What is aromatherapy?
Treatment with scents — another pseudoscientific direction or a really working technique that can affect the body? And if so, what can be treated with aromatherapy? What is aromatherapy? This neologism is usually called one of the varieties of alternative medicine, which is based on the use of useful properties of extracts and essential oils of plants. The most common places where this technique is used are beauty salons, massage rooms, and health centers. The technique is really ancient. In ancient Chinese written sources mention of it appeared in the second century BC. In addition to Chinese medicine, the healing properties of essential oils were used by healers in India, Ancient Greece, Egypt, Ancient Rome, and Russia. How does it work? The effect of aromatherapy sessions is based on the effects of the following biologically active substances contained in essential oils: Compounds from the category of phenols have extremely pronounced antimicrobial properties. Cinnamon aldehyde is able to fight infectious agents no less effectively than phenols. Monoterpenols. This is the name of a whole group of substances; its most famous representative is menthol. Monoterpenols have a pronounced bactericidal effect against a wide range of pathogens. These substances also have the property of suppressing the development of viruses. Sesquiterpenols. Another complex of substances that have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Aldehydes (citral, citronellal and cuminal) have a bactericidal effect against a wide range of pathogens. Ketones are an extensive group of biologically active substances that are highly effective in infectious diseases accompanied by mucous secretions. Oxides have a powerful anti-infective effect, which is realized by increasing the tone and activity of the lymphatic system. Thymol and substances similar to it in structure demonstrate high antifungal activity. What is treated with odors? Finally, the scope of the effectiveness of aromatherapy has not yet been outlined. Based on what is known about the properties of substances that make up essential oils, it is concluded that they are effective as preventive agents at the risk of infection with respiratory infectious diseases (ARI, SARS). As one of the auxiliary methods, it is possible to use aromatherapy in the treatment of this group of pathologies. In addition, aromatherapy as an accompanying treatment has been widely used when working with patients suffering from high anxiety, stress, suffering from chronic pain syndrome, obsessive nausea. Often, aromatherapy sessions are accompanied by a course of massage, acupuncture, reflexology in the treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. Apparently, aromatherapy is not widely used for several reasons: first, the range of conditions in which this procedure is really effective is not so great. More often, aromatherapy sessions have a preventive value. Secondly, this procedure may not be allowed for everyone. Special care should be taken by people with a tendency to allergic reactions.