What magic do essential oils possess?
It can move our souls, bring back memories, calm our minds, and set the stage for romance. Perhaps the secret lies deep in the most ancient core of our brain- the limbic system. It processes our sense of smell, and also controls our "autonomic" nervous system- our breath, our heartbeat. Scent can affect the autonomic nervous system, causing the breath to deepen and slow, which in turn, calms the heart.
Many illnesses begin in the mind, and the benefit of aromatherapy is that it helps ease the unconscious causes of distress. Aromatherapy utilizes essential oils to stimulate both psychological and physical benefits. Essential oils are not perfume or fragrance oils- they are literally the pure "essence" of a plant, and are unadulterated by any artificial or chemical ingredients.
Essential oils have a rich, natural aroma, which can offer either relaxing or stimulating psychological benefits by triggering the brain (perhaps in the same way phermones do, by stimulating the release of subtle hormones.) The components of the oils also enter the lungs, and oils applied to the skin absorb into the bloodstream, providing actual physical benefits. But essential oils must be used with care- they are very concentrated, and in pure form, can irritate the skin.