In recent years natural, health-care alternatives have been sought out. As a result, aromatherapy has seen a remarkable renaissance. In Europe, it is considered an effective, reimbursable treatment that is increasingly being integrated with conventional medicine. Many investigations demonstrate aromatherapy's effectiveness, including double blind studies designed to eliminate the psychological placebo effect.
Such studies have yielded many interesting findings. For example, keypunch-operator errors were cut in half after piping lemon scent through the ventilation system. As a result, Japanese corporations use various scents to increase worker performance.
In another example, New York subway passengers became less aggressive when the cars were scented with pleasant food aromas. And finally, eucalyptus oil, keeps truck drivers as alert as does caffeine.
These responses form the basis for the ancient healing tradition now called aromatherapy -a term coined by Rene Gattefossee, a historical French chemist for the perfume industry. He worked with volatile plant essential oils for fragrancing, until one day, he had an explosion in his lab. He was literally aflame as he ran from the lab. Once he realized that he was burned, and already knowing the antiseptic properties of certain essential oils, he plunged his arm into a vat of lavender water. Amazingly, the pain subsided, and no blistering or scarring occurred. Yes, it still took time to thoroughly heal, but as a result of this experience, he changed his focus completely from perfumery to the medicinal effects of these oils.
The term “Aromatherapy” can be rather confusing. As natural things have become more popular and aromatherapy has become a buzz word, commercial interests began to slap the term aromatherapy on anything and everything that has a fragrance.
A person could think, “Aromatherapy is everything that stinks.” Well, you cannot have aromatherapy without essential oils, but you can have essential oils without it being aromatherapy. Let me explain… True aromatherapy is the use of pure essential oils with the goal of causing a positive change physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually – not the common use of the chemical-laden household products containing a hint of fragrance.
Science continues to affirm that breathing pure aromatic molecules can be beneficial to our well-being. As it turns out, we can be benefited from this aromatherapy during times spent in nature – even when the fragrance cannot be detected by our sense of smell. Of course, not many of us are able to enjoy the great out-of-doors the way the Creator intended! By using and diffusing pure essential oils in the home for a few minute a day, we can (to some extent) create our own tranquil, aromatic atmosphere and still enjoy our comfortable indoor existence.