Aromatherapy is a type of alternative medicine practice utilizing fragrant/aromatic essential oils that are derived from a wide variety of healing plants. When inhaled or applied to the skin, therapeutic-grade essential oils (also sometimes called volatile oils) have been shown to help people overcome various health problems without the need for medications.
Here’s some facts about how essential oils work:
- Plants contain certain beneficial chemicals as a means of protecting themselves, including to ward off insects or rodents, and to defend themselves from bacteria or viruses.
- The active ingredients within the oils are taken directly from high yields of medicinal plants or herbs through a process known as distillation, then mixed with alcohol to preserve their strength. The finished result is a very concentrated oily formula that can be mixed with other substances.
- Because they’re very strong, essential oils used in aromatherapy practices are usually combined with a carrier oil, such almond, jojoba or coconut oil, before being applied directly to the skin.