What are essential oils? In older times, when human medicine was younger, we didn’t have shops with all the fancy pills for every ailment or specific sort of body discomfort. Instead, humanity relied heavily on mother nature for healing purposes. Plants and herbs were our go to when we needed medicinal aid, and only a select few had the necessary knowledge of what plant did what, which herb was poisonous or harmless, what quantities were good or bad.
Nowadays, despite having an assortment of ready-to-use laboratory made remedies, we still rely on the natural medicines for a more alternative and sometimes gentler approach to a disease or nuisance. Treatment using plants as a base are not at all uncommon. Many people choose phytotherapy – that is the use of plants and herbs derived medication for treating certain conditions – as their go to when in need of a health boost.
One specific branch of phytotherapy is aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy relies on the use of using strong, very concentrated plant and herb extracts – called essential oils – to use as treatment for a vast assortment of illnesses and unwanted conditions in the human body. These essential oils are then used in a variety of ways, but the main focus is that they should be inhaled by us, using our sense of smell – a very powerful and possibly underused sense – to do its work. And as it was in the old days, the knowledge of which essential oils to use for what purpose is the key to aromatherapy.
One very common smell that has an impressive catalog of uses in aromatherapy is vanilla.
Vanilla aromatherapy is surprisingly effective in many – sometimes even surprising – ways.
In the old days, vanilla aromatherapy was already being used in a way. People used to make necklaces of the vanilla flower to prevent various illnesses, and the vanilla beans were even used to treat for venomous bites.
Its aroma helped treat for respiratory conditions such as lung congestion and deep coughs, stomach pains, among others.
When turned into a salve it was even used to treat more serious wounds and infections. And today, with all the knowledge acquired over the years, we can manage to use its essential oil to boost the vanilla aromatherapy to its maximum efficacy. For example, the vanilla aromatherapy is an amazing stress antidote.
Its homey smell can help people deal with situations in which they can become anxious and stressed. It is recommended that we bring with us a bottle with vanilla essential oil for any such situation – a medical exam, for example. One very curious and probably very desirable use of vanilla aromatherapy is potential weight loss.
According to a study by Catherine Collins, a dietician at St. George’s Hospital in London, people that were given a vanilla scented skin patch would eat less sweet food, helping control their diet better than people that only took dietary advice.
So that’s pretty neat!
There is also evidence of vanilla aromatherapy being used as a mood enhancer. A pretty well known trick used by realtors is to use a vanilla scented freshener in a property they intend to show someone interested in renting or buying. People then come in and feel more relaxed, more at home, because of that familiar vanilla smell around the place.
It mimics the sensation of being in your grandma’s house, when she’d just baked some amazing vanilla and chocolate chip cookies!
Vanilla aromatherapy also have effects in some animals.
Veterinarians found out that using the aroma of vanilla can help calm piglets and even spark an appetite interest in them. Some cats also seem to get a bit crazy around vanilla beans, in a similar way they get when exposed to catnip.
All this information is very good, but we have to be always careful and make sure that the essential oils or extracts we use for our vanilla aromatherapy is indeed true vanilla and not made from synthetics.
Although synthesized aromas can have similar effects – especially the calming one – we need to know that the key actions of vanilla aromatherapy really shine when using the natural concentrated essential oils.
Now, you can experiment and see how it can benefit you and those you care about.