Aromatherapy Essential oils – what’s the story?
From the Apothecary of the Enchanted Forest.
The natural health & wellness industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. According to the Global Wellness Institute, the surge in growth of the global wellness economy is currently valued at a staggering $4.5 trillion (2018 data). The wellness industry represents 5.3 percent of global economic output and grew by 6.4 percent annually from 2015–2017, from a $3.7 trillion to a $4.2 trillion market, almost twice as fast as the global economic growth. The Traditional and Complementary Medicine industry alone is worth $360 billion. *Source 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor.
This tells us that people are turning their back on BigPharma. BigPharma will always have money and muscle behind it, but unfortunately the traditional and complementary medicine industry doesn’t, because marketing arnica isn't sexy and this industry does not have funding behind it. What it DOES have, however, is anecdotal evidence going back thousands of years. This is evidence that has stood the test of time, is deeply entrenched in history, traditions and accidental discoveries.
Aromatherapy, for example; the scientific study of the therapeutic & healing properties of essential oils was first started in the 1920’s by Renee Gattefosse, a French cosmetic chemist. Whilst working in his laboratory, he burnt his arm and all he had to hand was a pot of lavender essential oil, with which he doused his arm. His arm healed very quickly and left no scars. This led to the birth of Aromatherapy, and thanks to Gattefosse and his followers, discoveries since then have revealed that essential oils carry medicinal properties and have a myriad of therapeutic & healing properties from which we benefit today.
Essential oils have been used for thousands and thousands of years in the Eastern world, yet have only recently gained popularity in the Western world. So why are we turning to natural therapies? Well, this is a story that will unfold month by month as we explore why we in the western world are embracing natural therapies and discovering new oils along the way. I will however say this much…essential oils work! They are not a fad, or snake oil, or the stuff of charlatans, they are very real and have awesome healing properties, which is why for example, Lavender is famed for aiding in depression, and Chamomile is the skin healing star and lets not forget Sage, known for ‘all things women’.
What are essential oils anyway? Well they are little drops of concentrated liquid gold, extracted from Mother Natures flowers, plants, seeds, bark etc and people ask me all the time “what's this oil good for and what do I do with it & how do I use it?” Essential oils can be applied in three ways: aromatically, topically & internally. Any questions regarding the oil, will be answered oil by oil, as we explore a new oil each month in this column and continue the story of aromatherapy from the Apothecary of the Enchanted Forest.
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