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Aromatherapies are often used for their medicinal effects. But aroma therapists might soon have a new career as alternative psychiatrists.

Aromatherapy uses essential oils for an array of physical, mental and emotional health purposes.

For example, ylang ylang, chamomile and clary sage might help you beat anxiety and insomnia, while rosemary and geranium might be useful when your mood needs uplifting.

How do you get essential oils?

There are two ways to get essential oils. One is of course by purchasing them at the store. The other way to get essential oils is through an essential oil distiller.

There are also a large variety of products that contain aromatherapies like candles, shampoo, lotions and soap.

Using an Oil Distiller

Essential oils are a concentrated, hydrophobic liquids containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oil distillers were invented by a chemist named Ibn Sina for the creation of drinks and perfumes.

Essential oils can be extracted from plant materials using essential oil distiller equipment. These essential oils can be used in aromatherapy in order to improve the health and mood of those inhaling the odors.

The distiller is necessary because plants degrade when cooked at high temperatures. Using steam you can cook the plant at a lower temperature, causing a separation of essential oils and hydrosols.

Are essential oils safe?

That depends. Essential oils can cause different reactions with different people. Many people might experience an allergic reaction or irritation from using essential oils. Also, essential oils found in clear bottles and chemical products like laundry detergents might not be so safe.

Light can harmfully alter the effectiveness of essential oils and many of the chemicals found in products like laundry detergents can ruin the effects of the essential oils. Finally, keep in mind that not all aromatherapies have the same psychological effects on one group of people as on another.

How much will aromatherapy cost?

Essential oils vary in price based on the plants used to create the oil, but you can expect prices to range from 4 to 25 dollars or more. Essential oil distillers can cost as much as $400. Though pricy, if you plan on using aromatherapy in the long term, an oil distiller can save you a lot more money than buying the individual essential oils.