Aromatherapy is the use of volatile oils, obtained from aromatic plants for preventing and treating certain diseases. The
settles a difference between phytotherapy and aromatherapy, which is based on the abundance of volatile oils from the Mediteranean area. The volatile oils are obtained from aromatic plants such as: mint (Mentha piperita), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), oregan (Oreganum vulgare), pine (Pinum sylvestris), fir (Abies alba), dill (Anethum graveolens), basil (Ocimum basilicum), rose ( French School Rosa damascena), lemon, orange, sandal (Santalum sp.), ylang-ylang, tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), aso. These volatile oils are obtained from aromatic plants through: pressure (pericarp oil, lemon and orange oil), distillation with water steam, extraction with organic dissolvers, extract with liquid carbon dioxide, etc. The volatile oils have different applications in therapeutics and cosmetics, that is why there have been very precious since the Antiquity and till nowadays. Paracelsus, the great physician and alchemist of the Middle Ages called them “quinta essential” and used them in his treatments. They have very different therapeutic effects, such as: antibacterial (thyme volatile oil), antimycotic (lavender volatile oil), emollient (rose volatile oil), antiemetic (mint volatile oil), antirheumatic (fir volatile oil), relief of the nasal mucosa (pine volatile oil), aso.
Volatile oils are rarely used alone (lavender oil in burns), they are mainly dissolved in fat oils (olive oil, sunflower oil, almond oil, peach oil, etc.) or included in ointments or creams.