As a child, I was told to take a pill for my aches and pains, or get more sleep to help my mood. As I aged, I learned that getting more sleep as an adult with a job and family was virtually impossible, and that over-the-counter and prescription medications caused more side effects than the problems I was originally addressing. It was time to change the way I cared for my

The use of aromatherapy focuses on the balance, harmony, and promotion of a healthy body, mind and spirt. I discovered that it gave me the much-needed relief for which I had been searching. I realized that adding a few drops of essential oil to a diffuser could help lighten my mood. Adding some frankincense and bergamot to my favorite carrier oil helped with skin and tissue rejuvenation and reduced my pain and anxiety. The facts and benefits of aromatherapy will surprise you too.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils have been used worldwide for thousands of years. These oils can be used for beauty rituals, relaxation techniques, for medicinal purposes, and even cleansing your environment. The continued use of essential oils as an alternative to mainstream medicine is gaining momentum.

Although called oils, essential oils are not oily-feeling and most are clear, amber or yellow in color. Essential oils are distilled from the flowers, stems, bark, leaves, roots, or other elements of a plant.1 Each natural oil has the fragrance and characteristics of the plant from which the oil was extracted.

Essential oils work in as little as 20 minutes because they are a lipid soluble, which means they are able to go through cell walls. Essential oils are minuscule in molecular size so they can be absorbed into the skin quickly. Combining your essential oil with your favorite carrier oil, will ensure delivery through the skin in a safe and effective manner.

An interesting fact about essential oils is that they do not remain in the body over time.1 Unlike over-the-counter medications or prescriptions that can bring on long term problems from over use, you can use aromatherapy safely on a long-term basis.

The advantages of Essential Oils

Fight cold and flu symptoms
Relax your body
Soothe sore muscles
Heal skin conditions
Alleviate pain
Balance hormones
Improve digestion
Cleanse your home
Create personal care products
Reduce cellulite and wrinkles

Scientific studies show that aromatherapy use by inhaling or absorbing can soothe your body and relieve pain.3 The scent of the plant is not what will make your pain go away, it is the plant chemicals that enter your body through your nose or skin. Rubbing the essential oil onto the skin or inhaling it into your lungs will send these natural chemicals into your bloodstream, which will eventually reach your limbic system.

Cautionary Advice

It is never a good idea to self-treat a serious concern without speaking to your doctor first. Also keep in mind that what you are allergic to in food, you will be allergic to in essential oils. Always follow directions for use of essential oils and find resources available for usage amounts and what the oils are used for before trying your own blend.


The holistic approach of aromatherapy has taken self-treatment to a whole new level.

Before prescription medications were conceived people were treating their ailments with plant oils, and other natural remedies. The benefits of essential oils used in aromatherapy are that they can be used in place of some over-the-counter and prescription drugs and do not have the negative side effects of such medications. Aromatherapy can help alter your perception of pain and improve your mood.