what exactly IS aromatherapy anyway?
 the science behind essential oils....

The term "aromatherapy" was coined in the 1920's by a French perfumer named Rene Gattfosse.
Aromatherapy is the art of treating the body, mind and spirit with natural aromatic substances (Essential Oils) harvested from nature's rich store. "Aroma" refers to the aromatic substances that give essential oils their characteristic smell. "Therapy" refers to the fact that essential oils have been used for healing for centuries. Aromatherapy also refers to the use of essential oils for beauty and body care treatment. Aromatherapy is one the most popular beauty treatments worldwide in clinics and spas throughout Europe.

Aromatherapy also refers to the medical practice of using essential oils in some countries. Finally, aromatherapy refers to the layman's use of essential oils for personal home use of essential oils and products containing pure unadulterated essential oils. Aromachology is the study of psychology and odors. The terms aromatherapy and aromachology are often used to differentiate the science, study and theory (aromachology) from the application by clinicians and aromatherapists (aromatherapy).
 

Essential Oils are highly concentrated and potent oils extracted from plants, leaves, flowers, roots, buds, twigs, rhizomes, heartwood, bark, resin, seeds and fruits. Essential Oils are found in special secretory glands or cells within plant life. The aromatic substances are formed and stored in certain organs of a plant as a by-product or because of its metabolism. Each essential oil has it's very own blueprint that is absolutely unique. The combination of the plants blueprints, the energy of the sun, soil, air and water gives each oil its individual perfume and beneficial healing properties. The same species of plant can produce an essential oil with different properties depending on whether it was grown in dry or damp earth, at high or low altitude, or even in hot or cold climates. According to the International Organization for Standardization, essential oils are a "product made by distillation with either water or steam or by mechanical processing of citrus rinds or by dry distillation of natural materials. Following the distillation, the essential oil is physically separated from the water phase." 

Unlike vegetable oils expressed from nuts and seeds, essential oils are not actually oily. Some essential oils are viscous; others are fairly solid and most are somewhat watery. Worldwide there are 3000 different essential oils with only about 300 commonly used. Essential oils are the most concentrated form of any botanical. It takes at least one pound of any given plant to create one drop of essential oil. Essential oils provide a concentrated dose of nature's vast pharmacological active ingredients in a single drop of oil. One hundred percent pure unadulterated essential oils are distinguished by a remarkable diversity of substances that only nature could produce. 

Plants smell for two main reasons, defense and attraction. The aromatic oils promote a plants growth, aid in reproduction by attracting insects, repel predators and protect them from disease. Some leaves, roots and barks have smelly molecules that are unappetizing or sickening and inhibit the growth of neighboring plants, molds, fungus' and to defend against being browsed or chewed. Flowers and fruit need to attract animals and insects for pollination and seed dispersal, so they have a sweet tempting and attractive fragrance. Plants communicate through these chemical signals, messages of scent. 

Humans and animals depend on plants. A sick sheep will eat yarrow, lizards eat chamomile to relieve snake bites, cats and dogs chew on grass for stomach problems and bears will eat bear garlic as a spring tonic upon awakening from hibernation. The "therapeutic" action of essential oils is attributed to the naturally occurring chemical within the plants. There are a variety of uses for plants from essential oils, spices, teas, to beautify our environment and for herbal remedies. Plants are chemical factories, which draw energy from light, darkness, sun and earth for synthesizing these into molecules of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They are the "crude fuels" that humans and animals break down to produce adenosine triphosphate, our "high-grade fuel", when we ingest foods. Essential oils are the "high-grade fuel" of the plants themselves, the purest and highest form of the plants structure.

Each essential oil has it own therapeutic uses and other properties. Many essential oils have antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antineuralgic, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, anti-infectious, antiparasitic, diuretic, antivenomous, antitoxic, antidepressant, sedative, nervine (relieves nervous disorders), analgesic (reduces pain sensation), hypotensol, hypertensol, digestive, expectorating, deodorizing, granulation stimulating, circulatory stimulating and diuretic qualities.

Plants have an amazing living power in them, Essential Oils. Plants use Essential Oils to protect themselves and send chemical messages to each other. For example, a tree can produce a chemical called tannins, which can deter and even kill predators. In Africa a study was done to see how much extra tannin a tree would produce if it was whipped to stimulate a deer eating on it. Some tree produced up to an 94% increase in tannin after only 15 minutes, after an hour they showed a 282% increase. The trees used airborne chemical messages to nearby trees to alert them of danger. The surrounding trees all increased their tannin level. It then took the trees up to 100 hours to return to their natural state.

Because of this amazing living power of essential oils that remain intact, when extracted nature became the original source of inspiration for modern medicine. 70% of all anti-tumor drugs are derived from native plant medicines. Morphine was isolated in 1806 from raw Poppy; Codeine is a derivative of morphine. Now chemist make "chemical cocktails" that have very little to do with the natural inspiration. The new molecular structure is different. All the years of trial of the natural product are lost in the new chemical structure. Representatives of all the drug companies are searching the jungles and far corners of the world for new ideas and sources. They then take their finds to the lab to produce synthetic drugs. A 59% cure rate for Hepatitis B virus within 30 days has been found in a natural source. It has been used in several countries for over 2,000 years and will never reach an American suffering from Hepatitis B because drug companies will not spend the tens of millions of dollars to receive FDA approval. It is impossible to patent cures and natural remedies, and so they go unapproved by the FDA. For example Lavender Essential oil works miraculously on burns. It can return severally burned skin to it normal condition quickly. Scientist have been unable to break the incredibly complex compound of Lavender essential oil to discover the secrets. And so people in burn units suffer untreated by the best-known remedy known to man for burns.

Aromatherapy and natural remedies are often criticized for not having FDA approval. Yet, natural medicines have been used for thousands of years. Drugs approved by the FDA have a long history of doing harm. One patient in every 1000 admitted to the hospital will be killed by the medicine they receive there. Of the 68 million prescriptions for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs given to arthritis suffers between 10,000 and 20,000 deaths occur each year. No deaths can be attributed to the use of Essential Oils for arthritis suffers. I spoke with a pharmacist who was buying our Fungal Treatment System for her family and she said people are running scared from the new antifungal drug out on the market today. It requires liver test because of the known side effect in which the drug permanently damages the liver. And these are the safe drugs? 102 of 198 prescriptions drugs approved by the FDA between 1976 and 1985 caused such serious reactions that they had to be relabeled or completely removed from the market. That is a 52% error rate. In the United Kingdom, more people die from prescription drugs than in traffic accidents. This says nothing of the countless people suffering from the ill effects of prescriptions. Cancer, Car Accidents and Gun shots are the top three causes of death in America . . . medical malpractice is the fourth leading cause of death in America.

Antibiotics have no effect on viruses. . .but essential oils do! Antibiotics cause secondary problems, Candida, a weakened immune system . . .essential oils have no such effect. Even birth control weakens our immune system.

Hospital Studies
Hospitals, Hospices and Nursing Homes are using essential oils to deodorize and cut down cross infections.

In Worchester Hospital in Hereford, England they did a 6 months study in which they discovered that vaporizing lavender caused their patients to have more natural sleep patterns and made them less aggressive. Many patients were able to be weaned of tranquilizers altogether.

In Minneapolis, essential oils are used to reduce the wandering of elderly patients.

At Churchill Hospital in Oxford, England, many of the Alzheimer's patents treated with essential oils have become more alert. Patients with dementia have become calmer.

St. Croix Valley Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin uses essential oils throughout the lobby, at the nurse's station and the emergency waiting room. They use anxiety relieving essential oils. They also have two floater mobile units to be used whenever the hospital has a special need.

At Memorial Sloan-Keeting Cancer Center in New York, they tested the anxiety level of patients going through MRI. 42 patients breathed normal air and 38 breathed air with essential oils. 63% of those exposed to the aroma experienced reduced anxiety levels.

At St. John's and St. Elizabeth's Hospital in London most of the midwives have become trained Aromatherapist. They use essential oils from the beginning of pregnancy to the aftercare.

At Royal Sussex County Hospital, they tested 36 patients that were in the intensive care and coronary care units. The control group received nothing, the second group received massage alone and the third group received aromatherapy massage. They followed their progress over 5 weeks. Systolic blood pressure dropped 50% with aromatherapy, 40% with massage alone and 16% for the control group. Respiratory rate decreased by 75% for the aromatherapy group, 41% for massage alone and 16% in the control group. Heart rate decreased by 91% for the aromatherapy group, 58% with massage alone and 41% for the control group.

Aromatherapy has been practiced for thousands of years - so no, it's not a "new-age trend", or some sort of wacky hippie thing, it's real, it's powerful, and it's life-changing.
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