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Action of Aromatherapy on the Individual Body Systems

Aromatherapy; Plus Advice & Tips on How to Use Essential Oils

The Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is not only responsible for the removal of toxic wastes from all parts of the body, but it is also involved in the absorption of fats from the intestines. This important system, along with the adrenal glands and spleen, plays an important part in the immune response, which is the body's attempt to defend itself against disease.

Essential oils, by stimulating the production of white blood cells and other organs involved in the immune response, not only strengthen the body's stand against infection, but through their bactericidal, antiviral and fungicidal properties, they can actually support the body directly by opposing micro-organisms that threaten its defense.

  • Lavender, Bergamot, Eucalyptus and Rosemary not only stimulate the workings of the body's lymphatic system, but also act directly against a wide range of bacteria and viruses.
  • The adrenal glands, also important in the immune response, are supported by the oils of Rosemary and Geranium, which also act as a general stimulant to the immune system as a whole.
  • Cajeput, Niaouli and Tea Tree combine bactericidal, antiviral and fungicidal properties with a particularly powerful stimulant action on the organs involved in the immune response.
  • Although most essential oils possess the above properties to some degree, Lavender, Bergamot, Lemon and Tea Tree are the ones which have the most marked effects in these regards.
  • The spleen, another organ involved with the immune response, is supported by all the actions of Black Pepper and Lavender, the former also being implicated as a good oil for encouraging a more efficient drainage of lymph, to be used alternatively with Rosemary, if treatment is to be continued over a long period.
  • When essential oils and massage are combined, a more efficient drainage of lymph is encouraged. Fennel, Geranium, Juniper, Rosemary and Black Pepper being of particular importance here, and as several of these oils are also diuretic in action, they will encourage the excretion of such wastes via the kidneys.

Massage offers the most effective therapy for use on the lymphatic system, encouraging lymph circulation and the drainage of cells through the body, thus preventing a buildup of toxins in the tissues, which can lead to edema, adhesions or deposits around the muscles and joints, leading to pain, stiffness and loss of mobility, and cellulitis 먹튀검증사이트.

The value of essential oils in relaxing and balancing a person, mentally and emotionally, must not be forgotten. During an aromatherapy massage the person will also be inhaling the aroma of the oils and will be influenced by them in this way too. There is a strong connection between the emotional field and the body's immune system, so it is always important to blend the oils accordingly, where a person's immune system may be depressed due to an emotional imbalance. It is a well known fact that the adrenal glands can become exhausted due to prolonged or acute periods of stress, so oils that not only support and strengthen the immune response, but also instill deep relaxation, can be of extreme value in treating this system, Lavender being an excellent example.

The Nervous System

The action of essential oils, and also massage, on the various activities of the nervous system form a major part of aromatherapy, as this system more than any other is strongly involved in the mind-body link. As a result, anything that will benefit this system will have a pronounced effect on the organism as a whole.

  • Oils in general, which produce a beneficial effect on the nervous system, include Chamomile, Clary Sage, Juniper, Lavender, Marjoram, Melissa and Rosemary.
  • Bergamot, Chamomile, Lavender and Marjoram have analgesic, antispasmodic and sedative properties, helping to relieve pain, promote a calming effect, and reduce over-activity of the nervous system.
  • Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Rosemary are both analgesic and antispasmodic, helping to relieve pain and calm nerves which trigger muscle activity, but they are not sedative.
  • Because of the effects produced by the above oils on this system, they are most commonly the ones used in aromatherapy, especially where there is pain or spasm in the voluntary muscles or internal organs.
  • Oils which combine both sedative and antispasmodic effects are Clary Sage, Cypress, Juniper, Melissa, Neroli, Rose and Sandalwood.
  • Neroli oil has a marked effect on the autonomic nerves which govern the intestines, and Sandalwood acting particularly on the nerves of the bronchial passages, useful for calming down a cough caused by nervous reflex action.
  • Although most oils can be described as either stimulating or sedative, each oil can in fact possess both qualities, depending on the amount of the particular oil used. Peppermint, for example, has been found to be stupefying in large doses and stimulating when used in only small amounts.
  • Some oils such as Bergamot and Geranium, have a normalizing effect, and will stimulate or sedate, depending on the needs of the individual.
  • Rosemary produces a marked stimulant effect on the central nervous system and is of particular value where there is loss or reduction of function in either sensory or motor nerves. It is a powerful brain stimulant and helps to improve memory and aids concentration, clearing and sharpening the mind generally.

When massage is combined with appropriate oils, the effects on the nervous system can be quite pronounced. The lightest of strokes can produce a strong relaxation effect through the body as a whole, especially when performed on the more sensitive parts of the body such as the face, hands or feet, areas more liberally supplied with nerve endings. The body will respond to therapeutic touch, and where a person may be lethargic or need energizing, firmer, more brisk strokes could be used. Alternatively, slower, smoother strokes could be used on someone who was perhaps over-anxious and stressed, with appropriate oils to instill calm and deep relaxation.

Essentially, aromatherapy massage can do much to balance the autonomic nervous system, with particular regard to the sympathetic system, which so often predominates in the individual, due to the stressful times in which we live.

The Digestive System

The antispasmodic, calmative and digestive actions of essences are well known, herbs and spices having long been used in foods to encourage the flow of digestive juices, and discourage stomach spasms and flatulence. These properties are entirely due to the essential oils that such herbs and spices contain, and it is because of these properties that these oils are still used by many pharmacists of today.

The initial stage of digestion is olfaction, or smell, the very aroma of food stimulating the secretion of digestive juices. In fact, taste plays quite a small part, as our taste buds can only perceive four basic flavors, so the greater part of what we commonly call the 'taste' of food, is actually its 'smell', evidenced by the fact that food loses its taste when our nose is blocked. So it would appear that the digestive action of essential oils is primarily due to their effect via the sense of olfaction.

Camphor, Cinnamon, Fennel, Marjoram and Rosemary are useful in constipation, flatulence and lack of intestinal tone, exerting these effects by strengthening peristalsis, which also produces a relatively mild laxative effect.

  • The opposite effect, that of reducing smooth muscle spasm or promoting antispasmodic action is observed in a large number of essences such as Bergamot, Lavender, Cypress and Neroli.
  • Thyme oil can counteract adrenalin spasm, while Melissa and Sage are among those which reduce acetylcholine spasm.
  • Clove oil counteracts stomach acidity by effectively raising the PH of gastric juice, and as this is due to its engerol content, similar effects may be observed with Cinnamon Leaf and Black Pepper.
  • The action of Clary, Clove, Fennel, Peppermint, Rose, and Thyme is considered to be direct, while that of Melissa and Sage are known to occur through the Nervous System.

Essential oils should never be taken orally, but aromatherapy massage and compresses applied directly over the abdomen, offer effective ways of introducing oils into the digestive system. Massage can be given along each side of the spine, from where the nerves, which influence this system, arise. It can also be applied directly over the abdomen, and in this way the digestive system can also benefit from the mechanical effect of the massage itself, as well the reflex effect and the properties of the essential oils used in the massage. The reflex effect of the massage alone is very noticeable, and the lightest touch on the abdomen will stimulate the peristaltic action of the intestines, helping to move the products for digestion along the tract and assist in the elimination of wastes from the colon.

Massage, through its effect on the nervous system, will also cause an increase in the secretions of the small intestine and its associated glands, thereby aiding the digestion of food. Through this reflex effect, the small arteries in the abdomen dilate, thus increasing the supply of blood in this area and facilitating a more efficient absorption of food elements through the intestines, as well as promoting the absorption and passage of the essential oils used. The mechanical effect of the massage is confined to the large intestine, where clockwise massage movements can physically assist in the passage and final elimination of waste from the colon, presenting another positive aid to elimination and helping to prevent constipation.

The Cardiovascular System


The cardiovascular system comprises of the heart and blood vessels.

  • The heart muscle can actually be strengthened by oils of Garlic, Borneol, Lavender, Marjoram, Peppermint, Rosemary and Geranium, these oils often being described as tonics.
  • Lavender, Melissa, Neroli and Ylang Ylang are recommended for palpitations and other disorders of the heart which arise due to anxiety or nerves.
  • Calamus is another oil which appears to have an antispasmodic effect on the heart muscle, and it also has the ability to reduce blood pressure, probably due to its similar effect on the blood vessel walls.
  • In fact, most oils that have an antispasmodic effect on the heart, such as the latter oils mentioned, will produce this action on the blood vessel walls, and therefore encourage the blood pressure within the vessels to drop. This action generally takes place via the autonomic nervous system.
  • The opposite effect can also be produced by the use of certain stimulant oils, thereby causing a rise in blood pressure due to contraction of the blood vessel walls.
  • Camphor is one particular oil that has the ability to increase blood pressure, also acting as a cardiac stimulant. Other stimulant oils can also produce the same effects, Hyssop, Rosemary, Sage, Juniper, Cinnamon and Benzoin for example.
  • Hyssop oil, however, could be best described as producing a tonic effect on this system as it can cause an increase in blood pressure, followed by a decrease.
  • Rosemary oil can be useful in the treatment of atherosclerosis, as it helps to lower cholesterol levels in the blood, helping to prevent the buildup of fatty substances on the inside of the blood vessel walls.

The effects of massage on the circulation are well established. By assisting and encouraging the flow of blood around the body, massage can greatly reduce the pressure that the heart must exert to keep the blood flowing, particularly venous blood. This effect is produced by the mechanical effect of massage, but the reflex effect, or the body's response through the nervous system, will cause the small arteries to dilate, resulting in a greater volume of blood entering the tissues. This will further reduce the pressure on the heart, essentially promoting a reduction in blood pressure, and therefore also taking strain off the blood vessels themselves, improving their condition.


Massage can be particularly beneficial to this system when it is applied over the dorsal area, guiding the essential oils to the target organs. The oils can also be applied in the form of a compress, which can be placed directly over the heart area. Baths and inhalations are also a means by which essential oils can be introduced into the blood circulation, and therefore the other organs of the body.

The Endocrine System


Essential oils can benefit the endocrine system in two different ways. Some oils contain plant hormones, known as phytohormones, which are similar in action to our own, and act within the human body in a similar manner, thereby reinforcing or replacing the effects of certain hormones which may be lacking. Fennel, for example, contains a plant estrogen, and can be used beneficially in menopausal and pre menstrual problems, also helping to stimulate the production of breast milk.

The other way in which essential oils can affect the endocrine system is by actually stimulating the various glands themselves, thereby stimulating the secretion of hormones from these glands or balancing hormone production. The health of the body being dependant on the correct output of hormones from each gland.


  • Garlic, for example, helps to balance thyroid secretions, proving particularly beneficial when this gland is under active.
  • Basil, Geranium, Pine, Rosemary and Sage are said to stimulate the adrenal cortex, with Geranium being known as the balancer of hormone production in general.
  • Eucalyptus and Juniper appear to assist in the reduction of excessive blood sugar levels, with Geranium again, acting as a balancer in this regard.
  • As well as Fennel, essential oils such as Chamomile, Clary Sage, Cypress, Jasmine, Lavender and particularly Rose, affect the reproductive system and are useful for rebalancing this system when problems occur.

The pronounced effect of aromatic oils on the emotions, the nervous system, their aphrodisiac affect, and their effect on the body in general, would seem to indicate endocrine influence, an influence which not only exerts its effects via the glands themselves, the nervous system and a mimicking of our own hormones, but also it would appear on a more subtle level, through the sense of smell. The olfactory area of the brain connects with the hypothalamus, a vital structure which controls the entire hormonal system through its influence on the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus also exerts an influence over the autonomic nervous system, and is the means by which the endocrine system interrelates with this part of the nervous system and vice versa.