What Is Aromatherapy?

What is aromatherapy? It sounds like a straightforward question but if you were to ask five different aromatherapists that question you might just get five different answers:

  • “Aromatherapy is the use of pleasant smells to deepen relaxation and open the body’s natural healing channels.”
  • “Aromatherapy is the inhalation of volatile organics to stimulate the brain to release hormones, calm nerves and improve our immune response.”
  • “Aromatherapy captures the life essence of a plant, in the form of an essential oil, and uses that energy to open our own energy pathways.”
  • “Aromatherapy uses volatile organics to unite the mind and body, bringing together our physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance healing.”
  • “Essential oils have a measurable vibrational energy that corresponds to the vibrational frequency at which the human body heals.”

And then, of course, there are the skeptics who dismiss volatile organics out of hand (along with the growing body of scientific study) as woo or even pure charlatanism.

Is aromatherapy bogus, dangerous woo? Or can essential oils used in aroma therapy heal?
What Is Aromatherapy? Herbalist Lisa Barger, among the first to seriously study essential oils as herbal remedies, explains.

But even among dedicated aroma enthusiasts debate rages about whether volatile organics should be used exclusively by inhalation or whether they can be safely used on the skin. There are those who share stories of adding essential oils to their tea and those who are convinced that such folks are destroying their liver and kidneys with every drop they consume.

Lisa’s Take On Aromatherapy

Whatever you believe about aromatherapy and volatile organics, it is becoming ever more difficult to ignore the ever-expanding library of peer-reviewed science that says many “essential oils” can fit into a healthy lifestyle and, in some cases, help prevent or even treat certain diseases.

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