Aromatherapy 101: Essential Oils

Why is it that certain smells can evoke strong emotions? It turns out our sense of smell is one of the most basic, primal senses. Aromatherapy uses highly concentrated plant extracts to create pure essential oils that can effect changes in our emotions and body. Dr. Becky Phillips, a chiropractor and aromatherapy practitioner in Albuquerque, tells us more about the benefits of aromatherapy and how the effectiveness of aromatherapy products can be maximized to help improve your quality of life.

How does it work?

“Aromatherapy works on two levels,” explains Dr. Phillips. “When we inhale, smells activate a part of our brain. Smells can also work energetically, in a homeopathic way, to ease specific health conditions.” 

Specifically, smell receptors in the nose send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system, the part of the brain that’s connected with emotions. Smells can cause physical responses too, and can ease some ailments when we breathe in the appropriate scent, Dr. Phillips tells us.

How do we use it?

Essential oils can be mixed with water and used in a spray bottle to scent a room, or dropped into a diffuser. A good choice is the NOW Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser, which creates a micro-fine mist of the oils using ultrasonic vibrations. The oils can also be applied directly for skin care and to achieve other health benefits, so long as they are diluted with pure carrier oils like almond, jojoba or even coconut oil.

Rubbing diluted essential oil blends on acupuncture points can also stimulate healing of the corresponding body area. Aromatherapy bath salts are another option; you’ll get the therapeutic effects of hydrotherapy and aromatherapy combined.

Aromatherapy Oils 101

With the power to enhance our mood and make us feel better, here are some of the most common essential oils for aromatherapy—and their specific uses.

Lavender – Calming

While lavender’s ability to calm us is well known, this essential oil is a useful antiviral agent too. Just mix a few drops of lavender with water in a travel spray bottle and you’ll have a safe, alcohol-free sanitizer. Now that same spray bottle can be used around the house to help keep spiders out. Try Pharmaca’s French Lavender Essential Oil

Mint – Energizing

Mint is invigorating—and the perfect wake-up call to use in the morning. Breathing in the scent of peppermint can help settle an upset stomach, or make you feel cooler on hot days. Try Pharmaca’s Essential Oil of Peppermint

Citrus – Refreshing and Uplifting

Citrus scents like those that come from orange and lemon oils help renew and cleanse the air and enhance our sense of wellbeing. They can help clear the mind of distractions, and are ideal preparation for starting a new task or project. Try Pharmaca’s Essential Oil of Lemon or Essential Oil of Orange

Clove – Pain Relief

The active compound in cloves is eugenol, known for helping reduce pain (especially in toothaches) and also for its antiseptic properties. Clove’s warm, spicy scent can help relieve headache, too. Try Pharmaca’s Essential Oil of Clove Bud

Lemongrass – Stress Relieving

Known for its ability to relax us, reduce stress and help with insomnia, lemongrass is also revitalizing, and a perfect way to refresh any room. It’s a great insect repellant too, especially for mosquitoes and “no-see-ums.” Try Pharmaca’s Essential Oil of Lemongrass

Eucalyptus – Decongestant

Eucalyptus oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, especially when applied directly to the skin with a carrier oil, and its ability to open nasal passages makes it ideal for respiratory and sinus conditions. Try Pharmaca’s Essential Oil of Eucalyptus

Tea Tree Oil – Purify & Cleanse

Beyond being absorbed through the skin and hair for its rejuvenating properties, tea tree essential oils are highly effective at purifying and cleansing, as they disperse through the air. This makes tea tree oil one of the most versatile plant oils used in aromatherapy and allows it to be mixed with other types of essential oils without affecting the quality of essential oils being used. Try Pharmaca’s Essential Oil of Tea Tree

These are of course just a few highlights from the wide variety of aromatherapy and essential oils that are available at Pharmaca. Explore our full selection of essential oils for therapeutic and other purposes online, to find the right fit for your needs, today!

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