Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to assist to balance and support the body and mind.
Essential oils (also known as volatile oils) are the basic materials of aromatherapy. They are made from fragrant essences found in many plants. These essences are made in special plant cells, often under the surface of leaves, bark, or peel, using energy from the sun and elements from the air, soil, and water. If the plant is crushed, the essence and its unique fragrance are released. Remember when you brush past a lemon scented geranium bush it smells divine. Or when you pick lavender flowers how amazing does that smell.
When essences are extracted from plants in natural ways, they become essential oils. They may be distilled with steam and/or water, or mechanically pressed. Oils that are made with chemical processes are not considered true essential oils.
Fragrant plants have been used in healing practices for thousands of years across many cultures, including ancient China, India, and Egypt. The history of modern aromatherapy began in the early 20th century, when French chemist Rene Gattefosse coined the term “aromatherapy” and studied the effects of essential oils on many kinds of diseases. In the 1980s and 1990s, aromatherapy was rediscovered in Western countries as interest in natural medicine began to grow.
Today we can harness the olfactory power of essential oils in our everyday living. When we inhale the scent of essential oil, the aroma can diffuse into our bloodstream via your lungs, and subsequently impact our mood. Its fragrance can also affects our limbic system located in our brain, which controls both memories and emotions. Perhaps unconsciously this is why we have strong reactions to certain aromas.
(Some of the information in this post was sourced from the internet.)