransmitters. (Higley, 2013). Essential oils also can reach the area of the brain that releases emotional trauma. (Higley, 2013).

7 Scientific Evidence There have been many case studies involving live patients and the use of Aromatherapy. Nausea and Vomiting- Lab testing with several different patients from Oncology to Pregnancy. Results were less nausea and vomiting with less use of conventional medicine. (A Brief Review of Current Scientific Evidence Involving Aromatherapy Use for Nausea and Vomiting, 2012). Mood, Physiology and Behavior- “18 studies meeting stringent empirical criteria were then analyzed in detail and it was found that credible evidence that odors can affect mood, physiology and behavior exists.” (Aromatherapy Facts and Fictions: A Scientific Analysis of Olfactory Effects on Mood, Physiology and Behavior, 2009). Treatment of Lower Back Pain- Many different medicines and drugs were used such as NSAIDS and the Essential oils Capsaicin, Peppermint and Wintergreen, both were said to be effectively the same. (Treatment of Low Back Pain: The Potential Clinical and Public Health Benefits of Topical Herbal Remedies, 2014).

8 Essential Oils A to Z Basil Uplifting, refreshing, clarifying, aiding concentration Bergamot Refreshing, uplifting Chamomile Refreshing, relaxing, calming, soothing, balancing Cedarwood Sedating, calming, soothing, strengthening Clary sage Warming, relaxing, uplifting, calming, causing euphoria Cypress Relaxing, refreshing, providing astringent qualities Eucalyptus Head clearing, providing antiseptic and decongestant properties, invigorating Fennel Providing carminative properties, easing wind and indigestion Frankincense Relaxing, rejuvenating, easing breathing, dispelling fears Geranium Refreshing, relaxing, balancing, harmonizing Hyssop Providing decongestant properties Jasmine Relaxing, soothing, building confidence Lavender Refreshing, relaxing, providing therapeutic qualities, calming, soothing Lemon Refreshing, stimulating, uplifting, motivating Lemongrass Toning, refreshing, fortifying

9 Essential Oils A to Z Cont..
Myrrh Toning, strengthening, rejuvenating, providing expectorant properties Neroli Relaxing, dispelling fears Orange Refreshing, relaxing Patchouli Relaxing, enhancing to sensuality Peppermint Cooling, refreshing, head clearing Pine Refreshing, providing antiseptic properties, invigorating, stimulating Rose Relaxing, soothing, enhancing to sensuality, building confidence Rosemary Invigorating, refreshing, stimulating, clarifying Sandalwood Relaxing, warming, building confidence, grounding Tea tree Acting as antiseptic, strengthening to immune system Thyme Acting as antiseptic, refreshing, strengthening to immune system Ylang ylang Relaxing, soothing, enhancing to sensuality (Thomas, 2002).

10 Finding Pure, Therapeutic-Grade Essential Oils
There are many factors that are important when creating pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils. What part of the plant did the oil come from? The soil condition (chemical or organic) Geographical region Climate Altitude Harvest season Process of retrieving the oil

11 When and Who Should NOT Use Aromatherapy?
Pregnant Women- Some essential oils can create toxins for baby, potentially induce labor, nausea, skin irritations. Children under the age of 5- If the oils are not diluted enough can cause skin irritations to children’s sensitive skin. Elderly- Due to greater skin sensitivities greater dilutions or certain oils should not be used. Anyone with sensitive skin and skin allergies to particular plants. If taking prescription medications you should consult your physician or an aromatherapy specialist to be sure of any contraindications or reactions.

12 Conclusion Aromatherapy and Essential Oils are a type of Herbal/Alternative Medicine that has been used worldwide since the beginning of any physical records of time. There are many great uses for Aromatherapy and can help reduce the use of conventional medicine and any unwanted side effects. There are many great essential oils with many different uses. Just be aware of the quality of the Essential oil as well as any skin irritations that some are more susceptible to. Aromatherapy can be used by health professionals, massage therapists, and in the comfort of your own home as part of preventive medicine and home healing.

13 References Aromatherapy | University of Maryland Medical Center Hebert, P. R., Barice, E. J., & Hennekens, C. H. (2014). Treatment of Low Back Pain: The Potential Clinical and Public Health Benefits of Topical Herbal Remedies. Journal Of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 20(4), doi: /acm Herz, R. S. (2009). Aromatherapy Facts and Fictions: A Scientific Analysis of Olfactory Effects on Mood, Physiology and Behavior. International Journal Of Neuroscience, 119(2), doi: / Higley, A & C. (2013). Reference Guide for Essential Oils. Spanish Fork, UT. Abundant Health. Lua, P.L.,& Zakaria, N.s., (2012). A Brief Review of Current Scientific Evidence Involving Aromatherapy Use for Nausea and Vomiting. The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine. Volume 18, Number 6. pp DOI: /acm National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, NAHA. Retrieved from: Thomas, D. (2002). Aromatherapy: mythical, magical, or medicinal?. Holistic Nursing Practice, 16(5), 8-16. WebMD, Stress Management Health Center. Aromatherapy(Essential Oils Therapy). Retrieved from:

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