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Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials, known asessential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering a person's mind, moodcognitive function or health.

Aromatherapy is regarded as a complementary health or healing modality. Some of the materials employed include:

  • Essential oils: Fragrant oils extracted from plants chiefly through steam distillation (e.g., eucalyptus oil) or expression (grapefruit oil). However, the term is also occasionally used to describe fragrant oils extracted from plant material by any solvent extraction. This material includes incense reed diffusers.
  • Absolutes: Fragrant oils extracted primarily from flowers or delicate plant tissues through solvent or supercritical fluid extraction (e.g., roseabsolute). The term is also used to describe oils extracted from fragrant butters, concretes, and enfleurage pommades using ethanol.
  • Carrier oils: Typically oily plant base triacylglycerides that dilute essential oils for use on the skin (e.g., sweet almond oil).
  • Herbal distillates or hydrosols: The aqueous by-products of the distillation process (e.g., rosewater). There are many herbs that make herbal distillates and they have culinary uses, medicinal uses and skin care uses. Common herbal distillates are chamomile,rose, and lemon balm.
  • Infusions: Aqueous extracts of various plant material (e.g., infusion of chamomile).
  • Phytoncides: Various volatile organic compounds from plants that kill microbes. Many terpene-based fragrant oils and sulfuriccompounds from plants in the genus "Allium" are phytoncides, though the latter are likely less commonly used in aromatherapy due to their disagreeable odors.
  • Vaporizer (Volatized) raw herbs: Typically higher oil content plant based materials dried, crushed, and heated to extract and inhale the aromatic oil vapors in a direct inhalation modality. 

Aromatherapy is the treatment or prevention of disease by use of essential oils. Other stated uses include pain and anxiety reduction, enhancement of energy and short-term memory, relaxation, hair loss prevention, and reduction of eczema-induced itching.

Two basic mechanisms are offered to explain the purported effects. One is the influence of aroma on the brain, especially the limbic system through the olfactory system.  The other is the direct pharmacological effects of the essential oils. Clinical studies of aromatherapy in combination with other techniques show positive effects. Aromatherapy does not cure conditions, but it is suggested that it helps the body to find a natural way to cure itself and improve immune response.

In the English-speaking world, practitioners tend to emphasize the use of oils in massage. 

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We really loved the Olde Worlde atmosphere of your shop and your friendly service. Thanks for the great professional advice on a natural ointment for my wife's skin rash.It's so good to realise their are natural alternatives when all the GP could recommend is cortisone.

James Ferrier, Nerang. December 2011

Clinic & Dispensary

Our dispensary is at Bangalow House in the mains street of Bangalow next to the Post Office and our clinic is by appointment.

CONTACT INFORMATION

The Bangalow Naturopath

34 Byron Street

Bangalow NSW 2479

Phone: 02 66871 831

Mobile: 0427 872 874

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