Aromatherapy means "treatment using scents". It is a holistic treatment of caring for the body
with pleasant smelling botanical oils such as rose, lemon, lavender and peppermint. The essential oils are added to the bath
or massaged into the skin, inhaled directly or diffused to scent an entire room. Aromatherapy is used for the relief of pain,
care for the skin, alleviate tension and fatigue and invigorate the entire body. Essential oils can affect the mood, alleviate
fatigue, reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. When inhaled, they work on the brain and nervous system through stimulation
of the olfactory nerves.
The essential oils are aromatic essences extracted from plants, flowers, trees, fruits, bark, grasses
and seeds with distinctive therapeutic, psychological, and physiological properties, which improve and prevent illness. There
are about 150 essential oils. Most of these oils have antiseptic properties; some are antiviral, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving,
antidepressant and expectorant. Other properties of the essential oils which are taken advantage of in aromatherapy are their
stimulation, relaxation, digestion improvement, and diuretic properties. To get the maximum benefit from essential oils, it
should be made from natural, pure raw materials. Synthetically made oils do not work.
Aromatherapy is one of the fastest growing fields in alternative medicine. It is widely used at
home, clinics and hospitals for a variety of applications such as pain relief for women in labor pain, relieving pain caused
by the side effects of the chemotherapy undergone by the cancer patients, and rehabilitation of cardiac patients.
Aromatherapy is already slowly getting into the mainstream. In Japan, engineers are incorporating
aroma systems into new buildings. In one such application, the scent of lavender and rosemary is pumped into the customer
area to calm down the waiting customers, while the perfumes from lemon and eucalyptus are used in the bank teller counters
to keep the staff alert.