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Essential-Oil: Publications and Research from SwissMixIt

Essential Oil Botanical Information

Essential oils are natural products, derived from aromatic plants, traditionally used all over the world for disinfection, as anti-inflammatory, relaxing, and stimulating substances, and with potential and modern exploitation in clinical medicine. Essential oils are commonly used in food and cosmetic industries. They can be used as natural alternatives to synthetic preparations to prevent and treat infectious diseases. They are used traditionally to treat other diseases like respiratory tract, digestive system, gynecological, andrological, endocrine, cardiovascular, nervous system, and skin infections. Many of them have shown anticancer activities, too.

Keywords: ESSENTIAL OILS, AROMATHERAPY, Massage Therapy

Description and Research Abstract: Essential oils are natural products, derived from aromatic plants, traditionally used all over the world for disinfection, as anti-inflammatory, relaxing, and stimulating substances, and with potential and modern exploitation in clinical medicine. Essential oils are commonly used in food and cosmetic industries. They can be used as natural alternatives to synthetic preparations to prevent and treat infectious diseases. They are used traditionally to treat other diseases like respiratory tract, digestive system, gynecological, andrological, endocrine, cardiovascular, nervous system, and skin infections. Many of them have shown anticancer activities, too.

A wide range of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) have been explored for their essential oils in the past few decades. Essential oils are complex volatile compounds, synthesized naturally in different plant parts during the process of secondary metabolism. Essential oils have great potential in the field of biomedicine as they effectively destroy several bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. The presence of different types of aldehydes, phenolics, terpenes, and other antimicrobial compounds means that the essential oils are effective against a diverse range of pathogens. The reactivity of essential oil depends upon the nature, composition, and orientation of its functional groups.

Aromatic compounds have a long history of use as medicines in most recorded cultures. An increasing interest in these therapeutic volatile molecules in both scientific and lay communities has led to the advancement of essential oils as phytomedicines. Recent discoveries suggest essential oils augment the endocannabinoid system in a positive manner to mitigate various pathologies.

Aromatherapy is one of the most widely used integrative therapies in the world, with a rich tradition dating back centuries. Volatile aromatic compounds distilled or expressed from plants—leaves, flowers, seeds, bark, resins, and more—called essential oils are used medicinally for a variety of ailments. Volatile extracts produced by solvent extraction are not considered true essential oils. One exception may be volatile concentrates extracted with carbon dioxide (typically in a supercritical state), which can produce essential oils very similar to traditionally distilled or expressed essential oils without adding any solvent to the end product.

Essential oils are complex mixtures of volatile aromatic compounds mainly composed of terpenes biosynthesized by the mevalonate pathway.

A large body of evidence describes the effects of odors on the human brain and emotions. Essential oil molecules are uniquely qualified to influence mood, alertness, stress, anxiety, and task performance because of their direct connection to areas of the brain involved in emotions and cognition, especially the limbic system.

Essential oils are one of the most notorious natural products used for medical purposes. Combined with their popular use in dermatology, their availability, and the development of antimicrobial resistance, commercial essential oils are often an option for therapy. At least 90 essential oils can be identified as being recommended for dermatological use, with at least 1500 combinations.

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