Since time immemorial, the protection of health has received considerable attention from the human race. As such, various studies and research have emerged all in a bid to promote the general well being of humans. Prime among these researches is the application of natural substances for the protection and promotion of health.
Today, researchers seek new ways to apply nature’s healing element for human’s benefit. It is in this light that researchers continue to explore the use of plant resins for medicinal purposes. Noteworthy, a significant area of application of plant resins is in the field of aromatherapy. In this light, this essay examines the use of plant resin in aromatherapy.
Resin is a highly viscous or solid substance produced by a plant, usually in a reaction to injuries. They protect such plants from pathogens and insects. Usually, it may either be synthetically produced – synthetic resins – or naturally occurring – plant resins. (Edens Garden, 2018)
In context, plant resins are products of plants from which various essential oils such as Elemi, Frankincense, Myrrh, Galbanum, Peru Balsam, and Opoponax come from. It is a sap – usually sticky – that a tree produces to act as a bandage to its wounds and protect it from parasites and other insects. (Edens Garden, 2018)
Noteworthy, plant resins usually consist of terpenes with specific ingredients including sabinene, alpha-pinene, delta-3 carene, sesquiterpenes, longifolene, and the tricyclic caryophyllene, limonene, delta-cadinene.
Similarly, plant resins are relevant for the formulation of adhesives, food glazing actors, and vanishes. Also, thanks to their capabilities, resins function for medicinal and aromatic purposes today. As such, it is a significant constituent of perfumes, incense, and aromatherapy. (Edens Garden, 2018)
This concept emerged from the term “aroma,” which connotes smell or fragrance and “therapy,” which implies treatment. As such, the concept of aromatherapy involves using plant extracts to engage in holistic treatment in a bid to promote general well-being and good health.
Generally referred to as “essential oil therapy,” it involves using essential oils medically to improve both emotional and physical health. It is considered both a science and art with increasing recognition in medical and scientific studies. (Cronkleton, 2019)
Also, this practice has existed for over a thousand years. The early report traces it to age-old cultures in India, Egypt, and China, among others. They integrated aromatic plant ingredients in oils, balms, and resins. In turn, they utilized these natural substances for religious and medical purposes to great psychological and physical benefits. (Cronkleton, 2019)
Furthermore, this term, which was conceived by René-Maurice Gattefossé, a French chemist and perfumer in 1937, provides tremendous benefits. Noteworthy, it manages pain, soothes sore joints, improves the quality of sleep, and reduces agitation, anxiety, and stress. It also boosts immunity, improves digestion, treats migraines and headaches, fights bacteria, fungus, or virus, reduces the aftereffects of chemotherapy, and reduces the pains of labor, among others. (Cronkleton, 2019)
In the same vein, its application has the capacity and potential to cure conditions such as asthma, fatigue, insomnia, depression, alopecia, erectile dysfunction, inflammation, and arthritis, among others. Although generally safe, aromatherapy still poses various side effects such as asthma attacks, rashes, allergic reactions, nausea, skin irritation, and headaches. (Cronkleton, 2019)
As already established, aromatherapy is based on the use of essential oils as primary therapeutic agents in the treatment of various diseases. Noteworthy, a predominant source of these essential oil plants. Also, these oils are derived through distillation. Precisely, steams are forced through a plant, thus extracting the necessary essence.
Further, while the use of plants resin in aromatherapy varies, it can be classified under five perspectives: cosmetic use, olfactory use, massage aromatherapy, pyscho-aromatherapy, and medical aromatherapy.
Plants resins are used for cosmetic aromatherapy. This involves using the extracts of plants for body, face, hair, and skin cosmetic products. In turn, these products then provide cleansing, toning, drying, and moisturizing effects. Noteworthy, this use leverages on skin absorption. As such, it is applied through products such as body oils, creams, aromatic spritzers, lotions, bathing salts. (Ali et al., 2015)
Plant resins are also applied to olfactory aromatherapy. This involves the inhalation of essential plant resins. In turn, this promotes emotional wellness, relaxation, rejuvenation, and calmness of the body. This is premised on the fact that pleasurable scents unlock odor memories, which in turn release stress. (Ali et al., 2015)
Noteworthy, this application leverages on the sense of smell. As such, plant resins are converted into incenses or perfumes which individuals inhale. In this light, it is applied through inhalers, and diffusers, among others. (Ali et al., 2015)
This involves the application of extracts of plants as essential oils for massage therapy. This application is based on skin absorption, and as such, it can be topically applied through lotions or applied as massage oils. It is also applied through products such as facial steamers, clay masks, cold and hot compresses, among others. Noteworthy, its application provides soothing release to the body and eases stress. (Ali et al., 2015)
These involve the application of resins to induce specific emotions and moods that provides pleasant memories, invigoration, and relaxation to the mind. Again, this leverages on the sense of smell. For instance, this is achievable by infusing a room with these oils. As such, it utilizes products such as inhalers and diffusers. (Ali et al., 2015)
This generally involves the use of resins for treating clinically determined medical ailments. It also involves its application in operational activities. For instance, using it for massage during surgery. (Ali et al., 2015) Noteworthy, it leverages on skin absorption.
Today, resins are extracted from various plants and applied to a variety of activities. Prime among these activities is aromatherapy. In turn, these plants resin effectively treat a wide range of conditions with little or no side effects. As such, it is submitted that the use of plant resin in aromatherapy is of great significance.
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