Monday, June 1, 2009

Healthy Monday: Aromatherapy

Can you smell that? It's the smell of sweet vanilla and sensual lavender lazily entering your senses. Or maybe it's the smell of a sunny lemon giving your brain a quick jolt. Although it may sound silly, aromatherapy has been known as a powerful medicinal tool, on a mental and physical level, for decades. It was first discovered in the late 1920's by a French chemist who burnt his hand while working in a laboratory. The chemist quickly placed his hand in a vat of lavender oil and was later stunned at how quickly his hand healed. But you don't have to immerse yourself in an essential oil to enjoy it. One of the easiest ways to tantalize your sense of smell is to use a simple diffuser - a pot of boiling water on the stove with a few drops of essential oil in it.

Studies have shown that certain odors do influence mood and behavior. According to Dr. Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, lavender and vanilla have been shown to make people feel relaxed. According to, basil and peppermint aid in fatigue and exhaustion, while rose and sandalwood aid in anxiety.

Some believe it works on more than just the mood. Michelle Erwin, who runs an online aromatherapy shop from her home, gives aromatherapy credit for curing her acne, which crept up on her at 25 years of age. She learned to make facial masks infused with essential oils and her acne hasn't come back since.

If you want to further explore aromatherapy, check out some of these websites: Aromaweb, National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, and Aromatherapy Point.

Sources: Discovery Health

Photo Credit: AtYourFeet,LLC

1 comment:

HeddyShea said...

I am firm believer in the power of aromatherapy. I keep a oil burner in my shower and burn a variety of oils depending on how I want to feel that day prior to getting in. I also put a few drops in my bath oil and spray my sheets!


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