Revealed: Is aromatherapy as beneficial as said to be?

Wednesday, 26 December 2012 - 10:02am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
The benefits of aromatherapy are only seen when they are used correctly. DNA consults an expert on the matter.

A newspaper recently pointed out that long-term exposure to aromatic oils and vapour can cause damage to the body. Anything that is in excess is bad for the mind and body — the same applies to aromatherapy, which is known around the world for its beneficial effects.

“Aromatherapy is an alternate form of therapy, and as with other schools of medicine has a science behind it,” says Nirmal Minawala, CEO, Aroma Treasures. “For hundreds of years we have been using agarbattis in India which are made of herbs and perfumed with pure essential oils, and no one has ever said they are harmful.”

Nirmal elaborates by saying that oils are to be used according to needs, and not all oils work for everyone. Rosemary oil, which is good for the hair and for oily skin, is also to known to bring up blood pressure, which is good for lethargy. “This, when used by someone who has high blood pressure will naturally have an undesired effect. Oils like these that have specific uses are labelled with the necessary precautions for correct use in leaflets that are included with the product,” he explains. Some people are also naturally sensitive to the environment, and they should be cautious while using aromatherapy as they would with other fragrances.

Overall, aromatherapy when used correctly, has many desirable effects on the body, because many of them have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, like tee tree oil. Juniper berry and cypress  vapours kill infections in the air, while jasmine removes depression and stress. Fragrances also work in tandem with your body, and your mood at the time reflects which scent you will prefer at any given moment.

When aromatherapy is used for its medicinal value, the rules apply as they would for regular medication. “It’s important to stop using the given oils when the ailment is gone or the problem arrested. Continued use of any medication is not good for the body,” Nirmal says. It is also crucial to understand the purpose of certain oils and use them wisely, especially if they are not pre-blended, preferably after consulting an aromatherapist. “A hyper person should not use a stimulating oil, while someone who is feeling low will not benefit from using a relaxing fragrance,” he concludes.

Some beneficial essential oils

  • Lemongrass oil: revitalises the body
  • Marjoram: brings down blood pressure
  • Vertivert oil: cooling effect on skin
  • Turmeric: antiseptic, cleanses skin
  • Geranium, berry sage: for calmness

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