“Aromatherapy” is a word which is thrown around casually these days. Often, the term is used inaccurately by manufacturers of products– sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.

What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is one of the oldest healing arts known to man. Although at Essio, we make no medical claims for our six original, 100% USDA certified organic essential oil blends for the shower, we do know that they make people feel good. Not to mention smell good.

But aromatherapy is more than fragrance.

When we ask “What is aromatherapy?”, the answer lies in the word itself. Aromatherapy is the use of aromatics to produce beneficial health effects. These effects may be directed at mind and body; all great healing traditions, in fact, address mind and body as one, so the benefits are interrelated.

Aromatherapy in the modern sense relies upon botanicals– bark, leaves, peels, blossoms and other parts of plants from which precious essential oils may be extracted.

A crucial aspect of the answer to the question, “What is aromatherapy?”, is that aromatherapy by definition requires the use of genuine essential oils. These represent the aromatic aspect of the therapy. Not all fragrances, or fragranced products, contain essential oils. Therefore, not all good-smelling products are genuine aromatherapy products.

This is a major point of departure when asking and answering the question “What is aromatherapy?”.  Many products on the shelf label themselves aromatherapy, and use the word “aromatherapy” in their packaging, even though they do not contain essential oils. This may be misleading. Be sure to read the label carefully. What you don’t want: artificial fragrances or perfumes, which are synthesized in a lab. These synthetics have absolutely no benefit to your health. In fact, some are irritating to sensitive eyes, or have other health downsides.

What role do essential oils play?

Essential oils, which are the basis of aromatherapy, have been used by human beings for literally thousands of years, in various beneficial ways. Many essential oils, such as Lavender, are mild anti-pathogens, meaning that they purify, sanitize, disinfect and prevent the growth of viruses, bacteria and fungi.  Is Lavender a substitute for antibiotics? No. But as a holistic part of daily living, essential oil of Lavender supports health, which is why we use it in many of our exclusive shower aromatherapy blends.  It also makes your sock-drawer smell like Provence.

Other essential oils are natural insect-repellants. For instance, Patchouli leaves were used by Chinese silk merchants to protect their priceless textiles as the bolts of fabric were sent by caravan across Asia to Europe and beyond. The spicy-smoky aroma of essential oil of Patchouli repelled moths and other pests, and even added to the exotic allure of the fabrics as they were unfolded in Venice, Vienna, or colonial Virginia.

How does aromatherapy work?

Essential oils are the key. One pleasurable way to experience aromatherapy is via an essential oils massage in the spa. Luxurious, and a fantastic all-over body high.

Essio essential oil aromatherapy blends bring the experience to your own shower, every day– affordable and convenient. Basically, when taking an Essio aromatherapy shower, all you have to do is breathe. Micro-particles of the aromatic botanical which are present in the essential oils used to create the blend– such as Rose, Peppermint, Frankincense, Patchouli, Lavender, Citrus–enter your body through your nostrils as you inhale. These micro-particles enter the blood-stream, and are demonstrated to have positive effects on mood, concentration, energy, attitude and alertness.

The complex physiological mechanisms for how essential oil components affect the human brain and central nervous system are being studied today with new seriousness by scientists. One of the reasons for this is that many consumers seek an alternative to traditional Western medicine, specifically pharmaceutical drugs, for common, chronic issues such as depression, stress and sleeplessness.

What is aromatherapy? A great way to bring out the best in body and mind, just by using the gifts of the green, growing earth.