You are here - Cellulite - Stretch Marks - Skin Care - Tanning - Wrinkles - Acne - Hair Loss - Weight Loss - Wigs - Depression - Diet Pills - Exercise Equipment - Contact Lenses - Breast Pumps - Aromatherapy - Lasik Eye Surgery - Weightlifting - Stop Snoring - Human Growth Hormone
Much of the aromatherapy techniques that we use today can be traced back to ancient times, but we have also adopted many of the findings of the leading French chemist of the 1930’s, Rene Gattefosse, as well as scientists Valnet and Maury who both carried out extensive research in the 1960’s.
What is aromatherapy?
The word aromatherapy is made up from ‘aroma’, meaning smell, and ‘therapy’, meaning the treatment of a disorder, be it mental, physical or behavioural. So, the practice of aromatherapy is the treatment of a disorder using smells and aromas, namely essential oils.
How does aromatherapy work?
It is a holistic approach to healing, with specific plant oils suited to certain ailments. The oils are usually applied via massage therapy, but can be used in a variety of other ways, for example, in the bath, worn as a perfume, or through vaporization using candles, pot pourris or incense sticks.
How are aromatherapy oils produced?
Aromatherapy oils, or essential oils, are produced by extracting the oils from a range of plants, from shrubs, fruits and trees to the petals, leaves, roots and stems of flowers. Oils can be extracted in a variety of ways, the four main methods are detailed below:
Expression – this is where oil is literally squeezed out of the peel of fruits, such as lemon and orange.
Cold maceration (also known as enfleurage à froid) – this is where flowers are pressed between glass plates covered with fat on each side, to release the essence into the fat. The fat is then melted down and cooled in vats. This method is rarely employed these days, but used to be the main way of releasing oils from delicate flowers like tuberose and jasmine for the production of perfumes.
Heat maceration (also known as enfleurage à chaud) – this is the immersion of the plant into a hot oil or fat (usually heated to around sixty degrees Celsius), which is then stirred with a ladle until the essential oils are released into the fat.
Steam distillation – this is when the plant is boiled in water, and the oils released through steam.