The  term aromatherapy covers various medicals practices using essential oils for application onto the skin , cream or lotions ( oil-in water  emulsions) for exert use. The dispersion in honey or in edible oil or simply on a sugar is usual for administration by the oral route,
in different galenic forms. Aerosols obtained by nebulization of essentials oils are more  rarely used ,but  the dispersion in the atmosphere of a room obtained by the use of specials diffusers is very widespread. Essentials oils are very concentrated hydrophobic liquids  and resins containing a volatile aroma compound from the plant.
Essentials oils are generally extracted by distillation by using steam. other process are fractional  distillation, solvent extraction, ( we avoid this solution as it is the less ecological) or supercritical CO2 extraction.
The practice and use of aromatherapy always requires  the advice of an informed and certified professional.
Some essential oils are very well tolerated pure on the skin,some others needs to be diluted  to 1/10  to  1/20 in a vegetal carrier .
The  properties of essential oils are multiples:
  • anti-infectives
  • antibacterial
  • antimycotics
  • antiparasitic
  • insects  repellent and insecticides
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antictarrhal /expectorant
  • anti-histamines
  • antispasmodic
  • analgesic
  • calming/ hypnotic
  • and anxiolytic
  • endocrine -regulating properties
  • digestive properties
  • antitoxic
  • antivenom
  • antirheumatic
  • carminative
  • cholagogue and choleretic