What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a treatment or prevention of various symptom that comes from diseases, anxiety and pain. It uses plant materials, mainly plant oils and it is combined with some therapeutic massage. It was found that aromatherapy is effective in terms of mental, spiritual and social aspects. Put simply, aromatherapy is a massage therapy whose efficacy is amplified by the use of aromatic plant extracts.

Why aromatherapy, instead of medicine?

Anxiety eats us and if it is untreated, it costs our lives. For example, anxieties are associated with high blood pressure, weakness, fatigue,unpleasant mood, tension and restlessness that will eventually lead us depression and thoughts of death or suicide [1]. Unfortunately, we tend to underestimate the lethality of anxiety so if you have some spare time, Hydra-time would strongly recommend you to take a brief look at the [1] to get the right understanding of how anxiety do you a harm.

When we are under pressure and anxiety, our primary choices would be either going to GP to get some medicine prescribed or going to chemist to buy ourselves some packages of medicines. Importantly, all the anti-anxiety medicines, which are usually chemically synthesised and purified, carry some side-effects and this can sometimes make your condition even worse. What's more, they are potentially addictive. A piece of good news is, the materials used in aromatherapy are all plants and it is free from side-effects and addiction. So aromatherapy is a safe and pleasant alternative of drug therapy.

How does aromatherapy help me?

・For quelling anxiety. A study with 16 subjects treated by aromatherapy showed that it has positive effects on quelling their anxiety. In addition, aromatherapy was found more effective for anxiety than massage without aroma [2].

  • ・Aromatic compounds in plant extracts were shown to have antiviral, anticancer and anti-inflammatory effects [3].

    ・Reducing the level of headache. Two hundreds and seventy people with chronic or tension-type headache went through acupuncture treatments and the researchers concluded that acupuncture was effective to reduce the level of headaches [4].

    ・Antidepressant effects by olfactory stimulation by plant extracts [4][5].

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    References

    • [1] Treating depression and anxiety in primary care. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2008;10:145–152..
    • [2]Lee, Yuk-Lan, et al. "A systematic review on the anxiolytic effects of aromatherapy in people with anxiety symptoms." The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 17.2 (2011): 101-108.
    • [3]Adorjan, Barbara, and Gerhard Buchbauer. "Biological properties of essential oils: an updated review." Flavour and Fragrance Journal 25.6 (2010): 407-426
    • [4]Elisabetsky, Elaine, Jeanine Marschner, and Diogo Onofre Souza. "Effects of linalool on glutamatergic system in the rat cerebral cortex." Neurochemical research 20.4 (1995): 461-465.
    • [5]Perveen, Tahira, et al. "Repeated administration of Nigella sativa decreases 5-HT turnover and produces anxiolytic effects in rats." Pak J Pharm Sci 22.2 (2009): 139-144.