Treatments & Therapies

Aromatherapy – Treatment, Effects & Risks


Aromatherapy is based on smells that have a short connection to the human brain . Once in the brain, they decide how we feel based on whether we like a smell or not. Smells usually have a stronger effect on our well-being than sounds or colors. That’s why we often use our sense of smell to decide whether we like a person or not. The smells in aromatherapy can also awaken memories that determine our well-being. And all faster than sounds and colors can.

What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is understood to mean controlled applications based on natural essential oils with the aim of maintaining the physical and mental health of people. A distinction is made between the scientific approach to aromatherapy and the complementary approach.

The scientific theory of aromatherapy assumes that the effects of the inhaled oils occur as a result of the human sense of smell. Furthermore, the vegetable content of the oils should get into the blood through the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and in this way influence the functions of various organs.

In the medical approach to aromatherapy, the origin of the essential oils used matters, while in complementary aromatherapy, the use of the oils is a subjective decision.

Function, effect & goals

An example of an application of aromatherapy is baths . Bath additives can be bought ready-made in stores or you can make them yourself. If you want to make your own bath additives, mix 15 drops of essence with a little cream (50 ml) for full baths.

Eight to 10 drops of essence are sufficient for partial baths. The whole thing is shaken vigorously and added to the bath water. Depending on the essence, bath additives can have a stimulating, calming and pain-relieving effect. However, if you have a cardiovascular disease, you should pay attention to the temperature of the water. Other methods of application are: inhalation, fragrance lamps, vaporization of essential oils in the room, massages , poultices and wraps.

Aromatherapy with thyme, savory or clove is able to kill bacteria . Lemon or tea tree oils can destroy viruses . Lavender oil has a psychologically balancing effect and promotes sleep. Jasmine oil has a relaxing and harmonizing effect. Angelica root helps anxious and reticent people. If you suffer from travel sickness, put a drop on your hand and breathe in the oil. Bergamot has a strengthening effect in the event of stress and states of exhaustion .

Furthermore, it has a relaxing, anxiolytic and mood-enhancing effect and promotes creativity. Citronella has a refreshing and stimulating effect, and the oil also helps to create new optimism. The oil of the spruce needle also has a stimulating effect, it also provides new energy in cases of general weakness and helps against nervousness and stress.

Mandarin oil has a cheering effect and relieves tension and fears . Lemon balm not only has a harmonizing effect, but also mood-enhancing and strengthening and is therefore often used in aromatherapy against depression , melancholy, stress and sleep disorders .

Risks & side effects

When it comes to aromatherapy , there are a few rules to keep in mind, as it also involves risks. Basically, essential oils should never be applied undiluted to the skin , as this can lead to skin irritation and allergies.Eye contact with the oils should be avoided. Also, some essential oils increase photosensitivity , which makes the skin more sensitive and can lead to severe skin reactions, especially after exposure to strong sunlight. Even with normal skin, certain oils are not recommended. The use of essential oils on open wounds and a tendency to thrombosis should be avoided . Also for epilepsy. Toxic essential oils such as mugwort or thuja should never be used.

People who are treated with homeopathic remedies can use aroma lamps, but they should avoid high-dose external use with essential oils. The following oils in particular should be mentioned here, which can severely impair the effect of homeopathic remedies: peppermint , thyme , chamomile .

Angelica root, anise , basil and savory should not be used during pregnancy. The same applies to mint, nutmeg, myrrh , clove, origanum, juniper and others. For pregnant women, it is always advisable to ask an expert which oils may be used. Breastfeeding women can use wound-healing oils externally. For example rose and jasmine. Women should refrain from using massage oils, baths and inhalations with high-dose oils two hours before breastfeeding.

Certain essential oils are toxic and can cause organ damage if taken internally. For example basil, savory, fennel , camphor, cinnamon and others. Non-toxic oils are tea tree, lavender and rose, which incidentally also cover the widest and most important range of uses in aromatherapy.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.