Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that are best used either inhaled or applied to the skin. The use of aromatherapy in religious ceremonies, perfumes and beauty care, and to treat illness, goes back about 3500 years. Ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians, the Chinese, the Greeks and the Romans all used plants and the oils extracted from them for medicinal purposes.
Aromatherapy, inhaling essential oils, seems to work by stimulating the limbic system which is the part of the brain having to do with emotion. Today, essential oils are being marketed as weight loss aids, pain relievers and sleep aids but don’t believe everything you read or hear! Research has been on the skimpy side, but there have been a few studies that show some benefit for some particular conditions, such as anxiety, depression, sleep difficulties, congestion, skin problems, and headaches.