Aromatherapy – an increasing trend in India for Essential Oils
In recent years, many people have uncovered alternative health treatments and age-old remedies for leading a good healthy life. This has spiralled the use and demand for essential oils and aromatherapy techniques. Aromatherapy is defined as “the therapeutic application or the medicinal use of aromatic substances (essential oils) for holistic healing” by The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). Aromatherapy therapy products include essential oils extracted from plants or from the epicarp of citrus fruits through a mechanical process or dry distillation. There are more than 90 recognised and acknowledged the essential oils used in aromatherapy techniques. There are quite a few reasons for a rapid rise in the use of essential oils for aromatherapy, as stated below.
The rise of Essential oils market in India
The aromatherapy market in terms of value is expected to increase at a CAGR of 4% from 2020 to 2030. The growing awareness of the health benefits from essential oils and the increasing propensity of the consumers to lead a much healthy natural life are driving factors for the growth. Essential oils are rapidly increasing as an alternate and a natural form of medicine. Cosmetics industry are trying to substitute synthetic products with natural essential oils which have also fostered growth in this industry. Recently owing to its therapeutic benefits, the demand for essential oils has increased among the aromatherapists. Moreover, some essential oils are also used as natural preservatives and as natural flavours in the food and beverages industry which have led to an increase in demand. Online retail provides a platform where you can buy essential oils. The online medium provides offers and discounts and runs enticing marketing campaigns which drive the growth of the essential oils market. All these factors in unison are causing the essential oils and the aromatherapy market to plummet.
Growth in demand and sales of essential oils
There is a change in perception about health and wellness among the consumers. This growing significance of the overall well being is the main factor driving the demand and sales of essential oils used in aromatherapy. The essential oils are either inhaled or used a direct application on skins to treat and cure various health conditions. The essential oil industry is transcending rapidly into multiple sectors such as bath, housel hold, personal care and cosmetics. With the lack of knowledge and infrastructure about preventive healthcare in our country, it is no surprise that the consumers are taking the health matters in their own hands and are gyrating towards these oils for their mental and physical well-being.
Aromatherapy through essential oil can be applied in 3 ways; they are Aromatically, topically and Orally.
Aromatically: The oil evaporates into the air through aroma diffusers which enters your nose when you inhale them and activates the smell receptors sending signals to the brain. Inhalation stimulates the olfactory system of the brain and activates the limbic system, which is linked to emotions, blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, memory and hormone balance. Aromatherapy through inhalation also enters the lungs and other parts of the body and acts as a respiratory disinfectant and decongestant.
Topical: In this application, the essential oils, bath products are applied on the surface of the skin, which then absorbs the oils and passes it on the bloodstream in 30 seconds. Massaging the area with oils increase the circulation and absorption of oils in the body. Essential oils are always mixed with a diluted carrier oil like almond oil or olive oil and never applied directly
Orally: In some cases, essential oils are taken orally from the mouth. Essential oils are inherently poisonous, and there are no universal standards for approving oil quality. These are only recommended if you trust the purity and potency of the oils or else it might have adverse reactions in the body.
Benefits of using essential oils
Aromatherapy essential oils provides many health benefits which are used to treat many physical and emotional health problems. These oils contain beneficial compounds like antioxidants, terpenes and esters, which help in holistic healing and boosts wellness. Essentials oils therapy are known to calm the nervous system and reduce stress and anxiety. Essential oils help invigorating the senses, boosts energy and help in improving focus. Essential oils contain natural sedatives and help inducing sleep which in turn improves the sleep cycle. It helps in actuating the digestive enzymes and aids in digestion. Essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties which help boost the immune system. Some oils help in balancing the hormone levels as well by activating the limbic system in the brain. These oils are a good remedy for spoilt or damaged hair and propagate hair growth.
Common essential oil properties
Here are some essential oil plants from which the oil is extracted and have certain specific health benefits. The following are some of the essential oil properties
Basil: Oil from Basil helps in cough and cold, decongests the nose, improves digestion and increases alertness
Calendula: Calendula oil soothes skin irritations and helps healing wounds
Cedarwood: Cedarwood oil is mainly used as a remedy for hair loss
Cinnamon: The oil from this popular spice increases blood circulation, helps in relieving stress and aids in digestion
Clove: Clove oil helps in treating toothaches and other bodily pain.
Jasmine: This sweet-smelling oil is used to relieve stress and anxiety and helps in the treatment of dry skin
Lavender: Lavender oil is used for relaxation and for treating Insomnia
Lemongrass: Used as a stress reliever and helps boost immunity
Peppermint: This oil is used to treat headaches, burns and helps in stomach issues like the irritable bowel syndrome
Neem: This oil is used to treat skin irritations like acne and pimples and is an effective insect repellent.
Essential oils can be used in a multitude of ways. You can mix it with your shampoo, body lotions and moisturisers. These can be applied topically in conjunction with a carrier oil or assimilate the oil in your soaps or toothpaste for its soothing and healing properties. You can also use an aromatherapy essential oil diffuser and spritz the fragrance in the room and inhale it. The growing awareness of its health benefits is one of the major reasons for the increasing usage trends and rise in demands in India and doesn’t seem like stopping anytime soon.