What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is an age-old alternative medicine technique that harnesses the power of scent to heal and soothe. It uses essential oils, which are concentrated extracts from the flowers, leaves, bark, and roots of plants known for their aromatic and therapeutic properties. These oils can have a profound effect on both your mental and physical health. For example, lavender oil is often used for help with stress and sleep, peppermint oil for healthy gut function, and lemon oil for reducing anxiety and depression.

When inhaled, the molecules in essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain, particularly impacting the amygdala, which is highly involved in processing emotions. In this way, aromatherapy can result in immediate changes in your mood and emotions. If essential oils are absorbed through the skin, they can have localized or systemic effects.

While essential oils are amazing therapeutic tools, they are also potent substances that should be used with caution—it usually takes pounds of plant material to make a single bottle, and because of this, they are essentially concentrated plant chemicals. Using too much can result in toxicity, and using too little may not have the effect you desire. For example, lemon oil can make your skin more vulnerable to sunburn. Additionally, there aren’t regulations requiring the label on essential oils to accurately list all ingredients, which can make it difficult to determine their quality. This is why it’s a good idea to consult with a trained practitioner before using them.

Aromatherapy offers a natural way to enhance your health and well-being. But just because essential oils are natural does not mean that they are always safe. By working with a practitioner, you can safely explore the world of essential oils and discover the positive impact they can have on your life. To work with an aromatherapist, take a look at Tribe’s practitioner directory.

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