Already in antiquity it was believed that scents have magical power and can not only ensure favours from gods, but also heal. Quite early it was noticed that citrus aromas invigorate the mind and create good mood, thyme has antibacterial properties, and sage soothes tension and reduces headaches. Aromatic plant oils were used by witchdoctors and early medicine men. Today, aromatherapy – as we call healing with the use of aromatic oils – is one of the oldest branches of natural medicine.
Aromatherapy has been used in the Middle East for ages; it is also a very popular healing method in the USA and Japan. Aromatherapy also came back to Western Europe as a result of searching for alternative, non-pharmacological forms of healing. While herbal infusions are usually drunk, biologically active scents of ethereal oils are entered to the body in two ways: directly through the skin (during massage, bath, compress) or inhalation.
Heal the body and soul
Scent substances have a surprisingly wide range of applications: they heal illnesses of respiratory system, they soothe nerves, ease stress and tension pains, they calm, stimulate and improve mood in times of depression. Some oils, for example tea tree oil, also support bacteriotherapy due to their aseptic properties and stimulating the immune system. Pregnant women are recommended to smell ginger that reduces morning sickness, and people who suffer from migraines are recommended to use rose or ylang-ylang oils. Panic attacks will be reduced by the scent of lavender and sandalwood, and jasmine oil is used to cure depression. These are just a few examples – out of thousands – on the use of ethereal oils to influence our health and well-being. It is worth checking how scents influence the body in order to use them appropriately, at the right time of the day and in the right circumstances. Before going to sleep, stimulating oils (such as rosemary or bergamot) should not be sprayed, as they will make it difficult to fall asleep. However you can use lavender and lemon balm as they help cure insomnia. Camomile and pepper mint should not be used in the office or in the car, as they create the feeling of relaxation and bliss – and therefore they reduce alertness and slow down the response time. Regardless of our attitude towards the art of healing with scents, from time to time it is worth using the charms of aromatherapy. You can just spray your favourite scent not only to refresh the air, but also to improve your mood. You can take an aromatic bath to relax, soothe the senses, and simply feel better. This is what beautiful scents are for!