What is aromatherapy?

Learn more about aromatherapy and its many benefits.
General by Charlynn Avery

What is aromatherapy? Aromatherapist Charlynn Avery explains what it is and the many benefits of aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is an increasingly popular topic these days – people want to know what it is and how to use those precious little oils to enhance their lives. When it comes to essential oil use, it just takes some basic knowledge and a bit of creativity. Once you get started, you will find it is quite easy to blend your own products.

Simply speaking, aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for health. Although we put a lot of emphasis on the word “aroma”, the true action of the essential oils go beyond our sense of smell. We can certainly inhale aromas for relaxation or energy, but we can also create our own skin care solutions, clean our homes and soothe sore muscles. We are limited only by our imaginations.

Essential oils are highly concentrated, volatile plant extracts. We obtain essential oils through a few different extraction methods and the part of the plant we get the essential oil from can be different depending on the oil. Rose oil, for example, comes from the petals of the rose while citrus oils come from the rind. 

Essential oils must be treated with care. On average, they are 75 - 100 times more powerful than dried herbs. General recommendations for essential oil use stresses the importance of dilution – adding the essential oil to a carrier substance that makes it less powerful. The key is arming yourself with a good, reliable resource to reference.

Ready to create your own essential oil blends? Try this good recipe for a beginner to make your own window cleaner – you can find more like this at www.auracacia.com.

Freshening Window Cleaner 

Ingredients

4 tablespoons vinegar

12 drops lemon essential oil

Directions

Mix vinegar and essential oil in a 22- to 32-ounce spray bottle. Fill with water and use as a window cleaner. Tip: Shake bottle before spraying.

About the Author

Charlynn Avery

Charlynn Avery is an aromatherapist and educator for Aura Cacia and Frontier Natural Products Co-op. In her work, she travels around the U.S. teaching about safe and effective essential oil use and is passionate about those powerful oils. Her life’s mission is to empower each individual to be in charge of their own health and healing.  

Ms. Avery has spent her career practicing and teaching in the arena of holistic health and wellness as a licensed massage therapist and aromatherapist and currently holds additional certifications in holistic nutrition, Thai massage, life coaching and hypnotherapy. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and received her additional education through both Carlson College of Massage Therapy and the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts.  

Although she loves natural healing, she loves yoga and spending time in nature even more. An avid traveler both for work and pleasure, she can often be found getting her U.S. National Park passport stamped or reading a good book in an airport as she waits to make her next connection.

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