When we embrace the Aromatherapy Approach — what the plants have offered to us, it is really amazing. Please, always remember that “Aromatherapy” is an aspect of Herbalism. As aromatherapist, we must never forget the role essential oils play in the healing world.
Starting with Herbs — they can be used to make teas, to be ground up and used in capsules. They can be distilled and used as decoctions, tinctures, or concentrated distillates of hydrosol and/or essential oils. I say and/or, because so much depends on how and why the plants are being distilled. Ultimately they can be distilled for essential oils from both fresh and dried product. The precious little oil sacks in the matrix of the plant, is what distillers are after to reap the essential oil. of the plant. Don’t get me wrong here. Essential oils – are NOT the “blood” of the plant, they are, in fact, microscopic oil sacks that do any number of things for the plant: much like our own endocrine system. These oils carry secondary metabolites, which play a major part in the triggering mechanisms in our body to create balance and health in our being.
Herbs can be used fresh or dried, depending on what the practitioner wants as an outcome.
Using essential oils is both very convenient, and very powerful, so the practitioner must approach the essential oils with great caution. They must understand the contraindications and precautions – since they are 100% concentrate. In the world of aromatherapy, less is more, and can often work more effectively, if used in small doses. “Drinking” the oils must always be approached in a conservative manner, and not just used “willy nilly” based on hearsay. Also — they must be used responsibly. All the essential oils come with their own signature, and when combined not only with other essential oils, but also with specific carrier oils, with a particular dilution can make all the difference in the world.
Personally, the importance of getting educated cannot be stressed enough. It is a learning journey, and filled with magic and wonder.
The Healing Art of Aromatherapy – Plant Medicine