Aromatherapy - Not to be sneezed at! - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

Essential oils stimulates the powerful sense of smell. It is known that odors we smell have a significant impact on how we feel. In dealing with patients who have lost the sense of smell, doctors have found that a life without fragrance can lead to high incidence of psychiatric problems such as anxiety and depression. We have the capability to distinguish an amazing 10,000 different smells. It is believed that smells enter through cilia (the fine hairs lining the nose) to the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls our moods, emotions, memory and learning.

stock aromatherapy SML

Essential oils are the concentrated version of the natural oils found in plants. A process called 'distillation' is used to extract the oil from the plant roots, leaves, stems, flowers, or bark.

Scientific studies have also shown that essential oils contain chemical components that can exert specific effects on the mind and body. Their chemistry is complex, but generally includes alcohols, esters, ketones, aldehydes.

Each essential oil contains as much as 100 chemical components, which together exert a strong effect on the whole person. Depending on which component is predominating in an oil, the oils act differently. For example, some oils are relaxing, some soothes you down, some relieves your pain, etc. Then there are oils such as lemon and lavender, which adapt to what your body needs, and adapt to that situation (these are called "adaptogenic"). The mechanism in which these essential oils act on us is not very well understood. What is understood is that they affect our mind and emotions.

Lavendar Oil
Lavender essential oil is the most common essential oil in the world and has been used cosmetically and therapeutically for centuries. It derives its name from the Latin ‘lavare’ meaning ‘to wash”. Lavendar can be used undiluted and is an antimicrobial, antiseptic, antioxidant, calmative, anti-inflammatory and antifungal (1). Studies with brain wave frequency has shown that smelling lavender increases alpha waves in the back of the head, which are associated with relaxation.

Rosemary Oil
Rosemary is often associated with rememberance as it was once grown on the graves of ancestors to invoke their help and guidance. Still today we wear it on Anzac day as it is associated with constancy, friendship and trust and even on other occasions where solemn vows and pledges are made.
Rosemary oil is used to improve the memory, relax muscles and strengthen the brain. Put a few drops in your bath after a hard days physical work, or rub a few drops in your temples if working for exams.

Jasmine Oil
Fragrance of Jasmine increases beta waves in the front of the head, which are associated with a more alert state. 

Tea tree oil
Tea tree is well known known for its antiseptic properties and ability to treat many types of ailments. It is an antiseptic and has been documented in numerous medical studies to kill many strains of bacteria, viruses and fungi.  Tea tree Oil or Cream is a wonderful little remedy to always have on hand for a multiple of uses. It is best not to be ingested orally. It Is found to be effective against head lice, acne, tinea, toenail infections, gingivitis, dandruff, dermatitis and vaginitis.Tea tree oil is also effective for treating insect bites, boils and minor wounds. It has also been known to help soothe sunburns, poison ivy, ear infections, and bee stings.



(1) Biological activities of lavender essential oil

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McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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