Thymus vulgaris


Aromatherapy is not some weird thing where pretty smelling things are used. While it is used in salons and for relaxing, it is also practical. There are different kinds of aromatherapy and some are more common than you think. If you’ve ever used Listerine mouthwash, there is peppermint essential oil in it. Peppermint has antibacterial qualities; thus it is used in things like mouthwashes. Have you ever used Vicks? One key ingredient is eucalyptus another essential oil.

Theophrastus- Greek philospoher provided with permission from Wikipedia CommonsThe science of aromatherapy dates back thousands of years. Doctors have used herbal medicine since ancient times. As early 300 BC, Theophrastus, Aristotle’s student who inherited his botanical gardens, used  Kyphi, a soothing skin ointment. Herbal medicine was also used in Vedic medicine which gave rise to ayruvedic medicine. Ayrivedic medicine is still used today. However, use of herbal medicine has decreased in use in modern era.  Synthetic copies of perfumes and modern drug development have become more popular. Aromatherapy is no longer on leading forefront of medicine. Before modern medicine came out, herbal medicine was one of the best ways to treat sickness and disease. There are four kinds of therapeutic or medical uses in aromatherapy: psychotherapeutic, esthetic, holistic and nursing and medical aromatherapy.

Environmental fragrencing is another word for psychotherapeutic aromatherapy. This involves how smells or odors affect our brain’s production of endorphins & noradrenaline and changes our perception of things. One example is stores. They may use this to make people buy a certain product by making it smell similar to         another. It is very subtle. This type of aromatherapy has always been around.

    Roses provided with permission of Wikipedea Commons.

Esthetic aromatherapy is aromatherapy for pleasure. Perfumes, scented soaps and flowers on the dinner table at a fancy restaurant are examples of this. Besides being used to enhance experiences, it can also be used to comfort. Near the end of the life, many patients find certain smells can evoke memories of better times.

Holistic aromatherapy supports the body, mind and spirit. It is often used to aid other treatments or could be an alternative option. It may even be considered unorthodox by some.

Nursing & medical aromatherapy is when essential oils are used. Essential oils often have medical properties and used to treat medical conditions. For example, thymol, the essential oil produced by the Thymus Genus, has antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Essential oils are great for treating gastrointestinal problems. Essential oils are a wonderful natural cure, but if not prepared properly can be toxic. If the concentration is high enough, some can even be deadly (depends on oil). 

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