Essential oils and aromatherapy
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are basically plant extracts. They're made by steaming or pressing various parts of a plant (flowers, bark, leaves or fruit) to capture the compounds that produce fragrance.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a form of holistic healing using essential oils and natural plant extracts to help create emotional, spiritual, psychological and physical balance.
How does it work?
When a person inhales an essential oil, the scent is carried by olfactory nerve cells in the nose to the olfactory system, which sends the aroma to the brain. This is the limbic system, the house of emotions and emotional behaviour, such as intimacy, passion and sex.
Depending on the oil, you may begin to feel more alert or more relaxed, more excited or aroused. You may feel the release of negative emotions and/or the soothing of muscle tension, and mood enhancers like serotonin and endorphins can be released.