Aromatherapy, otherwise known as essential oil therapy, is thought to heal the mind and body through various natural fragrances. These can be from the “flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant“. Included is particular smells and absorption of oils through the skin. Recently, as in other traditionally Asian arts, it has been researched for its medical potential.

This form of therapy has been in many cultures for millenniums. It is one form of medicine in Ayurvedic medicine, the great, ancient medical art of Indian origin. It wasn’t until the 1800’s that the West caught on to this form of treatment.

What is aromatherapy? - Dr. Axe

It would make sense that smells have a big impact on us. After all, 80% of what we taste is, in actuality, what we smell. Just as we have cells in our ears activated by pressure on fine hairs, and cells in our eyes activated by light photons, we have olfactory cells, or, cells that are activated by smell, in our nose. The olfactory bulb is the limbic system, our primitive, general brain region. But it directly synapses with, or, communicated with, the neocortex, which is the cognitively advanced, general brain region. Furthermore, significant literature suggests that the olfactory bulb may be one of only two regions (the other being the hippocampus) that continues to produce new neurons throughout our lives.

One study relates that olfactory abnormalities might be a marker of psychiatric conditions, with a specific pattern for each disease.

Healthline.com lists various, more particular uses of these oils

  • diffusers
  • aromatic spritzers
  • inhalers
  • bathing salts
  • body oils, creams, or lotions for massage or topical application
  • facial steamers
  • hot and cold compresses
  • clay masks
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These benefits have been recorded, of the practice, by Healthline, again

Of the conditions it is said to treat:

Studies suggest therapeutic value! This is despite lack of rigorous study, as there isn’t lucrative value in exploring the benefits of chemicals that one can grow themselves in plant (or fungi) form. Bolded are the caveats that reflect this fact.

Sources: https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-aromatherapy, https://www.livescience.com/10457-smell.html, https://www.neuroscientificallychallenged.com/blog/know-your-brain-olfactory-bulb, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/217087644513436672/?lp=true, https://draxe.com/what-is-aromatherapy/, https://www.oilsbymadison.com/diy-how-tos/, https://naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/about-aromatherapy/most-commonly-used-essential-oils