Aromacology versus Aromatherapy

Using natural oils has been part of the beauty and spa industry for ages, and with good reason. Nature is an incredible source that is available to us all and can be utilised for so many purposes. A “new” trend has changed the well known “aromatherapy” to a new term called “aromacology”. Let’s look at the difference.

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is based on the physical use of plant oils in massaging or ingestion. The focus is to improve physical health and psychological health. The term “aromacology” originated in 1928 with the French chemist Rene Maurica Gattefosse.  He described aromatherapy as the action of healing by using the essence of aromatic plants. Even though the evidence is substantial in support of the effects of aromatherapy, there are not many scientific studies available as there is no commercial incentive.

Aromatherapy only uses natural and pure essential oils to stimulate healing as a primary focus and how the client feels is the secondary therapeutic action.

What is Aromacology?

Aromacology is best described with a quote by Christopher Poindexter: “Nothing brings to life again a forgotten memory like a fragrance”. Emotions are generated in the limbic system along with instinctive behaviours like hunger or thirst. The limbic system activates instincts that the hypothalamus manages.

For the past 2 decades, many people have studied our sense of smell. This led them to study how people react to different aromas, in other words how the limbic system processes different smells. The limbic system has immense importance as it is not subject to our will and it can be very intense, depending on the stimuli. Therefore, the limbic system plays an immense role in aromacology.

Aromas travel in small particles through our nostrils whereafter the nose analyses the aroma. The olfactory receptor cells capture the chemical composition of the different aromas. The olfactory receptor cells transform the chemical information into electric pulses which is then delivered to the limbic system for processing. Today we know that smells can change our mood and affect our appetite, attention span and memory among other things. This is due to a specific aroma’s effect on our olfactory memory.

Think of a smell that reminds you of your childhood…perhaps wet grass after the rain. This is a perfect example of aromacology. This smell evokes a sense of happiness or calmness throughout your life.  Aromacology evokes certain emotions. Today we see great benefit in health issues such as anxiety, depression, tension, irritable bowel syndrome and many more. Even though it will not replace pharmaceuticals, it can assist in treating medical conditions in a more natural way by using it to massage on affected areas, using it as a bath oil or in a diffuser. There is immense benefit in using Aromacology oils throughout your home, around busy children, busy animals and to aid in restful sleep.

Try the SkinPhD Aromacology De-Stress oil today to feel the difference in your mood.


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