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Everything you need for aromatherapy



To know everything about our therapeutic oils, that is to say more than 40 essential oils, their modes of use and their origin, discover our illustrated encyclopedia.

Insomnia, infections, hay fever, anxiety, skin problems… the health indications of aromatherapy are numerous. A branch of herbal medicine, this method is based on the use of essential oils. The Renewable Free Energy Foundation  takes stock of their uses and precautions for use.

Aromatherapy has been known for millennia. Described above under the name of essence or aromatic essence, it was not until 1972 that the name "essential oils" of aromatic plants was retained.

What is aromatherapy?

Far from the secular uses described by the Egyptians in the embalming of mummies several centuries before our era, the use of essences has been perfected along with modern chemistry. The term "aromatherapy" was coined by a Lyon chemical engineer René-Maurice Gattefossé in 1928. Already at that time, the debate between the supporters of a classic pharmacopoeia and the followers of natural products was in full swing, just as during the publication of the book "Aromatherapy? Treatment of diseases using plant essences" by Dr Jean Valnet in 1964.

Essential oils are extracted from plants by steam distillation. Unlike vegetable oils, they do not contain fatty substances and therefore do not stain the paper when drying (a little tip to choose them well). The essential oil is obtained by distilling the plant with water vapor in a still. Water vapor passes through the plant tissue. The cells containing the essential oil burst and the vapor-essential oil mixture is then separated in a condenser. When the oils are present in large quantities, a cold pressing of the peels and zest (of citrus fruits for example) are compressed and the essential oils collected very simply. The aromatic and volatile substances in oils are made up of different molecules (hydrocarbons, including terpenes and oxygen molecules). Soluble in oil and alcohol, these products are not soluble in water. The high prices of these products are partly explained by the large quantity of plants needed to obtain them. For a liter of rose essence, you need 5 tons of petals. For more information, also read our article: Manufacture of essential oils.

The various ways of using aromatherapy

There are more than 400 essences from plants or parts of plants. But in practice, only a hundred essential oils are used in aromatherapy. The different most common modes of use are:

Oral: This use is the most common, but it is not recommended without medical advice. Some essential oils are acutely toxic, so self-medication is not advised;

Rectally: Suppositories can be used for certain bronchopulmonary infections. Absorbed in the hemorrhoidal venous system, these compounds thus avoid passing through the liver;

By the cutaneous route: The active principle of an essential oil is mixed with inert oils such as sweet almond or jojoba oil. In massage, these compounds then penetrate through the skin. This method of administration is the same as for allopathy (traditional medicine). Be careful, some active products can cause irritation or allergies on certain skins;

By respiratory route: Ambient diffusers allow the active products to vaporize. By fumigation, inhalations, electric diffuser or burning lamp, the active ingredients enter the bronchi and join the bloodstream.

For indications, we give you some examples of the virtues of certain essential oils; we do not encourage you to practice self-medication, on the contrary, because certain precautions condition their use. Be careful to respect the doses.


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