to Help Lower Blood Pressure
Have you noticed Aromatherapy is gaining popularity? Is it any wonder? The thought of relaxing in a warm herbal bath or having essential oils massaged into your skin is most appealing. It is claimed the therapy can help lower with herbal treatment of high blood pressure
There has been some research carried out to support the claims, but not much you can shout about.
Neurologist and psychiatrist Dr.Alan Hirsch, director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago showed from his studies that inhaling lavender increased alpha brain waves which are associated with relaxation. He noted though that scientists do not know exactly how it works. Whether it causes a chemical reaction, a psychological one, or both together they are not sure.
Even if they don`t understand how it works, we do know relaxation can ease stress, a major contributor to hypertension.
All of us are using Aromatherapy everyday, unconsciously, when we breath in the smell of freshly baked bread, ground coffee, fresh cut grass, the scented breeze blowing through a garden of roses or across a lavender field. These scents and smells affect your mood. They can invigorate or calm you. Scents and smells can even anger you or make you feel quite sick. Some bring back pleasant as well as bad memories. So we know for sure it works on our emotions. But does it work on us physically by some chemical reaction? A look at both of these areas will help you understand how it may help as a natural remedy.
Which 6 essential oils are used in connection with treatment options for high blood pressure? Lavender oil comes to mind. It was one of the first of the essential oils to be recognized by French fragrance chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse as being therapeutic, which led to his research of Aromatherapy in the first place, and aromas of lavender and chamomile (calmative and anti-inflammatory) oil were discovered by the research team at Yale University to be the most beneficial of the essential oils to reduce blood pressure by their relaxing and calming effects.
Other oils and their therapeutic properties that are used for hypertension are Orange oil (mood enhancer), Geranium oil (a relaxant), Lemon aromatherapy oil (relieves anxiety), Clary sage oil (calming sedative), Sweet Marjoram (balances emotions), Sandalwood (healing, soothing), Rose (relaxant, cell generating), Nutmeg (anticoagulant), Ylang ylang (vasodilator), Jasmine (healing, sedative).
How Aromatherapy Works on Your Emotions
To be brief, you have sensory areas in your nostrils that have millions of olfactory nerve cells which go to work when you breath in scented air. Tiny cilia fibers on each cell have receptors that are different shapes to fit different scent molecules. The nerve cell then sends a message to your brain, where the limbic system that is associated with emotions, is stimulated. Pretty clever huh!
How Aromatherapy Works by Chemical Reaction
On the other hand, what happens when you massage with essential oils? A three-fold synergistic reaction may be occurring. The smell sensors are working to effect mood as I have already discussed; the reaction of the oil`s properties may have an effect on the circulatory system as it is absorbed; and the therapeutic benefits of the massage itself contribute to better circulation and relaxation.
Massage can help increase absorption by stimulating the circulation. I suppose it probably works the same way as ointment does when applied to the skin for aching muscles. It is absorbed and penetrates the muscle relieving the pain. Or you could compare the action to a nicotine patch and how it works. It dispenses nicotine that is absorbed by the skin into the blood stream to curb the cravings.
After the oils are absorbed they may work on the circulatory system, perhaps relaxing smooth muscles, dilating, and relieving inflammation in arteries.
In the book Aromatherapy for Massage Practitioners By Ingrid Martin, she says that essential oils are ideal for skin absorption, as they have a small molecular size, are fat-soluble, and thus can penetrate the barrier of the outer layer of skin, but there is no tangible evidence that this is what is happening. It may just be the effect of the smell sensors at work producing relaxing and calming affects. All in all, it seems to produce good results on some people with hypertension and well worth trying in combination with other herbal preparations.
The practice of Aromatherapy at home is becoming more popular. If you want a deeper understanding on how to go about it, visit Liani`s site, Aromatherapy at Home.com, sit down, and have a chat!.
How to use Aromatherapy
There are different ways to use essential oils. A really enjoyable way that also fills the whole room and home with perfume is to inhale using a diffuser. You can see one in my picture to the left.
A continuous jet of air is pumped through the base of the oil receptor, atomizing the essential oil and passing it through into the nebulizer, which disperses the minute particles as a fine mist into the air. Even the sound of the whispering air jet is relaxing. Truly a lovely experience.
Mixing oils with a carrier oil can be applied to the skin through massage or to pulse points. Apply a few drops to your pillow for a restful night`s sleep. Add a few drops to your bath.
Which ever way you choose, enjoy the experience of this natural approach to high blood pressure.