Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential plant oils for psychological and physical well-being.
Essential oils are the pure essence of a plant and have been found to provide both psychological and physical benefits when used correctly and safely. Buying quality products and using safely requires self-education and research or the expertise of qualified aromatherapists.
Note that synthetic ingredients are not considered beneficial by aromatherapists. Also be aware that perfume oils (also known as fragrance oils and often listed as "fragrance" on an ingredient label) are not the same as essential oils, and do not provide the therapeutic benefits of essential oils.
The use of the word "aromatherapy" on product packaging, labeling or in product advertising is unregulated in the U.S., so any product can be marketed as an "aromatherapy" product without having the beneficial essential oils in them. Read lables and steer clear of products that contain unnatural ingredients including fragrance oils.
Aromatherapy may have a large array of health benefits, but there are safety precautions to note such as possible allergic reactions, as well as possible interactions with other treatments, particularly homeopathic remedies. If you are seeking health benefits from aromatherapy, it is useful to seek out a qualified aromatherapist.
Columbus has many certified aromatherapists who provide information on quality essential oils, blends, and often distribute products or even create custom blends. There are online directories that list local aromatherpists such as Body/Mind/Spirit, as well as holistic centers including The Center on High, the Columbus Polarity Center for Integrated Health and Wellness, Restoration Ministries, LLC and Mystic Nirvana offering holistic aromatherapy products and services.