A Brief Summary of Aromatherapy and Essential Oils

aromatherapy and essential oils introduction

Aromatherapy is the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about essential oils.

However, when you consider how many different plants there are as well as the qualities that each one has, it makes a lot of sense that certain essential oils serve other functions in addition to providing a pleasant aroma. There are some essential oils that may also assist our bodies in warding off or fighting off diseases.

Antiseptic Essential Oils

Antiseptics are substances that are capable of eliminating microorganisms. Some bacteria are beneficial to human health, whereas other bacteria are the cause of many diseases. Antibiotics, which are comparable to other types of antiseptics but not identical to them, have been extensively employed in recent history to battle dangerous bacteria. However, antibiotics may also be damaging to beneficial bacteria, and hazardous bacteria have been evolving to survive treatments with antibiotics.

According to an article that was conducted in The majority of the serious clinical studies that have been conducted on essential oils for antiseptic purposes have been searching for potential ingredients in hand sanitizers that will be effective in medical settings where bacteria have become immune to other common lines of defense.

The following are some of the plant extracts that are mentioned in the article that have shown some promise in research:

  • Thyme
  • Clove
  • Lemongrass
  • Lavender
  • Basil
  • Chili Peppers
  • And Cinnamon

Clove, Rosemary, chili peppers, and lavender were also listed among essential oils found to have antimicrobial effects that a meta-analysis published in The Journal of Applied Bioscience, as were essential oils made from:

  • Juniper
  • Olives 
  • Peppermint
  • Fennel
  • Lemon Leaves
  • And Lime Leaves
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Scientists aren’t entirely sure yet how or why essential oils can kill bacteria, but some have proposed that chemicals in the essential oils can damage the cell walls of the bacteria.

This would also explain why essential oils included as ingredients in more conventional antiseptics tend to be more efficient than essential oils by themselves.

Anti-Viral Essential Oils

Bacteria and viruses are both pathogens that may make you sick, but they are not the same. Bacteria and viruses can cause illness, but they do so in very different ways and need very different treatments and preventative measures.

For instance, even if it were shown that essential oils may kill bacteria by causing damage to their cell walls, this strategy would not work against viruses since viruses do not have cell walls. To our good fortune, research has also uncovered a variety of essential oils that may possess antiviral properties and might be of use.

In the same meta-analysis that was referenced above, sandalwood oil, tea tree oil, thyme, and ginger were all identified as essential oils having anti-viral effects. Another study that was published in the journal Acute Medicine found that eucalyptus exhibited promising anti-viral properties as well, especially when it was used as a mouthwash for the treatment of herpes simplex.

In a different study that was published in The American Journal of Essential Oils and Natural Products, it was discovered that cinnamon, bergamot, thyme, and eucalyptus all have potentially useful anti-viral effects, and these qualities are present in both the liquid and the vapor states.

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This article focused on combating the influenza virus, which not only causes the common cold but also has the potential to cause fatalities in certain cases.

Other Areas Of Research

Recent studies have looked at the possibility that essential oils have antifungal and potentially anticancer properties, which would be advantageous.

The possibility that essential oils might be beneficial in the treatment of mood and anxiety problems has generated the vast majority of people’s interest in these substances.

Other Ways To Get The Benefits

As a result of the limited availability of these other essential oils in the marketplace, several of the research studies contained additional essential oils that were not considered suitable for inclusion in this chapter.

In addition to being easily accessible in commercial settings, the majority of the essential oils covered in this chapter are derived from the plants that may be consumed. Consuming the plants that essential oils are extracted from may have similar benefits to ingesting the oils themselves, despite the fact that essential oils are often inedible.

Consuming the foods that create essential oils may not have the same powerful or rapid impact as utilizing essential oils since essential oils are highly concentrated and potent compounds.

On the other hand, if you consume the meals rather than simply the oils, you will take in a variety of nutrients that are not necessarily included in essential oils. Many of the essential oils, for instance, originate from plants that also contain antioxidants and many other vital elements. These plants are described above.

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