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Feeling a bit blue and wouldn’t mind a bit of a lift in the emotions department? Can’t sleep, but hate taking sleeping pills? Why not try Aroma Therapy to restore your positive mood or lull you into restful sleep?

Our brain registers aromas twice a fast as pain. Studies prove that inhaling certain aromatic smells almost immediately affects the limbic area of the brain, the centre of our emotions and our memory.

The use of scented oils dates far back thousands of years. The Egyptians burned frankincense and myrrh as offerings to their gods. They used aromatics and herbs to embalm their dead. The Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Chinese used some of these same remedies and techniques handed down from the Egyptians. But it wasn’t until this century that scientists in Europe began recognising the uses and benefits of essential oils and of Aroma Therapy.

Aroma Therapy cannot “cure” major illnesses, such as cancer, but it can offer temporary relief for such common conditions as bruises, inflammation, skin problems, PMS, mentruation, stress, sleeplessness, anxiety, nausea, and migraines. Inhaling certain scents can even boost your energy.

Our society is leaning more and more toward “natural” ways to better health. Aroma Therapy is a common “buzzword” these days and health food shops have devoted entire aisles to essential oils and exotic aromatics. If you decide to try this health alternative, make sure you search out a reputable store. Ensure that the products you purchase list all their ingredients and any health warnings. Some
types of essential oils can interfere with prescription drugs. If, for example, you’re taking medication for high blood pressure, consult your doctor before trying any alternative treatment. And of course, be aware that none of the essential aromatherapy oils should EVER be ingested.

Here are some of the more popular aromas and ways they might help you:

Eucalyptus -- inhale for coughs, asthma, bronchitis. An expectorant for smokers. Repels fleas.

Mint -- relieves headache, a stress tonic and stimulant. Masks tobacco odors. Suppresses appetite.

Orange Blossom -- a relaxant and sedative. Recommended for insomnia or dizziness.

Lavender -- aids in relieving hypertension, headache, depression, nausea, vertigo and insomnia.

Lemon -- an antiseptic, a decongestant and an appetite suppresser.

Ylang Top -- try it for nervous tension or insomnia. Inhibits anger related to frustration.

Apple -- masks unpleasant odors. Moth repellent. Appetite suppressant.

Jasmine -- helps to relieve listlessness and depression.

Marjoram -- lessens symptoms of bronchitis and colds. Prevents snoring.

Pine -- an expectorant and disinfectant. Aids with mild aches and pains.

Rosemary -- helps with stress disorders and migraine headache and for increasing concentration.

Rose -- an antidepressant and aphrodisiac. Lessens menstrual and menopausal symptoms. Inhibits odors.