However more and more studies are finding that aromatherapy, which involves the use of pure essential oils, can help facilitate the healing process for a number of conditions including mood disorders, skin complaints, headaches, sinus congestion and muscle soreness.
When we are exposed to scents or aromas, our nasal receptors fire and transmit a signal to the brain which then interprets the scent. This process has been shown to altar moods and stimulate different bodily reactions.
Besides essential oils ability to heal through just smell, the oils themselves are often distilled from medicinal plants such as lavender and tea tree, which help to further their ability to heal.
If you are interested in trying out aromatherapy, here are some popular essential oils that are commonly used for the following complaints:
Anxiety: lavender, myrrh, bergamot, cardamom, chamomile, frankincense, vanilla, pine, nutmeg, rose, patchouli, orange and lime.
Depression: lemon, marjoram, neroli, peppermint, rosemary, sandalwood, cedarwood, jasmine, lavender, ylang ylang, geranium and clary sage.
Fatigue: basil, angelica, cedarwood, clove, eucalyptus, jasmine, lemon, marjoram, peppermint, vanilla, patchouli and frankincense.
Headaches: basil, chamomile, cinnamon, peppermint, lavender, thyme, lemongrass, ginger and ylang ylang.
Respiratory: basil, cedarwood, cypress, eucalyptus, fennel, ginger, tea tree, rosemary, juniper and marjoram.
Seasonal Allergies: lavender, lemon and peppermint.
Skin: calendula, rose, bergamot, lavender, lemon, tea tree, carrot seed, geranium, neroli and ylang ylang.
Indigestion: lavender, juniper, lemongrass, lemon, peppermint, rose, orange, sandalwood, thyme, anise, fennel, ginger and basil.
Anti-bacterial: basil, clove, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, lemon, lime, peppermint and thyme.
Menstrual Cramps: chamomile, ginger, lavender, clary sage, rose, rosemary and nutmeg.
Muscle Soreness: chamomile, eucalyptus, ginger, geranium, lemon, rosemary, sandalwood, patchouli and myrtle.
The benefits of the oils can either be experienced through using an oil diffuser, adding a few drops to a warm bath or in a vitamin E based cream. Antibacterial oils can also be added to water to make your own safe and natural cleaning products.
When purchasing essential oils always look for pure distilled oils that are preferably organic and be wary of imitation oils or semi-essential oils which are made using chemicals.