Archive for June 4th, 2018

I am answering a question from one of our blog readers today. I do this on the blog as questions come up.

Q – I would really like to know more about aromatherapy. What is it, what are the benefits, what are some of the things that could be detrimental or harmful?

A – Aromatherapy has been used for thousands of years. Our whole existence is based on aromas. If we disconnect our societal hang-ups and ourselves and went with just odors, we would see how important it is in everything we do. Our olfactory system is the fastest system in our body next to the brain’s system of thought. It registers on a level below conscious thought in less than a millisecond. We go into flight or fight even before we consciously recognize the odor. Our body is already reacting because this is what has kept us alive. There are some people on this planet that are as sensitive as dogs at hunting other people. There is a tribe in the Philippines that can literally hunt a man by his scent. Everybody is different and everybody has their own scent and so does every animal and every plant. So aromatherapy means treatment-using scents. It is a holistic practice dealing with the body using pleasant smelling botanical oils.

Most essential oils are safe to use but there are a number of them that should only be used under the guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner or not at all. There are some that will cause abortions and historically, that is what they have been used for. Some can cause irritation to the skin and mucous membranes. Here is a list of those oils.

Oils That Are Used With Caution Or Avoided In Aromatherapy

Almond, Bitter Prunus amygdalis, var. amara
Aniseed Pimpinella anisum
Arnica Arnica montana
Boldo Leaf Peumus boldus
Calamus Acorus calamus-acorus
Camphor Cinnamomum camphorus
Cassia Cinnamomum cassia
Cinnamon Bark Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Costus Saussurea lappa
Elecampane Inula helenium
Fennel (Bitter) Foeniculum vulgare
Horseradish Cochlearia armorica
Jaborandi Leaf Pilocarpus jaborandi
Mugwort (Armoise) Artemisia vulgaris
Mustard Brassica nigra
Origanum Origanum vulgare
Origanum (Spanish) Thymus capitatus
Pennyroyal (European) Mentha pulegium
Pennyroyal (N. American) Hedeoma pulegioides
Pine (Dwarf) Pinus pumilio
Rue Ruta graveolens
Sage Salvia officinalis
Sassafras Sassafras albidum
Sassafras (Brazilian) Ocotea cymbarum
Savin Juniperus sabina
Savory (Summer) Satureia hortensis
Savory (Winter) Satureia montana
Southernwood Artemisia abrotanum
Tansy Tanacetum vulgare
Thuja (Cedarleaf) Thuja ocddentalis
Thuja Plicata Thuja plicata
Wintergreen Gaultheria procumbens
Wormseed Chenopodium anthelminticum
Wormwood Artemisia absinthium



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