DO: Purchasing oils from reputable mail-order companies may result in obtaining higher quality oils at less expense than purchasing oils from a generic local health food establishment. Again, there is a wide variance in the quality of oils from company to company and store to store. Although AromaWeb does not make an endorsement of any establishment, the Global Aromatherapy Business Directory lists a variety of companies that sell essential oils and aromatherapy products.
The use of essential oils for therapeutic, spiritual, hygienic and ritualistic purposes goes back to ancient civilizations including the Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans who used them in cosmetics, perfumes and drugs. Oils were used for aesthetic pleasure and in the beauty industry. It was a luxury item and a means of payment. It was believed the essential oils increased the shelf life of wine and improved the taste of food.
Baths have existed for centuries. Hot baths enhance the blood flow inside your body and enable the blood vessels to operate better. If you should, build as much as a hotter bath above a week or so to let your body become accustomed to the warmer temperatures. A candle-lit aromatherapy bath can help you relax and enjoy your beautiful home. It’s a sure-fire way to carve out some “me” time at the end (or beginning?) of your busy day.
Analysis using gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS) establishes the quality of essential oils. These techniques are able to measure the levels of components to a few parts per billion. This does not make it possible to determine whether each component is natural or whether a poor oil has been 'improved' by the addition of synthetic aromachemicals, but the latter is often signaled by the minor impurities present. For example, linalool made in plants will be accompanied by a small amount of hydro-linalool, whilst synthetic linalool has traces of dihydro-linalool.
The inhaled aroma from these "essential" oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing. A form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy is gaining momentum. It is used for a variety of applications, including pain relief, mood enhancement and increased cognitive function.