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Chemistry and biology of Aromatherapy.

This posting gives a brief but quite informative account of aromatherapy which is a a type of alternative medicine. The interesting origin, developments,definitions,chemical composition and mode of action of essential oils are discussed in this posting. The posting gives interesting attachments.

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The word aromatherapy (aroma means fragrance and therapy means healing) has been used with various meanings and definitions in our day to day life. But the most common and widely accepted definition is that used by The Collins English Dictionary Millennium Edition, 2000. According to this, aromatherapy is

"The use of fragrant essential oils extracted from plants as a treatment in alternative medicine to relieve tension and cure certain minor ailments."

Alternative medicine uses a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices like homeopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine that do not follow generally accepted medical methods and may not have a scientific explanation for their effectiveness.

According to Clare Walters Aromatherapy is the use of therapeutic oils extracted from natural plant matter in order to encourage good health, equilibrium and well-being. Chrissie Wildwood ...

Solution Summary

Aromatherapy is used as alternative medicine in healing various ailments through psychological and physiological means. Although it was first used by a French Chemist to heal the burn on his arm in 1928 it is widely used now-a-days for a variety of cures. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils which are a mixture of chemical compounds having fragrant odor. The chemistry and biology have been discussed briefly in this posting.