Aromatherapy is the use of therapeutic grade essential oils to improve ones wellness, as such it is perfectly suitable for Christians to use. Using scented candles, lotions and creams is considered part of aromatherapy. However, usually such things do not have enough therapeutic essential oil in them to have much healing benefit. So, what is aromatherapy? According to the FDA essential oils are not drugs, therefore claims cannot be made that essential oils can cure or treat diseases. Terms such as antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal etc. are medical terms and cannot be used in conjunction with essential oils. Aromatherapy is not about drugs. However, there is significant scientific evidence that essential oils are very affective, and there are thousands of years of clinical and personal evidence to support aromatherapy.
Aroma consists of volatile molecules that are small enough to float in the air. Millions of olfactory receptor cells line the nose. Aroma causes these nerves to fire and send messages to the limbic area (which is the emotional center) of the brain. From there, the messages travel to other parts of the brain, activating thought and memory. The pituitary gland is also stimulated to release chemical messages that travel via the blood and nervous system to glands and organs that create physical body responses. Hence the scent of an essential oil has the power to activate a number of physical and emotional responses. It happens in less than a second! The sense of smell is the only one of the 5 senses that can evoke an immediate emotional response.
Because of their molecular structures, organic essential oils are rapidly absorbed when applied to the skin. Silky smooth to the touch, essential oils penetrate the outer layer of skin. It is often possible to smell some essential oils on the breath shortly after applying them to the body, try it with peppermint oil. Upon reaching the dermal layer of skin, essential oils lead to different effects, depending on the type of oil applied. Because essential oils are made of hundreds of chemical compounds they have a way of balancing and supporting cellular function. One oil, such as lavender, can be effective for oily skin can also be effective for dry skin.
Plants have many complex chemical compounds. These compounds were designed to be used for healing when the plant is cut or broken, for protecting against bacteria and molds, and to support the rebuilding of the plant.
I watched a program the other day that was telling about amber and how bugs and things would get stuck and die in the sticky resin before it got hard. They filmed ants that would climb these certain trees and risk their lives to collect the resin, which they used to place around the entrance to their nests because it would protect the nest from bacteria!
Different parts of plants are used for distillation of organic essential oils, such as the flower, bark, roots or leaves. The distillation captures these complex compounds that have such wonderful benefits. Human molecules easily recognize the molecules of organic essential oils so we can enjoy the same wonderful benefits.