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Press Room Archive

Aromatherapy

January 25, 2008

Aromatherapy
Whether it’s the sweet essence of roses, the fruity tang of oranges, or the freshness of peppermint, smell is a powerful sense that can alter our emotions and evoke memories.  Though our tongue can only distinguish 4 types of tastes, the nose can identify up to 10,000 different scents!  This happens through the olfactory membrane, the only place in the body where the central nervous system is exposed to its environment.  This means that every smell is transferred directly to the brain, eliciting an immediate emotional response. 

Throughout history, advanced civilizations have recognized the power of aromatherapy and used it as a means to heal the body and mind.  Thousands of years ago, the Egyptian physician Imhotep utilized fragrant oils in bathing and massage.  Hippocrates, referred to as the “father of medicine,” created aromas through fumigation in order to cure the plague in ancient Greece. 

The origin of modern aromatherapy was discovered by accident in the 1920s by French chemist Rene Gattefosse.  After suffering chemical burns in his lab, Gattefosse submerged his hand in a vat of water that had lavender oil mixed in with it.  He realized later that the immediate pain relief and lack of scarring was due to the lavender, thus instigating more research into the medicinal benefits of natural oils.

Today, essential oils from the most potent extracts of plants are used in aromatherapy.  These extracts also come from flowers, fruit, leaves, spices, roots, and wood.  Here are some of the more popular scents, with their effects and benefits on the body and mind:

Basil – uplifting, stimulating – reduces apathy
Chamomile – soothing, relaxing – reduces irritability and stress
Clove – warming
Eucalyptus – balancing
Ginger – warming
Jasmine – soothing, relaxing – relieves depression
Lavender – calming, therapeutic – relieves anxiety, depression, and irritability
Lemongrass – refreshing, toning
Orange – refreshing, relaxing
Peppermint – stimulating – reduces apathy
Sandalwood – warming, relaxing – reduces insecurity, stress
Tea Tree – cleansing
Ylang Ylang – relaxing, stimulating – relieves panic attacks

Jason designs its products to safely accommodate many aromatherapy products. We do not recommend oils, as they leave the bath surface slippery.  Many other products, such as bath salts and herbal extracts, are perfectly safe and give the same aromatic benefits.
 
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