When used in massage, essential oils are not only inhaled, but absorbed through the skin as well. They penetrate the tissues and find their way into the bloodstream where they are transported to the organs and systems of the body. The penetrating characteristic of essential oils greatly enhances their ability to be effective. Essential oils will penetrate into the body when applied to the skin. Essential oils placed on the sole of the foot will be distributed to every cell in the body within 20 minutes. They will even penetrate a finger, or toe nail to treat fungus underneath.
Essential oils are highly aromatic and therefore, many of the benefits can be obtained by simply inhaling them. This can be done by breathing in the fragrance from the bottle, or diffusing them into the room. Essential oils, when diffused, provide a high quality air filtration system.
Some oils have stimulating effect on the body, mind and emotions, whereas others have a calming influence. They are all antiseptic; some have powerful antiviral or antifungal properties, some antidepressant, digestive, analgesicand so on.
Today, about 200 different types of oils are being distilled with several thousand chemical constituents and aromatic molecules that have been identified and registered
How Do Essential Oils Work?
Essential Oils penetrate the body in two ways, through the nose and through the skin. Our sense of smell is often underestimated, but it is approximately 10,000 times more sensitive than any other sensory organ we possess, and skin is the body’s largest organ.
The effects of essential oils can be felt simply by breathing in the aromatic vapor. The aroma molecule that we breathe in is translated into a signal in our receptor cell in the nose. This signal is sent to the olfactory bulb and then on to the limbic and hypothalamus parts of the brain. These are the parts of the brain that regulate hormonal activity in our body.
The second way for essential oils to penetrate the body is through the skin. Because essential oils are organic in nature, and have a very inherently low molecular weight they are absorbed through the pores and hair follicles of the skin.
Essential oils have three modes of action, which are:
Psychological -- Imagine that you have gone back in time to your childhood home. Now close your eyes and picture yourself walking through the door. Chances are, in addition to the familiar object you visualize, certain smells will also spark your memory. Scents like your mother's perfume, the smell of baking cookies -- essential oils have a remarkable ability to influence your psyche by evoking moods and memories.
Pharmacological -- Chemical changes take places as the body reacts to the application of essential oils. The European doctors who study phytotherapy (which is the study of the whole plant) are trained to use herbs and essential oils internally to supplement the body's health systems. Essential oils have a remarkable ability to work in harmony with the body in maintaining overall good health.
Physiological -- Essential oils applied externally take physiological action. The action is more subtle than oral application and less likely to cause undesired effects. As an example, Rosemary and Peppermint stimulated, while Roman Chamomile and Lavender both sedate. Rosemary is a hypertensor (supports energy boosting) and Geranium is a hypotensor (which assists in relaxation). This is one of the reasons essential oils should not be used internally without qualified medical advice. For those people with abnormalities within their body systems, ingestion of an essential oil that has a direct action of the affected system could cause their conditions to worsen.
Pure essential oils are highly penetrating: The penetrating characteristic of essential oils greatly enhances their ability to be effective. When applied to the skin, essential oils are absorbed directly into the body. An essential oil placed on the foot will be distributed to every cell in the body in 21 minutes. Inhaled, they will travel throughout the body in twenty seconds. They will even penetrate a fingernail or toenail to treat fungus underneath
BENEFITS OF ESSENTIAL OILS
Pure essential oils are antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-yeast, and many have anti-parasitic and anti-tumoral actions. There are documented scientific studies of antiviral and antibacterial effects of pure essential oils performed by research scientists around the world. The latest results show some to be even more powerful than antibiotics. Some stimulate digestion, while other act as anti inflammatories. Some help to regenerate damaged tissue, and others have a muscle relaxant effect. Finally, essential oils have an alkalizing effect on the body and are extremely high in antioxidants.
HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Here just a few ways to enjoy more aromatic fragrances in your life.
Heat some water: If you live in an apartment or an interested in scenting a small room, all you need to do is add a few drops of oil to a bowl of hot water. The vapors will release the fragrance into the air.
Spray some on: For a quick burst of fragrance take a small plant misting bottle, fill it with water, and add some essential oil. This works especially well with gentle floral oils. You can spray the air or even use the mister to spray on to skin that is too sensitive to touch.
Use a diffuser: For around fifty dollars you can buy an aromatherapy diffuser that disperses micro-particles of the essential oil into the air. Diffusers are useful for respiratory conditions