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Aroma News You Can Use - Aromatherapy

Apr 23, 2006

"Aromatherapy is a phrase coined by Rene-Maurice
Gattefosse, Ph.D., in 1920, who was a French cosmetic
chemist. While working in his laboratory, he had an
accident that resulted in a third degree thermal burn of
his hand and forearm. He plunged his arm into a vat of
lavender oil, thinking that it was water. To his surprise,
the burning slowly decreased and then stopped within a few
moments. Over a period of time, with the continual
application of lavender oil, the burn healed completely
without a trace of a scar. As a chemist, he analyzed the
essential oil of lavender and discovered that it contained
many substances referred to as chemical constituents or
chemical properties. As a result of this, Dr. Gattefosse
determined that essential oils contained tremendous healing
Dr. Gattefosse shared his experience with his colleague
and friend, Dr. Jean Valnet, a medical doctor in Paris,
France. During World War II, while serving as a medical
physician in the French Army at the China Wall, treating
war victims, Dr. Valnet ran out of antibiotics, so he
decided to try using essential oils. To his amazement, they
had a powerful effect in reducing and even stopping the
infection, and he was able to save many of the soldiers
who otherwise might have died even with antibiotics.
Dr. Valnet had two students who did their internship
with him who were responsible for expanding his work, Dr.
Paul Belaiche and Dr. Jean Claude Lapraz. They discovered
that essential oils contain antiviral, antibacterial,
antifungal and antiseptic properties as well as being
powerful oxygenators with the ability to act as carrying
agents in the delivery of nutrients into the cells.
For example, if you take a geranium plant and tear the
leaf or the stem, a clear liquid will appear. This liquid
is a very subtle and volatile essence that exudes from the
damaged tissues of the leaf. So it is with the human body.
With a cut or scrape, we see the flow of blood from that
opening in the skin. One significant difference between the
blood and the plant liquid is the color. In the resin or
oil being released from the plant, we find trace elements
of nutrients, hormones, enzymes, vitamins, minerals,
antibodies, and antifungal, antibacterial, anti-infectious,
antiseptic, and immune-stimulating properties. Another key
agent found present in that resin is OXYGEN. Oxygen
molecules are part of the chemical elements of the resin,
such as alcohols, phenols, esters, sesquiterpenes,
terpinols, etc., which together create an essential oil.
The plant releases the oil in order to clean the break,
kill bacteria and start the regeneration process. When
blood is released because of broken skin, it is for the
same purpose: to clean the wound, kill the bacteria,
prevent infection, and begin the healing and regeneration
process. A simple comparison of the plant and the human
body shows us a precise similarity, as both the oil and the
blood are the transporters of the fundamental nutrients
necessary to feed and nurture the cells.
Furthermore, the essential oil has the ability in its
chemical structure to penetrate the cell wall and transport
oxygen and nutrients inside the cell, thus increasing
cellular oxygen and giving more support to the immune
system. Research has shown that with their
immune-stimulating properties, essential oils enhance and
support the building of the immune system, whether they
are inhaled or rubbed on the body topically. Even those who
contract a cold or the flu recover 70 percent faster using
essential oils.
It has been said that when essential oils are diffused
in the home, they have the ability to increase the
atmospheric oxygen, as they release oxygenating molecules
into the atmosphere. Oils increase ozone and negative ions
in the home, which inhibit bacteria growth. This prevents
and destroys existing odors from mold, cigarettes, animals,
etc. Essential oils have the electrical magnetic
attraction to fracture the molecular chain of chemicals and
take them out of the air, rendering them non-toxic to the
body. Scientists in European countries have found that
essential oils will bond to metallics and chemicals and
carry them out of the body, working as natural chelators,
inhibiting these toxic substances from staying in the
tissues. Essential oils remove dust particles out of the
air and, when diffused in the home, can be the greatest air
filtration system. These are all wonderful attributes of
essential oils.
Essential oils can be extracted from plants, trees,
seeds, flowers, petals, stems, roots, bark, or even the
whole plant. Today, about 200 different types of oils are
being distilled with several thousand chemical constituents
and aromatic molecules that have been identified and
registered. These aromatic Substances and compounds within
the oils will alter and change based on weather conditions,
climate, temperatures, and distillation factors. Today, 98
percent of essential oils are used in the perfume and
cosmetic industry. In 1991, only ½ percent was used for
Aromatherapy. In 1993, 2 ½ percent were produced for
Aromatherapy or for therapeutic and medicinal application.
Essential oils are recognized as being the greatest
substances for increasing cellular oxygen through their
normal function. When applied to the body by rubbing on
the feet, essential oils will travel throughout the body
and affect every cell, including the hair, within 20
minutes. They may have a lasting effect for as long as five
months from only one application. The oils do not build up
and store in the body because they are very subtle and
volatile and have a high evaporation rate. Because of their
chemical structure, they are metabolized like other
nutrients in the cells.
One of the causes of disease in both the plant and the
human body is the inability of nutrients to penetrate the
cell wall, causing cell deterioration, leading to cell
mutation, creating a host for bacteria and disease.
The integral part of the nose responsible for odor
detection is the olfactory, consisting of two membranes,
one on each side of the mucous inembrane covering the bony
extension of the nose. The olfactory membranes are very
tiny and are well protected by the casing of the nose.
They contain about 800 million nerve endings for processing
and detecting odors. These nerve endings are triggered
from a signal from the genes along the inside passage of
the nose. The olfactory hair-like nerves receive the
micro-fine, vaporized oil particles, carrying them along
the axon of the nerve fibers, connecting them with the
synapse of the secondary neurons in the olfactory bulb.
The impulses carried to the limbic system and the olfactory
sensory center at the base of the brain, pass between the
pituitary and pineal gland and then to the amygdala, which
is the memory center for fear and trauma. The impulses then
travel to the gustatory center where the sensation of taste
is perceived.
Only in 1989 was it discovered that the amygdala plays a
major role in storing and releasing emotional trauma, and
only odor or fragrance stimulalation has a profound affect
in triggering a response with this gland. Dr. Joseph
Ledoux, of the New York Medical University, feels that this
could be major break-through in releasing emotional trauma.
People who have turbinate problems, such as a deviated
septum, polyps, or who have had nose surgery, may have a
very difficult or impossible time detecting the complete
odor. The same holds true for people who have worn a lot
of make-up, perfume and cologne or used hair sprays, hair
colorings, perms and other products with synthetic odors.
Many olfactory hairs respond to only one kind of odor
molecule, and simultaneously others will respond to
several different kinds of odors. This tells us that not
all of the receptors are stimulated at the same time in the
presence of odorous vapors. The olfactory nerves are very
much like other nerves and organs in the body. They also
respond to electrical signals and impulses that form coded
messages that are dispatched to various areas of the body.
This may be why some oil inhalation will increase
endorphin, neurotransmitter and antibody production.
Fragrance is one of man's greatest enjoyments, bringing
back memories of past experience and creating a feeling of
security, grounding and well-being."

The Aromatherapy Blends that we carry were created to
meet a variety of needs that we have experienced.

Pat Bailey-Hallmon
1408 E. 76th St.
Chicago, IL 60619
773-490-8565 - email - website