Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils, volatile plant oils and other natural fragrances in stimulating the body and mind to restore balance and a sense of well-being. It is one of the oldest and most time-tested holistic healing methods, being first used by the Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Chinese civilisations some 5,000 years ago, and later by other great civilisations such as the Indians, Greeks and Romans.
Today, aromatherapy is undergoing a resurgence in popularity as many people strive for optimum health and a more holistically-driven lifestyle. Ongoing research is also adding credence to the practice of aromatherapy, verifying in a scientific light the positive effects that aromatherapy can have on an individual.
The fragrances used in aromatherapy are always derived from substances found in nature. These could be from the flower, fruit, stem, leaves or bark of a plant or tree. For aromatherapy, these fragrances are basically divided into two groups - those that help the body and those that help the mind. Within these groups there are specific oils that help counteract different physical and emotional ailments. For instance, anxiety is treated with the use of bergamot, lavender and cedarwood oils, while clary sage and frankincense help relieve the physical lung affliction of asthma.
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