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Home > Essential Oils > Aromatheraphy oils and our body
Aromatheraphy oils and our body
There are multiple ways through which essential oils can interact with our body. The first stage of absorption is through the skin layer. The aromatheraphy oil penetrate the epithelial tissues; these include the skin, nasal passages, bronchioles, lungs and gastro-intestinal tract.

aromatheraphyThe second stage comprises of penetrating to inner tissues of the body. The penetration of aromatheraphy oils into skin is 400 times faster than that of the water. Once absorbed into the surface layer, essential oils quickly penetrate into the lymphatic and blood capillary systems, entering into the general circulation. The same happens to the other epithelial tissues of the body, including sinuses and lungs. The aromatheraphy oils in the lymph circulatory system can be carried directly to the liver or fed into the blood stream. As the oils circulate with the blood, body tissues and organs may choose any portion of the aromatheraphy oil that it wishes to utilize in its metabolic processes, or simply receive the stimulation, sedation, or beneficial property of the oil as it passes through. It is important to remember that nothing stays in the body very long. aromatheraphy oils, because of their volatile nature, usually leave the body within 48 hours

The third stage involves the elimination process. Some components of aromatheraphy oils are picked up by the surface of the lungs and are exhaled as vapors. Eucalyptol (an alcohol in eucalyptus oil) is transported to the lung surfaces by the blood stream and calms the mucous membranes as it exits. Others, such as the terpenes in juniperberry oil, are filtered out by the kidneys, and have a stimulating effect on the renal tissue, uterus, bladder and urethra as they exit. Some components of the essential oils are extracted by the liver, held briefly in the gall bladder, and dumped into the intestinal tract, having profound affects on these organ systems as they pass through. Rose oil stimulates bile production as it is processed by the liver.

Some constituents tend to exit via the sebaceous glands and become part of the protective acid mantle (coating). Components of yarrow increase perspiration as they are excreted. Soap is damaging to the skin because its alkalinity removes the acid mantle. The essential oils that move through this pathway are added to our protective layer.

But the basic essence of aromatherapy essential oils lies in smell. When we smell essential oils, the vapor stimulates small hair-like extensions of our olfactory nerve. The olfactory nerve is the only nerve in the body that directly contacts the external environment and goes all the way to the brain. All of our other senses (touch, rearing, sight, and taste) involve several nerves and synaptic junctions before the impulses reach the brain. The olfactory nerve stimulates the most primitive part of the brain known as the limbic system, also called the saurian or reptilian brain. This is important in the processing of and reaction to emotions, desires, appetites and memories. This direct connection is the reason why aroma oils have such deep and forceful impact on our moods and overall "being". Even small dose is enough to create the sensations. Large doses are generally discouraged.

General Therapeutic Properties:
The following is a list of general therapeutic properties and their meanings.

1. Alterative - Ability to clean and purify blood, alter the nutritive and excretory process to restore normal health.

2. Antipyretic - Dispels heat, fire and fever (from the Greek word pyre -fire).

3. Antispasmodic - Relieves spasms of voluntary and involuntary muscles.

4. Aphrodisiac - Reinvigorates sexuality and overall spirit of the body.

5. Astringent - Reduces discharges and secretions: firms tissue and organs.

6. Bitter Tonic - Bitter herbs which in small amounts stimulate digestion and otherwise help regulate fire in the body.

7. Carminative - Inducing the expulsion of gas from the stomach and intestines.

8. Diaphoretic - causes perspiration and increased elimination through the skin.

9. Diuretic - promotes activity of kidney and bladder and increases urination.

10. Emetic - induces vomiting.

11. Emmenagogue - helps promote and regulate menstruation.

12. Emollient - smoothes, softens and protects the skin.

13. Expectorant - promotes discharge of phlegm and mucous from the lungs and throat.

14. Hemostaric - stops the flow of blood, an astringent that stops internal bleeding or hemorrhaging.

15. Laxative - promotes bowel movements.

16, Nervine - Strengthens the functional activity of the nervous system; can be stimulants or sedatives.

17. Rejuvenative - prevents decay, postpones aging, and revitalizes organs.

18. Sedative - calms and tranquilizes by lowering the functional activity of the organ or body part.

19. Stimulant - increases internal heat, dispels internal chill, strengthens metabolism and circulation.

20. Tonic (nutritive) - increases physical weight and density; nourishes the body.

21. Vulnerary - assists in healing of wounds by protecting against infection and stimulating cell growth.

Energetics of aromatheraphy oils Heating/Cooling Because of their chemical makeup, all aromatheraphy oils will either add heat or will have a cooling effect on the body. In India its termed as heating and cooling effects, in oriental its known as Yin and Yang, and western chemistry term it as electro negative (cooling) and electro positive (heating) effect.
All aromatheraphy oils have Heating, Neutral or cooling effects.

For example, Blue chamomile is cooling oil. A bath taken in this oil (or even peppermint oil) will lead to a cool temperatutre of the body.

Lavender is the neutral oil. In fact it`s the balancer of the temperature. Feverish temperature goes down on its application, and it restores the body warmth, when massaged to a body that`s chilled. Lavender is the oil for all seasons. Thyme or clove are the heating oils. When rubbed in the body, they produce extra warmth to the applied area.

The energetic effect of the aromatheraphy oils is also related to their colors. Greenish oils such as lavender are the "Balancer " oils. Red oils such as Thyme and Savory are heating ones. While "Blue" Chamomile has a very dark blue color. Hence, you can actually guess about the effect on temperature of each oil by looking at the color and use accordingly.


Aromatheraphy oils can also be classified as wet or dry. The wet oils have high polarity and mix well with water (hydrophilic). If you put them into a bath they disperse into, and become a part of, the water. Oils of low polarity don`t mix with water. They wilt float on the surface. They have affinity for and mix with vegetable oils and fats and are sometimes called lipophilic (fat loving).

Some of the wet aromatheraphy oils are geranium and rose, having high constituent levels of alcohol, and some of the dry, fat loving oils are the terpenes, such as citrus oils and pine. Neutral oils again are oils such as lavender, clary sage, Roman chamomile, basil, anise and tarragon.
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