The Role of Essential Oils in Aromatherapy

The Role of Essential Oils in Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a practice that utilizes essential oils extracted from various plant parts to promote physical and emotional well-being. Aromatherapy uses these oils, with unique fragrances from each part of a plant, to stimulate your olfactory nerve and reach into the limbic system for maximum effect.

Essential oils can be inhaled, added to bathwater or combined with base oils for topical application. Ingesting them via capsules or drinks requires additional knowledge and training.


Essential oils possess the natural ability to soothe both body and mind, using scent molecules from these plant extracts that travel from our olfactory nerves directly into our amygdala in order to have an immediate impactful response in terms of emotions and mood.

When inhaled, essential oils affect your physiology by targeting specific cells within your lungs and altering brain chemistry. When applied topically (e.g. via massage or diffuser), chemicals absorbed through skin then enter bloodstream.

Topical application can provide other health benefits, including relieving headaches (with peppermint oil) or soothing digestive issues. But it’s important to remember that most oils need to be mixed with carrier oils like jojoba, castor or avocado oil in order to facilitate absorption and avoid an allergic reaction. When used under proper guidance from a trained aromatherapist and administered appropriately using vape pens – an increasingly popular trend – these oils can be safe.


Essential oils can provide an invigorating aromatherapy treatment, stimulating both mind and energy levels. Thyme and helichrysum oils have been demonstrated to increase alertness when combined with carrier oils such as coconut or jojoba and applied topically.

Aromas from essential oils stimulate scent receptors in our noses that send messages directly to areas of our brain responsible for memory, emotions and hormone production. This can help alleviate stress and depression; boost concentration and mental clarity; as well as promote an immune-enhancing immune system.

Dechen says adding essential oils to a bath or cold water diffuser is generally safe, while ingestion or use in a “vape” pen, which heats oils to produce vapor for inhalation, may irritate esophagus and stomach as well as potentially toxic; for this reason such practices should only be undertaken under physician care and following specific instructions. (10)


Essential oils are concentrated chemical compounds found within many plants’ roots, seeds, flowers and bark that contain highly potent chemical compounds known as essential oils. When inhaled or massaged into the skin (or rarely taken orally under specific instructions from a trained professional), these essential oils can help cleanse both body and mind.

Your nose connects directly with parts of the brain responsible for emotions and memories, and studies suggest that molecules present in essential oil scents may stimulate these areas and bring about changes to emotional states.

Detoxifying oils that offer depurative and diuretic benefits include fennel, grapefruit, lemon, orange sweet, juniper and others. To use, combine several drops with water or massage base oil and inhale or apply directly onto skin; when taking a bath add the mixture just prior to entering so the scent has time to diffuse into the air. Never heat or “vape” essential oils as this changes their chemical makeup and could potentially be toxic when inhaled into lungs.


Since ancient times, aromatic oils have been utilized to promote physical and mental wellbeing. Nowadays, these fragrant plant extracts can be found in lotions and household cleaners; massage therapy sessions; integrative complementary therapy treatment of cancer symptoms; etc.

Essential oils are extracted from plant cells that give their fragrance to various parts of a plant such as bark, roots, leaves, flowers or seeds and then applied directly to the skin where they can be absorbed through pores or bloodstream.

No one knows for certain how essential oils work, but researchers suspect they activate our sense of smell and trigger responses in our brain, such as amygdala and hippocampus, which play key roles in emotions and memory respectively. Furthermore, the oils may interact with hormones or enzymes within our bodies – whatever their purpose, experts advise using high-quality, properly diluted oils in order to avoid irritations or allergic reactions from taking place.

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