Aromatherapy is a modern term for an ancient healing practice that has been used for thousands of years. The original Ayurvedic texts describe how the burning of herbs, flowers, barks, and resins not only enhances our consciousness but also benefits the healing process with the use of medicated oils, salves, and poultices. Modern aromatherapy practice uses highly concentrated oil extracts known as essential oils that are distilled from flowers, fruits, herbs, grasses, and trees.
During distillation the plant material is placed inside a still. Steam slowly breaks through the plant material, extracting its volatile constituents. These constituents rise upward through a connecting pipe leading into a condenser. The condenser cools the rising vapor back into liquid form, which is collected in a vessel below the condenser. Because water and oil do not mix, the water is siphoned off, leaving the oil.
When we use essential oils, the oils’ tiny molecules enter our bloodstream, initiating the production of hormones that control our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual functions and influence our consciousness, memories, desires, and creativity. Many people experience powerful results using these oils—including relief from migraine headaches, joint pain, skin rashes, anxiety, insomnia, and many other physical and emotional conditions.