How does Aromatherapy Work?

Aromatherapy works on three main levels: through the sense of smell, through absorption and through absorption via skin

Smell

The sense of smell is the most primitive of all our senses and it is linked to some of the oldest and deepest parts of the brain. As we breathe in the aromas of the essential oils, it can trigger emotional and even physical responses and allow vivid memory recall of people or places.

When we breathe in aromatic molecules, they travel to the top of the nose where the molecules come in contact with specialized nerve cells called Olfactory cells. These cells have tiny hairs which recognize a specific aroma through the ‘lock and key’ process. This means each hair will only recognize a specific aroma. This process produces nerve impulses which travel to the limbic system, the part of the brain which is most concerned with survival, instincts and emotions.

It is thought by scientists that the activity of the nerve signal passing through this region causes mood change by altering brain chemistry.

Absorption

Another effective way that aromatherapy works is through the inhalation of the essential oils which then travels internally and absorbed. This is especially effective within the respiratory system as their antibacterial and antiviral properties make them ideal for maintaining a healthy respiratory system. This includes the sinuses, throat and chest and also to help relieve symptoms of infections and allergies. 

There are various ways to inhale the benefits of aromatherapy even when you're on the go. For a moment of balance and peace during a tough day, try applying one of our Roller Balls on your pulse points and breathe in the benefits of aromatherapy. With its 2.5% essential oil concentration, it's plenty to give you a moment of comfort before going back and taking control of your day. The Support Breathe Roller Ball is especially good for when you are feeling under the weather as it includes a natural blend of Eucalyptus, Pine, Tea Tree and Peppermint Oils to maintain easy breathing and a clear head. 

Alternatively, take some time out and indulge in the benefits of aromatherapy at the comfort of your own home by adding 2 to 3 of our pure essential oils drops to the Aromatherapy Associates Home Fragrancer and forget your worries to enjoy a moment to yourself.

When using you a Bath & Shower Oil, massage a capful onto your torso, focusing on any areas of concern. Cup your hands, bring them to your face and inhale deeply 3 times to reap the benefits of aromatherapy linked to your sense of smell. Step into a warm bath or shower and enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy. 

Absorption Through the Skin

The molecules in the essential oils are small enough to allow them to penetrate through the skin. The molecules travel through the epidermis (the top layer of skin) reaching the dermis (a deeper layer of skin) and to the blood vessels allowing them to circulate through to all body areas.

Most essential oils have antibacterial properties; some are antiviral, anti-fungal and/or anti-inflammatory. Essential oils also contain antioxidants which help to prevent cell damage and protect against the build up of toxic waste in skin cells, thereby helping reduce signs of aging.

In skincare products, by penetrating into the deeper layers of the skin, essential oils can have a positive effect on the skin, such as optimizing the cellular renewal process, enhancing blood circulation and addressing problems such as acne, eczema and aging skin.

Once the constituents of essential oils enter the bloodstream they can be carried to all areas of your body. They reach areas with a good network of blood vessels more quickly; for example, the liver, kidneys and some muscle groups.

The majority of essential oil constituents leave the body within hours, mainly through excretion via the kidneys, although their effects can last much longer within the tissues.