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Aromatherapy Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials, known as essential oils, and other

aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering a person's mind, mood, cognitive function or health. Some essential oils such as tea tree have demonstrated anti-microbial effects, but there is still a lack of clinical evidence demonstrating efficacy against bacterial, fungal, or viral infections. Evidence for the efficacy of aromatherapy in treating medical conditions remains poor, with a particular lack of studies employing rigorous methodology, however some evidence exists that essential oils may have therapeutic potential. History Aromatherapy may have origins in antiquity with the use of infused aromatic oils, made by macerating dried plant material in fatty oil, heating and then filtering. Distilled essential oils have been employed as medicines since the invention of distillation in the eleventh century The concept of aromatherapy was first mooted by a small number of European scientists and doctors, in about 1907 Modes of application The modes of application of aromatherapy include:

Aerial diffusion: for environmental fragrancing or aerial disinfection Direct inhalation: for respiratory disinfection, decongestion, expectoration as well as psychological effects Topical applications: for general massage, baths, compresses, therapeutic skin care

Materials Some of the materials employed include:

Absolutes: Fragrant oils extracted primarily from flowers or delicate plant tissues through solvent or supercritical fluid extraction (e.g., rose absolute). Carrier oils: Typically oily plant base triacylglycerides that dilute essential oils for use on the skin (e.g., sweet almond oil). Essential oils: Fragrant oils extracted from plants chiefly through steam distillation (e.g., eucalyptus oil) or expression (grapefruit oil). Herbal distillates or hydrosols: The aqueous by-products of the distillation process (e.g., rosewater). There are many herbs that make herbal distillates and they have culinary uses, medicinal uses and skin care uses[citation needed]. Common herbal distillates are chamomile, rose, and lemon balm. Infusions: Aqueous extracts of various plant material (e.g., infusion of chamomile). Phytoncides: Various volatile organic compounds from plants that kill microbes

Vaporizer (Volatized) Raw Herbs: Typically higher oil content plant based materials dried, crushed, and heated to extract and inhale the aromatic oil vapors in a direct inhalation modality.

Theory Aromatherapy is the treatment or prevention of disease by use of essential oils. Other stated uses include pain and anxiety reduction, enhancement of energy and short-term memory, relaxation, hair loss prevention, and reduction of eczema-induced itching. Two basic mechanisms are offered to explain the purported effects. One is the influence of aroma on the brain, especially the limbic system through the olfactory system.[12] The other is the direct pharmacological effects of the essential oils.[13] While precise knowledge of the synergy between the body and aromatic oils is often claimed by aromatherapists, the efficacy of aromatherapy remains unproven. However, some preliminary clinical studies of aromatherapy in combination with other techniques show positive effects. Aromatherapy does not cure conditions, but helps the body to find a natural way to cure itself and improve immune response. The best instrument for determining whether or not an essential oil is adulterated is an educated nose. Many people can distinguish between natural and synthetic scents, but it takes experience Popular uses

Lemon oil is uplifting and anti-stress/anti-depressant. Lemon oil aroma may enhance one's mood, and help with relaxation.[18] Thyme oil[19] Peppermint oil is often used to deter ants, by applying a few drops on their trail.[20] Both lavender and tea tree oil are used as antiseptics, sometimes in lotions or soaps. Lavender oil is said to help heal wounds and burns.

Some benefits that have been linked to aromatherapy, such as relaxation and clarity of mind, may arise from the placebo effect rather than from any actual physiological effect. There is currently insufficient evidence to support the claims made for aromatherapy.[23] There is no evidence of any long-term results from an aromatherapy massage other than the pleasure achieved from a pleasant-smelling massage. Essential oils have a demonstrated efficacy in dental mouthwash products.[29] Skeptical literature suggests that aromatherapy is based on the anecdotal evidence of its benefits rather than proof that aromatherapy can cure diseases. Scientists and medical professionals acknowledge that aromatherapy has limited scientific support, but critics argue that the claims of most aromatherapy practitioners go beyond the data, and/or that the studies are neither adequately controlled nor peer reviewed.

Some proponents of aromatherapy believe that the claimed effect of each type of oil is not caused by the chemicals in the oil interacting with the senses, but because the oil contains a distillation of the "life force" of the plant from which it is derived that will "balance the energies" of the body and promote healing or well-being by purging negative vibrations from the body's energy field. Arguing that there is no scientific evidence that healing can be achieved, and that the claimed "energies" even exist, many skeptics reject this form of aromatherapy as pseudoscience. Safety concerns . Because essential oils are highly concentrated they can irritate the skin when used neat, that is undiluted.[30] Therefore, they are normally diluted with a carrier oil for topical application. Phototoxic reactions may occur with citrus peel oils such as lemon or lime. Many essential oils have chemical components that are sensitisers. Some of the chemical allergies could even be caused by pesticides, if the original plants are cultivated.[32][33] Some oils can be toxic to some domestic animals. As with any bioactive substance, an essential oil that may be safe for the general public could still pose hazards for pregnant and lactating women. Oils both ingested and applied to the skin can potentially have negative interaction with conventional medicine. Adulterated oils may also pose problems depending on the type of substance used. Aromachologist Aromachologist is a person who studies the effects of fragrance on human psychology and behavior and works with essential oils for positive effects on behavior and feeling. An aromachologist is a practitioner of aromachology. Aromachology differs from Aromatherapy. An aromachologist is a formulator who works with essential oils for their aromatic and physical effects and is an expert in the way essential oils can be blended and articulated together to create behavioral fragrances [1] to establish the positive effects of aromas on human behavior including feelings and emotions. The aims of aromachology are to study the interrelationship of psychology and the latest in fragrance technology and to transmit through odor a variety of specific feelings (such as relaxation, exhilaration, sensuality, happiness and achievement) directly to the brain.[2] Smell as a sense is the last frontier of neuroscience and has not been studied in as much depth as vision and hearing. The brain is able to process small differences in smell [3] and the sense of smell may last longer in the aging process than sight and hearing. Synesthesia There are some people who process smells differently, hearing them as sounds. Some also sees colours. Therefore, when a synestheste is creating in aromachology, he is not only combining a palette of smells, he is also mixing a palette of colors to blend the purest, organic essential oils into an array of beneficial products.

It is believed that we all possess a small degree of synesthesia , which is the rare quality of intermixing images, sounds and other sensations. There are any instances of literature that may have portrayed synesthesia. 1 Famous poet William Blake (17571827) was probably a synesthete. In his poem Wild Flower Song, he writes: As I wander'd the forest, The green leaves among, I heard a wild flower Singing a song 2 In the book Perfume by Patrick Sskind, the main character, Grenouille, is born with a hyper-acute sense of smell but lacks his own bodily scent. He goes on a life quest consisting of several murders, to recreate the scent of innocence he sniffed on a beautiful girl.

Role of an aromachologist
Studies have been conducted to show that those parts of the brain which govern alertness and concentration can be influenced positively or negatively by the olfactory substances used. Pleasant aromas cause people to linger longer, a boon to retail stores, museums, spas and casinos. Pleasant smells have been shown to improve productivity, and improve physical performance with athletes running faster and doing more pushups and experiencing recovery time after an extensive workout when the room was scented with either peppermint or lemon [7] By blending specific smells, an aromachologist can create a more restful environment and improve health conditions. Real estate brokers have been recommending to their clients to have smells of freshly baked cookies or the aroma of coffee in the house when it is being presented to potential buyers to create a sense of home. Worker productivity can be enhanced by improving the quality of air in a building, not just by removing the negative pollutants, but also by introducing through ventilation or air conditioning systems olfactory stimulations to get a mix of ventilated air and odor. It is necessary to ensure that the dosage is such that the odor is not excessive and should be kept just above the detection level. Also, these olfactory substances are very different from perfume and should instead replicate the smell of natural outdoor air

A skilled aromachologist can concoct combinations of oils to reduce road rage, reduce fatigue and improve concentration while driving. Peppermint decreases anxiety and fatigue while driving, in combination with cinnamon, it reduces the level of frustration encountered in traffic and also heightens alertness. Jasmine is used as a sleep aid and the scent of vanilla is useful for those who want to cut the craving for sweets after lunch

The fragnance foundation

A non profit , educational arm of the international fragnance industry

Sense of Smell Institute The Sense of Smell Institute is a research and education division of The Fragrance Foundation, dedicated to funding scientific studies on the sense of smell and beneficial effects of fragrance. National Sense of Smell Day National Sense of Smell Day is an annual event sponsored by the Sense of Smell Institute. It is held on the last Saturday of April at childrens museums and science centers across the United States. The day is focused on how the sense of smell plays an important role in daily life and how it interacts with other senses (particularly taste).

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. The inhaled aroma from these "essential" oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing. 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. There are a wide number of essential oils available, each with its own healing properties.

Aromatherapy History

Little is known about the history of aromatherapy, or where it originated specifically, but the Egyptians are credited with developing one of the first distillation machines to extract oils from certain plants -- cedarwood, clove, cinnamon, to name a few -- which were used to embalm the dead. The practice of using infused aromatic oils as a mood enhancer, however, is thought to have roots in China. The Greeks also played a role in the history of aromatherapy. Megallus, a Greek perfumer, developed a fragrance he called megaleion, which consisted of myrrh. The "father of medicine" Hippocrates is said to have practiced aromatherapy (before it was dubbed so) for healing purposes. Greek mythology claims the gods were gifted with the knowledge of perfume and fragrance. The actual term "aromatherapy" first originated in 1937 when French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse invented the word after a burn incident spurred his curiosity about the healing power of essential oils. On the heels of Gattefosse's "discovery" that lavender oil helped to cure his burn, French surgeon Jean Valnet used essential oils to help heal soldiers' wounds in World War II, proving the medical benefits of aromatherapy.

Mood Blends
Aromatherapy is based on the principle that natural fragrances, or essential oils, from certain plants or flowers can affect our moods, and consequently how we think or feel at any given time.

Certain essential oils can trigger physical or emotional effects on their own. Other oils are blended to achieve a desired physiological or psychological effect. The following are popular essential oils (and blends).

Stress Relief Bergamot, Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Patchouli, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang Anxiety/Fear Bergamot, Chamomile (Roman), Cedarwood, Frankincense, Jasmine, Lavender, Neroli, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood Self Esteem Bergamot, Cypress, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Orange, Rosemary

Sadness/Grief Bergamot, Chamomile (Roman), Clary Sage, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang Fatigue Basil, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Ginger, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lemon, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sandalwood Agitation Chamomile (Roman), Lavendar, Mandarin, Sandalwood Isolation Chamomile (Roman), Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Rose Memory Boosters Basil, Cypress, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary Aphrodisiac Clary Sage, Jasmine, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang

Chemistry of essential oils

Every essential oil has a unique chemical composition, determined by the plant variety and the geographical location at which the plants are grown. It is the chemistry of the oil that determines the fragrance, the color, the degree of volatility, and the ways in which that oil interacts with the human body. The chemistry of essential oils typically includes a number of differing organic compounds, such as terpenes, alcohols, aldehydes and esters. It is these chemical combinations that determine the fragrance, the color, the degree of volatility, and the therapeutic properties of the essential oil. Because of the variety of compounds that exist in a single essential oil, it is possible for it to have multiple properties.

However, essential oils do not contain the complete chemistry that is found in the source plant. This occurs mainly because of the extraction processes that are used. As a result of the distillation process, essential oils lack water-soluble constituents of the plant material, such as tannin and sugars. The heat of distillation may also cause change to the natural chemical composition. In addition, from the time of harvest, the nature of the chemical constituents of plant materials alters due to the natural decay process. The essential oils extracted from delicate flowers through the use of organic solvents also tend to have a residue from the solvents.

Despite the use of the biologically active compounds in plants in modern pharmaceuticals, there is still a lot to learn about the pharmacology (the therapeutic properties of the chemicals) of aromatic plants. Medical and scientific research have identified therapeutic effects of many plants, but the range of research relative to the diversity of plant species remains relatively scarce.