What is Aromatherapy?


I want to touch briefly on aromatherapy, since it can play a huge role in what we’re trying to accomplish here.  That is, maintaining or restoring total health and wellness, holistically in mind, body and spirit.  This is meant to introduce you to aromatherapy and acquaint you with the many benefits available through the use of essential oils.  I hope what you read will spark your interest and inspire you to learn more about aromatherapy and how it can help you.  So, what is aromatherapy, anyway?

essential oil in bottle with dropper

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy has been in existence for nearly 3500 years.  Authentic aromatherapy utilizes medicinal plant extracts called “essential oils” to evoke the body’s own healing power.  That is, essential oils support the body in achieving what it does naturally, that is seek balance.  It is not just about the aroma, but the process that occurs in the body at a cellular level after its applied. Essential oils have the ability to destroy abnormal cells, like cancer cells, without harming normal cells.    Essential oils have been found to provide psychological, emotional, physical and spiritual benefits when used correctly.  Products that contain synthetic (man made) ingredients are not a part of holistic aromatherapy.

The 3 Basic Application Methods

  1. German model – promotes inhalation.  There are a few different ways you can inhale essential oils:  place 1-4 drops on a tissue and place near your nose and inhale.  For steam inhalation, boil 2 cups of water, pour in a bowl, add 3-7 drops of the essential oil of your choice, place your nose about 12″ from the bowl and inhale the steam.  Don’t inhale constantly and stop immediately if you notice any discomfort.  Careful with oils that can irritate your mucous membranes, like cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary, pine, thyme, etc.
  2. English model – promotes topical applications of diluted essential oils.
  3. French models – uses inhalation, topical and internal methods.  Internal use requires guidance from a clinically trained aromatherapist.

The effects of aromatherapy are numerous.  No other modality influences body, mind and spirit as completely as aromatherapy.

3 of My Favorite Essential Oils and Their Uses

These are just 3 of the thousands of essential oils to choose from.  These are 3 that I use frequently and have found especially therapeutic at this time in my life…over 50.

  • Lavender.  Lavender contains an oil that seems to have a sedating effect and relaxes muscles.  It is used to calm the mind, heal the body and lavenderimprove well being.  Specifically, it used to treat restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, depression, digestion, gas, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea and upset stomach.  It can also be used for migraines, toothaches, sprains, nerve pain, sores, joint pain, acne, cancer, hair loss and even to repel mosquitoes.  When added to bath water, lavender treats circulation disorders and improves mental well being.


  • Patchouli.  Patchouli is rich, earthy and grounding.  In skin care, patchouli oil is helpful for most skin types ranging from dry, cracked skin to regulating oily skin and acne.  It helps with eczema, psoriasis and dandruff.  Emotionally, patchouli oil is calming and grounding.  Spiritually, it is used during prayer and meditation.  Some other uses are for treating athlete’s foot, dermatitis, chapped patchouli skin, frigidity and maturing skin (that’s ours).





  • Tea Tree Oil.  tea treeTea tree oil is medicinal, fresh, woody, earthy and herbaceous.  It is used for acne, athlete’s foot, candida, chicken pox, cold sores, corns, cuts, flu, insect bites, itching, migraines, oily skin, ring worm, sinusitis, sores, spots (age spots), urethritis, warts and whooping cough.





Please feel free to leave a comment with your favorite essential oil and how it benefits you.  Or, if you’ve never used any essential oils, let me know what issues you’d like to address and I’ll try to lead you in the right direction.  Thanks for visiting today!

Suggested reading:  Complete Guide to Aromatherapy by Salvatore Battaglia

Be Well!

Mountain Rose Herbs


7 thoughts on “What is Aromatherapy?

  1. Hi Barb,
    You really did an outstanding job at presenting all of the positive factors that would be inherent with the concept of aromatherapy. I did not realize that with regarding therapy and the benefits to one’s body that the principal behind aromatherapy has been around for over 3,500 years as stated in the article.

    I quite understand that your website is geared towards the health and wellness for women over 50, but I also see the benefits to aromatherapy being practiced by males – their health and overall being able to lead a much stressful life regarding mind, body and spirit would be enhanced by participating in aromatherapy. It has positive benefits into nurturing one’s skin as well as the cellular development within the body.

    I take it that aromatherapy has been something that has been a part of your life for a while now? Through your writing it is very evident that you have a great deal of knowledge on the subject.

    Also the images that you included as you discussed your favorite 3 oils greatly enhanced what was stated verbally in the description of each.

    This article most definitely would be of benefit to the reader who might be looking into what aromatherapy has to offer.

    • thanks, Jeff, you just made my day! My goal was accomplished by not only appealing to just one person, but that person being MALE. Awesome! And, thank you so much for taking the time to read an article geared toward women, I truly appreciate that. You are right, pretty much everyone and anyone can benefit from making aromatherapy part of their daily lives.

      Be Well!


  2. Hi Barb,

    There is a lot to aromatherapy even for our canine friends! My favorite is Rosemary oil to make myself more alert. It’s supposed to be good for a variety of reasons including reducing anxiety and hair loss, lol. But I keep a little vial in my purse so if I feel dull after lunch I can simply inhale and/or dab as desired. The fragrence is so fresh and herbal that even if it didn’t work, I’d still use it!

    • Hi Jill! Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to let us know your favorite essential oil! I will definitely add rosemary oil to my list of favorites!
      Be well!

  3. Pingback: Reiki Healing: Is It For You? | Health and Wellness for Women Over 50

  4. Such a great helpful, informative, site for women over 50. It’s good to known how to help with your health and wellness at a certain age. I enjoyed reading on the aromatherapy and benefits of them, I will be book marking you so I can learn more. Thank you for all your knowledge and work for people like me.

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