Aromatherapy – The Healing Power of Oils

Aromatherapy – argan seeds

By Elizka Watt

As seen in Pegasus Pages, March 2013.

Every time you pass a hairdressers, they market some new thing at you. Sometimes it’s a revolutionary new shampoo that “repairs and renews”, an obligatory jejune catchphrase to match.  Nowadays it seems to be the big boom for oils.  You pass a high street and they are everywhere:  Moroccan oil, Argan oil; every scent under the sun.  But what are really the supposed benefits of these substances?

Moroccan oil, to start with an easy one, boomed because of its propensity to make your hair shiny and to rejuvenate it; i.e., it was quick, a one-stop wonder for split-ends frizz and absurd numbers of knots. One application of the honey-coloured liquid and BOOM!  You are now half-way there to looking presentable.  What I highly doubt anyone knows is, what is in it that makes it a silver bullet?

Well.  Moroccan oil contains Argan oil, which is apparently rich in Vitamin E, and it is a strengthener and conditioner, whilst being combined with frizz-combating silicones.  As a hoarder of Moroccan oil, I can confirm with absolute conviction that this works.  Very well.  And it is for you to be able to confirm my actions.

Moroccan oil is a commodity that is growing to a household name status so you might be throwing back your head and crying, “Je m’ennuie”, in French. Let me show you what I deem as “kooky”, such as the company Lime Crime, or Violent Lips, the things you will not necessarily do or use or buy, but find interesting, like oysters and mould cultures.

For purely scientific purposes, I shall now tell you a little about aromatherapy, but the interesting kind from around the world, such as Chinese aromatherapy.  The art of Chinese aromatherapy is well explored. And as with most alternative medicines, the science behind them is more guesswork than a Biology lesson’s.

It is based on the idea of Yin and Yang and of the flow of Qi energy.  There are apparently five elements:  Fire, Earth, Water, Wood, and Metal.  If your Yin energy is depleted, you might suffer from fevers and tiredness. If your Yang energy is lessened, you might become depressed and lethargic.

So, as you can see from the table below, oils from herbs are said to be healing to the body.

However, on embarking on this quest through the hidden world of Chinese aromatherapy, I have come onto an amalgam of mythology crossed with various mediaeval ideas, which seems to still be in the Confucian Era.

But, by all means, if you wish to go to a Chinese therapy session, do go, but do not expect scented candles and Spa’s Own Brand sea salt masks.  Instead, expect a lot a massaging, acupuncture and mandarin. Why not skip the commercial high street soap shops for once and give it a go?

Photography: Argan seeds by asirap on Flickr (CC BYNC-SA 2.0).

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