Aromatherapy – Scam or the Real Deal?

The term “aromatherapy” came into being back in the 1902’s. As with many discoveries, The initial realization of the concept was the result of an accident. It occurred in the laboratory of a French scientist named Rene Maurice Gattefosse. He was working with essential oils in the lab when he burned his arm. Essential oils are aromatic liquid substances extracted from flowers, trees, grasses, roots, fruits and leaves. Gattefosse quickly reacted to the burn by inserting his arm into a tub of the nearest liquid, which happened to be lavender essential oil. Afterwards, he was very surprised at how quickly the burn healed and at how little scarring was evident afterwards. This spurred much more investigation into the workings of essential oils and aromatherapy over the ensuing years, and now everyone can enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy, which has been defined as the art and science of using essential oils to promote health and well being.

Many people think of aromatherapy as an expensive practice that requires the services of an expert, but that’s not necessarily true. There are many books that go into the whys and wherefores of aromatherapy and essential oils. Anyone can go online or to their local health food store and purchase one of these books and some essential oils and get started for very low cost. If you really want to save money and have the time, you can even purchase seeds in order to grow herbs that yield essential oils.

One reason for the popularity of aromatherapy is its use as an alternative to prescription drugs. While there isn’t an aromatherapy cure for every medical condition, ailments such as PMS, earache, muscle and joint pain, poor digestion, lack of energy, insomnia, diarrhea, allergies, headache, depression and anxiety, among others, have responded well to treatment with aromatherapy in many cases. People who are fearful of the side effects of prescription medications would be good candidates for the aromatherapy alternatives, with the main side effect of that type of treatment being saving a lot of money.

If you plan to treat yourself with aromatherapy, then it’s prudent to read up on the guidelines and techniques first. For example, I saw a website that indicated that individuals with heart problems should never use peppermint oil. Not knowing (or ignoring) that piece of advice could be catastrophic, so make sure you know what you’re doing before you start.

Some mainstream medical practitioners have questioned the effectiveness of aromatherapy, and on the other side, some serious boosters of the modality are disturbed by the recent mass marketing of the essential oils and books that claim to teach all about the practice, thinking it should be left to experts. As with most health issues, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. However, if you’re interested in finding out more before you invest any money, the Internet is a great place to search for information and get both sides of the story.