(noun) The science of using the fragrance of essential oils to nurture and promote well-being.
Soft and subtle floral fragrances; woody, spicy, earthy aromas-the language of aromatherapy is as soothing to the ears as the scents are to the soul. The term “aromatherapy” was coined by the French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse in the 1920’s to describe the practice of using essential oils from aromatic plants for therapy. Although a relatively new term, aromatherapy has been practiced since ancient times.
From the beginning of mankind, people have used plants for a variety of purposes, including food, shelter, clothing, and medicine. Anciently, the most advanced civilizations-Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese-understood that the essential oils from plants provide powerful support for the body, mind, and spirit. By steam extracting or distilling the essential oils from various parts of the plants-roots, stems, leaves, and flowers-they were able to capture the complex chemicals from these living organisms to benefit them physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Gary Young, one of North America's foremost authorities on essential
oils, has been reintroducing essential oils and their therapeutic value
to the world. Gary's company, Young Living Essential Oils, carries an
extensive line of essential oils, such as lavender, lemon, and peppermint,
as well as an entire line of essential oil proprietary blends for targeted
health concerns and emotional needs. From universities to hospitals,
modern science is confirming the empirical evidence from the ages and
is further proving that the aromatic properties of pure essential oils
can have a profound effect on physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being.
When an essential oil is diffused or inhaled directly from the bottle,
the scent can evoke an emotional effect, such as calming or energizing,
as well as a physical effect, such as stimulating the immune system.
When an essential oil is applied or massaged into the skin, it can
produce an emotional effect, such as easing anxiety, and a physical
effect, such as soothing stressed muscles or stimulating normal cell
When an essential oil is taken internally, it can provide a physical effect, such as aiding with head tension or an upset stomach, as well as an emotional effect, such as balancing the emotions when nervous exhaustion sets in.
Reprinted with permission of Young Living, Lehi, UT 84043