The rising trend of aromatherapy
As our modern lifestyles lead to increasingly high stress levels, the wellness industry is becoming more and more a part of mainstream life to combat the effects. Along with complementary therapies and meditation, aromatherapy is also rising to the fore, and, as reported in the Sunday Times recently (16th July 2017), there's an ever-growing number of products hitting the shelves. According to the article, the buying director of Liberty commented there was triple-digit growth from last year from brands in the aromatherapy category.
Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils by definition, and dates back many moons ago, first being recorded more than 3,500 years BC. The history of aromatherapy is inexorably linked to the development of aromatic medicine, which in the early days was combined with religion, mysticism and magic.
In this era, the ancient Egyptians first burned incense made from aromatic wood, herbs and spices in honour of their gods, and aromatic herbs, wood and bark were burned to drive out the 'evil spirits' from sick people, a treatment known as 'smoking'. The word perfume comes from the Latin 'per fumum', which means 'through smoke'.
Hippocrates (circa 460-377 BC) was the first physician to dismiss the belief that illness was caused by supernatural forces. His treatments would involve baths and massage with infusions, along with the ingestion of herbs. He believed that surgery should be used only as a last resort and was among the first to regard the entire body as an organism, thereby creating a concept fundamental to true aromatherapy - holistic health.
Scents can affect our mood and emotions, promote relaxation and relieve stress, and even help boost memory and balance our hormones. Aromatherapy is often thought of in terms of languorously using massage oils and bath salts, but the modern stars of the show can be instantly incorporated into daily life, to give all of the benefits quickly and easily without too much time commitment.
The epitome of innovation, the new Vitaclean Vitamin C and Essential Oils Filtered Shower Head adds an uplifting scent to your cleansing ritual. Used in the morning, it aims to encourage relaxation and limit stress throughout the day, and as well as misting antioxidant Vitamin C (which combats free radicals and protects from irritation and inflammation) over your hair and skin, it neutralises chlorine.
Wild Medicine handmade quartz-infused soaps bring crystal healing straight to your bathroom. Wild Medicine say; 'Quartz is best known for its power, energy and cleansing vibrations. It enhances energy by absorbing, storing, amplifying, balancing, focusing and transmitting. Quartz also enhances thoughts, as they are forms of energy. It is great for balancing all chakras and is known as the Master Healer.' The benefits of the ingredients include everything from encouraging confidence and focus, to promoting balancing and healing.
Design-lovers favourite Aesop creates products specifically 'with sensory pleasure in mind'. Containing a huge array of plant, herb and flower extracts from nature's medicine cabinet, the range of body, hair and scent products bring the outside in. The names, such as Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash, say it all.
Haeckels natural fragrance and skincare products are very romantically created in a cliff-top lab in Margate by film-maker Dom Bridges, using only locally growing botanicals. Each bottle is etched with GPS coordinates, the date the team was there and the weather that day, for a truly unique touch. The company say their skin, hair and body products are 'a work of love; a love of natural ingredients, a love of design and quality but ultimately a love of the heritage of coastal living', allowing you to take the coastlines natural goodness away with you in a bottle. What could be more restoring than that!