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What are the Benefits & Risks of Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to support & balance the mind, spirit & body. This is used by patients as a form of supportive care that can improve the quality of life & reduces the stress, nausea, anxiety & vomiting that is caused by chemotherapy. It can be combined with complementary treatments like massage therapy & acupuncture with standard treatments.

Essential oils have been used for around 6000 years as they have an aim to improve the person’s health or mood.

The basic materials of aromatherapy are essential oils. These are made from the special plant cells, barks or peels; these use the energy from the sun & elements from the oil, air & water.

Aromatherapy is used through topical application or inhalation; inhalation is that when oil evaporates into the air using a diffuser container, spray or oil droplets or breathed in.

Benefits

Aromatherapy does not provide a cure for diseases, illnesses or rashes but it will support conventional treatment of various conditions. It reduces many things like:

  • Nausea
  • Body & pain aches
  • stress, anxiety, agitation & depression
  • fatigue & insomnia
  • Muscular aches
  • Headaches
  • Circulatory problems
  • Menstrual problems
  • menopausal problems
  • Hair loss

Risks

Every essential oil has its chemical makeup & reason for use, so before applying you should speak to trained aroma therapists, nurses, doctors, massage therapist or pharmacists.

Many beauty & household products like lotions, make up & candles contain products that can have essential oils.

If you have the following problems then you should be careful while using aromatherapy:

  • Allergies
  • Fever
  • Asthma
  • Skin conditions
  • Epilepsy
  • High blood pressure or hypertension

You should tell your therapist in advance if you have any nut allergy as carrier oils can have nuts & seeds.

Aromatherapy has side effects but these don’t last long. These are headaches, nausea & some allergic reactions.

It is recommended to stay away if you are pregnant or a nursing mother as it is not safe for you.

Aromatherapy can pose a risk to the developing fetus. Women who are breastfeeding should avoid peppermint oil as it can be expressed in breast milk.

How is Aromatherapy done?

  • Aromatherapy is used in different ways.
  • Indirect inhalation: In this, you can breathe an essential oil by using a room diffuser or by putting drops nearby.
  • Direct inhalation: In this, you breathe an essential oil by using an individual inhaler with drops floating on the top of hot water, it is used for treating a sinus headache.
  • Aromatherapy Massage: Doing massage with one or more essential oils, diluted in a carrier oil.
  • Combining: You can apply essential oil by combining them with lotions, salts or dressing.

This is rarely taken by mouth.