The Art and Science Essential Oils for Healing

What Is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the art and science of using pure essential oils for healing. Essential oils are used to calm, balance and give energy to the body, mind and spirit. They can be inhaled or applied to the skin, and are gaining popularity as a complementary treatment for stress, infection and a variety of health issues. At Aurora Health Care, aromatherapy is offered to improve your health and well-being, and complement other care you may receive.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are obtained from flowers, plants, trees, shrubs and roots, and from the peels of fruits. The oils are either steam distilled or expressed. Each oil contains a unique mix of ingredients that determines its use, from treating infection to enhancing relaxation.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years, in cosmetics, perfumes and drugs. They have also been used for spiritual and therapeutic purposes. The science of aromatherapy was officially founded in 1928 by René-Maurice Gattefossé, a French chemist who studied the chemical and healing properties of essential oils. By the 1950s, many professionals, including massage therapists, spa clinicians, nurses, doctors, and other health care providers began using aromatherapy.

How Does Aromatherapy Work?

At the most basic level, aromatherapy works by affecting our sense of smell. Scent connects us with our emotions, feelings, creativity and awareness. A scent can bring us into our body and help us to remember powerful feelings. Beautiful scents can balance our mood and lift our spirits and emotions.

Many essential oils also possess antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Essential oils have been used in medicine to heal the body when infected by bacteria, viruses and fungi. For instance, an infected wound or a skin and soft tissue infection may need an antibiotic, but an essential oil may also be applied topically as adjunctive therapy.

Who Uses Essential Oils?

Aromatherapy is used in the home, workplace, retail environment and in health care. Trained health care professionals use essential oils in combination with conventional medicine to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Headaches
  • Gingivitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Insomnia
  • Support for the immune system
  • Cold and flu
  • Burns
  • Insect bites
  • Various skin conditions
  • Your Patient Experience

Aromatherapy may be used in your care for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being while at an Aurora Health Care facility. In your patient room, you may choose the scent, if appropriate. The scent will be dispersed via cotton ball (in a paper cup) or diffuser. A diffuser disperses fine essential oil particles into the air, spreading them throughout the room.

Lavender, bergamot, lemon, and eucalyptus essential oils are used at Aurora Health Care sites.

Using Essential Oils for Well-Being

At Aurora Health care, we use four essential oils in enhancing our patients' well-being. We also provide information on how you can use them in your daily life. We have carefully chosen these oils for their therapeutic and comforting properties.


Uses: Alleviate anxiety, depression, grief, sleep disturbance; therapeutic properties: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and more.

Application: Inhalant, compresses, baths, massage


Uses: Alleviate depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances; analgesic

Application: Compresses, diffused, massaged


Uses: Environmental enhancement, colds/flu, increased concentration and alertness; therapeutic properties: antiviral, antiseptic, stimulate mind and senses

Application: Diffused, massage


Uses: Environmental enhancement for cold/flu season, sinus pain, muscle pain; therapeutic uses: include antibacterial, antiviral, analgesic

Applications: Inhalation, diffused, massage, compress

Find more information on the essential oils and their uses.

Purchase Essential Oils

To purchase high-quality, pure essential oils, or for more information, contact Aurora Integrative Medicine at 414-219-5900.