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Dr. Simone Gabbanini – Prof. Luca Valgimigli

What is aromatherapy (or aromatherapy)?

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts, mainly essential oils, to improve mental and physical health and well-being.

Humans have been using aromatherapy (without calling it that) for thousands of years : the ancient Egyptians, as well as other peoples, incorporated aromatic plant components into resins, balms and oils to be used for medical and religious purposes and this has contributed, in collective imagination, to associate essential oils with mysterious or magical substances.

But now we have numerous scientific evidence on the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial and other effects of these substances and their individual components.

When was the term “aromatherapy” born? Who invented it?

It was only at the beginning of the 20th century that the word “aromatherapy” was coined by the French chemist and perfumer René-Maurice Gattefossé.

The anecdote tells that he accidentally burned his hand following an explosion in the laboratory and used lavender essential oil to calm the pain and promote wound healing.

This experience led him to study the possibility of using essential oils for therapeutic purposes. His book “Gattefossé's Aromatherapy” published in 1937 is perhaps the first book on aromatherapy published by a scientist in which the use of essential oils in the treatment of pathologies is discussed.

However, the main impetus for the development of aromatherapy is due to the French doctor Jean Valnet, who, starting from the writings of Gattefossé, deepened his knowledge and raised aromatherapy to the rank of a true medical therapy.

Part of his research was published as early as 1964 in the book "L'Aromatherapie", but many other studies have continued up to the present day.

How does aromatherapy work?

Inhalation and topical application, i.e. local to the skin, of essential oils are the main methods used in aromatherapy, as they exploit the property of essential oils to penetrate the surface of human skin.

Once the skin barrier has been overcome, the components of the essential oils spread by diffusion in the extracellular fluids , reaching the bloodstream from which they reach the tissues and various organs where they can carry out their action, as demonstrated in recent studies.

Inhaling essential oils has an even faster action, thanks to their volatility and ability to be absorbed through the respiratory tract.

Each essential oil has a number of unique healing properties, uses and effects. Combinations of essential oils are often used to create a synergistic blend with greater beneficial effects.

Is there scientific confirmation on the effectiveness of aromatherapy?

Clinical studies have demonstrated the influence of essential oils on physiological parameters such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and serum cortisol levels.

Even more interesting is the change in brain wave composition with concomitant psychological and emotional effects following inhalation of essential oils.

Although there is growing evidence of measurable effects of essential oils on the brains of animals, more clinical research is needed to validate their influence on the human central nervous system. This will allow the development of essential oil-based drugs to treat mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and dementia.

For the moment experimental evidence have given good results in the use of aromatherapy to manage pain syndromes, improve the quality of sleep, reduce stress, agitation and anxiety, soothe joint pain, treat headaches and migraines, fight bacteria, viruses or fungi, improve digestion, strengthen the immune system.

Regarding the action of essential oils through the skin, numerous studies carried out in the BeC laboratories in collaboration with the University of Bologna have led to international publications of high scientific impact, relating  the percutaneous absorption of essential oils and their action as vehicles towards others  cosmetic actives.

BeC's many years of experience in the use of essential oils has led to the development of a mouth spray,  Free Gola ® , with a balsamic, decongestant, protective and stimulating action on the immune system.

More recently, knowledge has been channeled into the creation of an aromatherapy product by choice, namely the essential oil candle. The diffusion of essences favored by the heat of fire represents in fact the oldest and most used holistic tool in history.

There Ritual candle of the Terra biocare® line it is a 100% natural product, made with soy and coconut wax, and with a wooden wick that burns with a natural crackle creating a warm hearth atmosphere.

The fragrance was created in the BeC laboratories using exclusively natural essential oils: a Helichrysum accord with citrus notes, harmonized by a hint of sage and a floral and balsamic embrace. The packaging is obtained with natural recyclable materials and water-based paints. Today it is available within two routes.

What are the aromatherapeutic effects of the Ritual candle?

It is an ideal product for aromatherapy. The natural fragrance was specifically created to promote relaxation, meditation and balance with your source, creating the optimal conditions for a holistic treatment.

It is said that the scent of Helichrysum stimulates the intuitive part of our brain promoting meditation, creativity and personal growth, while the citrus notes promote concentration and mental clarity harmonized by the aromatic and floral notes to stimulate sensitivity and self-awareness.

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