Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Part 1, the Basics - by Danny Siegenthaler

Aromatherapy makes use of essential oils. This 3-Part article will
provide some detailed insight into the use of Essential oils in

We will look at:
a) Where Essential oils come from
b) The way Essential oils effect the mind and emotions (in Part II), and
c) The way Essential oils effect the etheric body or the physcho-spiritual level (in Part


The odoriferous substances (Essential oils) themselves are formed in the chloroplasts of the leaves where they
combine with glucose to form glucides and are then circulated around the plant in this form. At certain times
of the day or year they are stored in particular parts of the plant.

In some plants, the essential oils are produced by the secretory tissues, and in others they are combined with
glycosides, and are therefore not detectable until the plant is dried or crushed, e.g.: Valerian.

Essential oils are considered to be an important part of the plant's metabolism: some have hormonal activity
and others are a stage in some other process, e.g.: the oil found in the rind of the orange is a stage in Vitamin
A synthesis.

Essential oils can be found in almost any part of the plant, in differing concentrations, depending on the plant
itself, the time of day and year. They may be found in the roots (e.g.: Calamus and Valerian), flowers (e.g.
Lavender Oil, Rose Oil,),
bark (e.g. Sandalwood Oil, Cedarwood Oil),
fruits (e.g.: Lemon Oil, Cardamom Oil, Orange),
berries (e.g. Juniper Oil),
leaves (e.g. Thyme Oil, Rosemary Oil,

Plants which contain essences must be picked at the correct time of day and in the correct season, and in particular
weather conditions in order that a maximum yield of the essential oils can be obtained, and of course, as with
all medicinal or nutritional plants, soil conditions, and climatic conditions will also dictate the quality of
the oils obtained.

Heavy, concentrated oils are called ABSOLUTES e.g.: Rose, Jasmine, Oils which are solid at room temperature and
which must be warmed before use are called BALSAMS, e.g.: Benzoin and Camphor.


Essential oils are known to have an effect on us in three different, but overlapping, ways.

a) On the physical body, both locally and systemically, via the lymphatic and blood circulation.

b) On the mind and emotions via the Sense of Smell and the Limbic System.

c) On the “Etheric Energy System†of the body via the energy vibration of the individual oils themselves.

The Way Essential Oils Effect the Physical Body

When Essential oils are applied to the surface of the body, either via Massage, Baths, Compresses, Creams or
Lotions, they will have an effect locally (i.e. the site at which they are applied), and Systemically (i.e. throughout
the body). The Systemic effect occurs when essential oils are absorbed through the skin into the Lymphatic Circulation,
and they are then dumped from the Lymphatic circulation into the blood stream.

Once the oils are circulating in the blood, they are carried to their TARGET ORGAN/S, where they exert a therapeutic
effect on the specific tissues. Every Essential oil has its own Target Organ, e.g. Juniper
targets the urinary
tract and kidneys in particular, with secondary effects on the Digestive, Respiratory and Reproductive Systems.
Chamomile Oil targets the Nervous System via which it can then exert a broad effect on many other body Systems,
like the Digestive Tract for example.

Even when Essential oils are inhaled only, say in the form of a steam inhalation for a cold or as a fumigator
for a background “psychological†effect, the oils will be absorbed across the mucous membranes of
the Respiratory Tract and lungs into the blood stream, where once again, they can travel around the body very

If Essential Oils are taken orally, their absorption through the Mucosa of the stomach and into the blood is
very rapid. Very few essential oils are actually ‘digested’, which is fortunate as their Therapeutic
principles may well be altered if this were the case.

The reason why Essential Oils behave in this manner in the body is because the molecules of which they are composed
are organic molecules and very small indeed. Below are some of the more common Therapeutic Properties which can
be obtained by using Essential Oils.



All essential oils are to a greater or lesser extent ANTISEPTIC. This is one of their most important and valuable
properties. This broad description of ANTISEPSIS includes anti viral, antifungal, anti-bacterial and general
anti-microbial activity which is found in such oils as: Lemon
, Thyme Oil, Tea
Tree Oil
, Garlic, Eucalyptus
, Cinnamon Oil, Pine
, Lavender Oil and Sandalwood


Essential oils with this property help to ease inflammation. The symptoms of inflammation are typified by pain,
redness, swelling, and partial or total loss of function of the tissue involved. Examples of oils with this property
Chamomile Oil, Rose
, Lavender Oil, Sandalwood
, Myrrh Oil and Benzoin.


Restoration of tissue function and regeneration of cells is another outstanding property of essential
. Oils
such as Pine Oil, Basil
and Rosemary Oil are known to
restore function to the adrenal glands, Jasmine
Cypress, and Ylang Ylang Oil restore
function of reproductive endocrine glands, Lavender
and Chamomile Oil stimulate cell regeneration in the


Essential oils may also have a pronounced
effect on the nervous system by producing relaxation, pain relief and relieving muscle spasm. Oils with these
properties include Lavender Oil, Neroli
, Rose Oil, Geranium
and Ylang Ylang Oil.

However, the most outstanding property possessed by essential oils is their antiseptic/antigenetic properly.

This is well documented in Dr Jean Valnet's book, "The Practice of Aromatherapy" and he discusses at length the
effects of specific oils in relation to the control of extremely virulent microbes like Meningitis bacteria,
Golden Staphylococcus bacteria and typhoid bacteria.

In the Chapter entitled "The Healing Power of Plants", from Valnet's book, there
are extensive references to the many ways in which essential oils can affect the physical body.

It is critical to your full understanding and appreciation of Essential Oil Therapy that you appreciate the ways
in which essential oils can have both a healing and preventive role in diseases involving invasion of the body
by microbes.

For more: Part II - Essential Oils for Mind
and Emotions
and Part III
- Essential Oils for Spiritual and Esoteric Applications

About the Author

Danny Siegenthaler is a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and
together with his wife Susan, a medical herbalist and aromatherapist,
they have created Natural Skin Care Products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products to
share their 40 years of combined expertise with you.