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The practice of using plant oils for physical and psychological benefits is known as aromatherapy, and there are numerous passions regarding its use. From holistic and alternative medicine to using essential oils for their aroma’s calming effects casually associated with the term aromatherapy in the western world.

Since ancient times, the use of plants and herbs for their healing properties has proliferated through numerous cultures. The extraction of essential oils from specific plants have been used for medicinal as well as cosmetic purposes for several centuries, however it was not until the early 20th century that the term aromatherapy became part of the English language.

With its beginnings in France, aromatherapy is held in higher regard for medicinal treatment than in other countries, and the oils are used for treatment of bacteria, fungus as well as an antiseptic. Essential oils are included in many phases of pharmaceuticals in several countries, but aromatherapy has not yet been recognized as a branch of medicine in the United States and a few other countries.

Different Oils Created Through Extraction Process

Essential oils are the liquids extracted from a plant, typically through distillation while the oils extracted with the use of a solvent, commonly water, and are usually known as fragrant oils. Carrier oils are those oils, when mixed with essential oils, are used for skin products. Essential or fragrance oils are often mixed into candles and other medium for the aromatherapy benefits expected.

While the medical field has no qualms of expressing its opinion on the benefits of aromatherapy, they concede that there are benefits relating to the relaxation benefits as well as the reduction of stress. The medical and pharmaceutical experts admit that scientific study has been lacking towards the medical benefits of aromatherapy, but point out studies to this point has not provided sufficient evidence to deem further study essential.

Despite the critics, many people have noted the beneficial effects that certain oils have had on them. Lavender is claimed to not only help relaxation and stress reduction, it also holds healing properties. Many cite Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, the French scientist who suffered a third-degree burn on his arm. While attempting to place his arm in water he inadvertently placed it into a small vat of lavender oil.

Noting the immediate relief, he continued to apply lavender oil to his burn, which healed without scarring. He wrote of his experience, using the term aromatherapy for the first time in 1928.

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