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Bottled essential oils


It is common knowledge that a good scent can elevate one's mood. Being in a room with a mild floral scent can increase positivity. Inhaling a minty scent, like peppermint, or eucalyptus, can ease tension, and soothe one's nerves. The practice of using aromas to alter, or regulate mental well-being dates back thousands of years.


The Egyptians are credited with being the pioneers in perfumery and scented oils. They used the techniques of extracting the essence of plants to embalm the dead. One of the reasons that mummies are still around, is that the Egyptians took great care in ensuring that their mixtures were accurate, and retained their preservation properties. The Chinese also extracted oils from plants, but these were used for scenting rooms, in cosmetics, and medicine, unlike the Egyptians.

Aromatherapy became a worldwide practice after French chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse released a book detailing his study of essential oils and their medicinal properties. The incident that led to this is widely believed to have taken place sometime during World War I when Gattefosse discovered the healing property of lavender oil to treat his hand when he accidentally burned it. He then began to use essential oils to treat infections, gangrene, and wounds. In 1928, he published his study.


Essential oils work better with a carrier oil like olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil. Woman using essential oils on skinUnsplash


Essential oils result from boiling flower petals, leaves, bark, or hardwood to extract their 'essence'. Not only do essential oils smell good, but they also possess remarkable healing properties. They are used to treat a wide range of symptoms, both physical and mental. They are not a replacement for medicine as prescribed by the doctor, but they work well as a supplement. They are easy to use and not very expensive.

In recent times, aromatherapy has been found beneficial in managing mental health and well-being. Lavender, marjoram, and neroli have calming effects on the brain and ease anxiety and stress. Chamomile and ylang-ylang have help with insomnia. Jasmine, yuzu, and rosemary oils help patients with depression. Autism, ADHD, and other psychiatric disorders can be managed with aromatherapy along with their ongoing treatment. Essential oils also help ease chronic pain. They cannot fully cure it, but they can reduce the intensity of the pain.

Using essential oils does not require too much effort. A few drops can be added to bathwater which helps with relaxation. The oils can also be inhaled using a diffuser or aromatic sticks. Aromatic sticks are soft wraps around plastic that can be dipped in the oil and placed anywhere in the room. They slowly exude the scent of the oil, and can even be wrapped and put away with the scent intact until further use. Rubbing essential oils directly on the skin is not advised. They work better with a carrier oil like olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil. Direct usage can cause allergies or the skin could break out into hives. Performing a patch test to check for allergies before using the oil is highly recommended.


Keywords: Aromatherapy, Mental Health, Essential Oils


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