What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being. Think about the scent of a lemon and how it immediately perks you up. What about lavender? Do you feel a sense of calm? Does the scent from a rose garden put a smile on your face? What smells evoke memories of your childhood?
Aromatherapy uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils, including essential oils, and other aroma compounds for the purpose of altering one’s mood, cognitive, psychological or physical well-being. It can be offered as a complementary therapy or, more controversially, as form of alternative medicine. The inhaled aroma from these “essential” oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. A form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy is gaining momentum. It is used for a variety of applications, including pain relief, mood enhancement and increased cognitive function.
But it doesn’t have to just be the oils extracted from the plant itself. Planting certain herbs, flowers or shrubs in your landscape can have the same emotional effect on your body and overall well-being. Plant lavender in your garden so you can cut it and place in a vase on your nightstand for a better night sleep. Plant a rose garden or peonies to lift your spirits. Citronella scented geraniums and lemon grass can be planted into outside containers to repel mosquitos. Harvest oregano from your garden to relieve mucus – just create steam in a pot and inhale to clear out your chest.