Aromatherapy – An Effective Way To Enhance Your Immunity
It’s all over the news nowadays that consuming powerful immune-boosting herbs and spices like clove bud, cinnamon- bark, black-pepper, neem, peppermint, ginger, etc to name a few in the form of infusions or decoctions are protective for our respiratory health. In fact, this boiling and drinking of these herbs dates back to thousands of years and is backed up scientifically in Ayurveda medicine.
But did you know we can also avail of the beneficial properties of these herbs and spices by inhaling them with modern ultrasonic diffusers? These essential oil diffusers vaporize the oils and release very small safe amounts into the air. They also humidify and revitalize the room air, acting as a wellness delivery system, and connect you to the medicinal energy of plants. One can see them being used in spas and health clinics and has become popular nowadays for use in homes and offices.
Also known as Aromatherapy, when you inhale the fragrance of essential oil, the aroma molecules enter your body’s cells via the receptors of the olfactory nerves which are present are in the nasal cavity. Then the molecules in seconds are further transported into the lungs and blood vessels to exert its immune-modulating effects. The fragrance molecules also affect the limbic system in your brain via the olfactory nerves, which control both memories and emotions.
The concentrated hydrophobic volatile liquid extracted from clove buds, cinnamon bark, ginger, black pepper, neem, etc are called essential oils. They are the volatile aromatic compounds of the plants which evaporate when exposed to the air. They contain constituents like Alcohols (Monoterpenols and Sesquiterpenols), Aldehydes, Coumarins, Ethers, Esters, Ketones, Lactones, Terpenes (Monoterpenes and Sesquiterpenes), Oxides, Phenols, and many more. They are super concentrated. For example, it takes about 3.5 kilos of fresh peppermint leaves to produce 15 ml of essential oil or 30 kilos of rose petals to produce 15 ml of essential oil.
These oils have potential immune-boosting health benefits and can definitely be used as Aromatherapy. The oils tend to work synergistically, and using a blend of oils creates a much more powerful effect. You can make your own blend combinations to experiment which blends resonate best with you. Lemon, orange sweet, and eucalyptus can also be combined with the above-mentioned ones. Or you may just use them as singles. About three to five drops are required per 100 milliliters. Details should be followed as instructed on the essential oil product information.
However, if the oils used are not natural and 100 percent pure, instead of attaining therapeutic benefits one can end up with negative health consequences. So please be careful about the quality of your oils.
Essential oils have many more health benefits that are backed by science. A few of them are listed below.
- Modulating our immunity and assisting in suppressing infections.
- Digestion and GI tract care
- Boosting energy and improving mental health
- Hormone balancing
- Alleviating and managing pains
- Destressing and promoting deep, restful sleep
Essential oils have been around for quite some time. The earliest recorded mention of the techniques and methods used to produce essential oils is believed to be that of Ibn al-Baitar (1188–1248), an Al-Andalusian (Muslim Spain) physician, pharmacist, and chemist.
Safety: Keep out of reach of children. Do not use internally, unless directed by a health practitioner. If pregnant, nursing, or taking medication, consult a physician. Discontinue use if irritation occurs. Do not use undiluted on the skin, mucous membrane, or eyes. Natural essential oils are highly concentrated, hence should be used with care.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or prescribe in any way.
Scholarly references on essential oils: