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Terpenes vs Essential Oils in Aromatherapy
Lighting up your favourite scent after a long week can be just the treatment you need to help you release stress and feel better rested. But how exactly does it work?
Aromatherapy is a popular healing treatment among many, using natural extracts from plants to promote health benefits. The treatment is also known to enhance both emotional and physical health while improving your state of mind.
When you inhale these scents, the molecules from these sources travel directly from your nerves to your brain. The smell then impacts the amygdala, the emotional centre of the brain that causes beneficial chemical reactions.
Terpenes and essential oils are two of the most common sources used in aromatherapy. Both sources can offer several benefits and come in different varieties that can enhance your therapeutic experience.
Terpenes in aromatherapy
Every plant in existence contains a compound called terpenes, which are responsible for their scents and taste. This compound can be extracted into several different variants, such as pinene, limonene, linalool, myrcene, and more.
Each variant contains potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that promote numerous health benefits to the user. However, variants such as pinene terpenes have additional services that act as a reliable decongestant and increase airflow to the lungs.
Terpenes can be infused into several different types of products that allow you to reap the full benefits of the compound. These products are often in the form of sprays, diffusers, steam baths, and candles. Additionally, they can be applied through topical methods through cosmetics and aromatherapy massage oils.
To extract this compound, the terpene must be isolated from all impurities and substances that may impact its effectiveness.
Essential oils in aromatherapy
All essential oils contain some volume of terpenes in them, which helps boost their beneficial effects on your mind and body. However, this is not the sole compound that gives off its beneficial effects during your aromatherapy session.
Essential oils come from the distillation process of plants, fruits, flowers, and seeds, which are mixed with other compounds and ingredients. These compounds include alcohols, phenols, oxides, ketones, and more that make up their unique properties and scents.
Each variant of essential oils can promote different benefits. For example, cloves are typically used to help relieve pain, while chamomile is commonly known as a remedy for alleviating fevers and nausea.
More commonly, aromatherapy that uses essential oils is done by inhaling the scents through the use of a diffuser or humidifier. However, you can also directly inhale them from the bottle itself for a brief period.
Much like terpenes, essential oils can be found infused in other products such as shampoos, body washes, and massage oils. They can also be found in some cosmetic products, which promote reduced inflammation of the skin.
Let it soak in
Aromatherapy has been incorporated as a method of healing and treatment for several years now. Not only does it promote better health, but it can also act as a quick remedy for headaches and pains.
Both terpenes and essential oils can be used in aromatherapy by anyone, where different variants can provide various benefits. However, it is necessary to note that you should do this type of treatment in moderation and with proper advice or guidance from experts.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is Aromatherapy.