Aromatherapy has been defined as the therapeutic use of essential oils from plants for the improvement of physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Essential oils are volatile liquid substances extracted from aromatic plant material by steam distillation or mechanical expression. Oils produced with the aid of chemical solvents are not considered true essential oils, because the solvent residues can alter the purity of the oils themselves and lead to adulteration of the fragrance or to skin irritation. Most aromatherapists believe that synthetic fragrances are inferior to essential oils because they lack natural or vital energy.
Essential oils are made up of a large array of chemical components found in various plant materials. Their mane groups are terpenes, esters, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, phenols, and oxides, which are volatile and may produce odors.
El aceite esencial de menta esta hecho de la planta de la menta piperita ,que se ha usado desde hace mucho tiempo como té para ayudar a la digestión. La menta piperita tiene un efecto antiespasmódico, y calma los músculos del estómago, intestinos y utero. También tiene propiedades analgésicas. El aceite de menta se usa para todos los síntomas principales de la enfermedad del colon irritable, pero puede ser particularmente efectivo aliviando calambres, espasmos y dolor. Se han realizado varios estudios científicos en este sentido.
En una revisión nacional en octubre de 2015, la Asociación de Gastroenterólogos de Estados Unidos preguntó a estos especialistas sobre el uso del aceite esencial de menta en sus pacientes y el resultado mostró que el 83 por ciento (la mayoría) lo usaba en sus pacientes con colon irritable.Continue reading
A frequent and considerable concern regarding use of essentials oils in a clinical setting is that they are not FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) regulated and cannot claim to treat disease. In a medical setting, they may be used only for specific indications, and the language surrounding their use must be monitored. For example, essential oils can be said to “minimize comfort” but not “treat pain”; they can be used to “promote a sense of calm and well- being”, but not “treat anxiety”.
Since essentials oils manufactures are not regulated by FAD or any other regulatory body, it is the responsibility of the practitioner to investigate any supplier from witch an essential oil is obtained to ensure that the oil has a known botanical origin, is of high quality, and has been tested for chemical makeup between batches. Without standardization, it’s impossible to guarantee the therapeutic value and safety of any product.
The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) emphasizes six factors that influence the safe use of essential oil:
quality, chemical composition, method of application, dosage (or dilution), integrity of skin, and age of the client.
It provides these 12 general safety guidelines:
1. Keep all essential oils out of reach of children and pets.
2. Do not use or recommend the use of photosensitizing essential oils prior to going into a sun tanning booth or the sun. Recommend that the client stay out of the sun or sun tanning booth for at least twenty-four hours after treatment if photosensitizing essential oils were applied to the skin.
3. Avoid prolonged use of the same essential oils.
4. Avoid the use of essential oils you know nothing about on your clients. Research and get to know the oil prior to using it on others.
5. Avoid the use of undiluted essential oils on the skin, unless otherwise indicated.
6. If you suspect your client may be sensitive to specific essential oils or if your client has known allergies or sensitivities, it may be wise to perform a skin patch test.
7. Know the safety data on each essential oil and place into context of use and knowledge.
8. Use caution when treating a female client who suspects she is pregnant or has been trying to become pregnant.
9. Keep essential oils away from the eyes.
10. Essential oils are highly flammable substances and should be kept away from direct contact with flames, such as candles, fire, matches, cigarettes, and gas cookers.
11. Make sure your treatment room has good ventilation.
12. Do not use essential oils internally unless properly trained in the safety issues of doing so. Please visit NAHA’s approved schools to explore education in aromatherapy.
Kjell H Kjellevold