Aromatherapy is a word I’m very familiar with. Every spa menu mentions it as do many skincare brands. Lavender is relaxing is something drummed in to my head. I know how powerful scents can be, triggering memories and emotions. But how does aromatherapy actually work on the body? Is it all just in the mind?
The truth is I have no idea so I decided to ask an expert, Zena Hallam, the founder of Tazeka Aromatherapy.
I’ve been using some of the Tazeka blends, which I’ll report back on soon, so wanted to find out a little bit more about the company as well as aromatherapy.
1. What does Tazeka mean?
Thank you for asking this question. The name ‘Tazeka’ is such big part of what Tazeka Aromatherapy is all about. Tazeka is a combination of my mother’s name (Tazmoon) and mine (Zena). My Mum, sadly, passed away some 18 years ago. She was an amazing, gifted, natural healer who gave selflessly, and as a young girl, I watched her give, always from her heart, to anyone who reached out to her.
She always wanted her daughters to learn and take an interest in what she was doing, and used all-natural remedies. Needless to say, we weren’t even remotely interested. It was only when I got to my early forties that I realized I had a love and passion for natural healing.
In the design of our logo we have a combination of a flower and droplet to show a connection between aromatherapy and essential oils. The droplet symbolizes a drop of essential oil, while the lotus flower symbolizes purity of the mind, body, and spirit – much like the relationship between essential oils and aromatherapy.
For me Tazeka is sharing my mother’s story and the knowledge she passed down to me so that I too may now reach out to others, from my heart, to share the gift of healing.
2. Where are Tazeka ingredients sourced from and why is it important to use organic and wild crafted only?
We choose our oils very carefully. They are sourced directly from companies and farmers who distill the essential oils themselves. Our essential oils come from many different countries, for example: Madagascar, India, the UK, Spain, Croatia, France, various regions of the USA and many others.
We love to foster relationships directly with the distillers because they have an equal respect and love for plant material and the oils. Farming is labour-intensive and very time consuming, so we strongly believe in supporting these farmers. Also we omit any possible essential oil adulteration by avoiding any middle men.
Essential oils have very complex chemistries, and the synergy of the compounds that make up an essential oil work in a holistic fashion that is not found in isolates or synthetically created fragrances. In order for the oil to have a therapeutic effect it would have to be 100% pure. As such we need to ensure, and be comfortable knowing, that our suppliers are trusted and are growing either organically, unsprayed or wildcrafted.
3. What exactly is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is all about olfaction (our sense of smell). It is an art and science of the controlled use of essential oils distilled from plants to treat and benefit the whole person – mind, body and soul.
4. Is there any scientific research in support of aromatherapy?
The short answer is – yes. Research into aromatherapy has made great strides in recent years, and the future of aromatherapy is looking brighter than ever.
Aromatherapy is now being used in care homes, hospices and clinics as a complementary therapy in the UK , the US and other countries. A dear friend and aromatherapist colleague is working with pharmaceutical companies to develop products to manage the side effects of cancer and its treatment, which will hopefully be used within the NHS.
Research can now prove that there is real science behind essential oils. Studies have shown, for example, that tea tree oil may be effective against MRSA. There is a wealth of valuable information and ongoing research on numerous essential oils, as well as active components of essential oils, in support of aromatherapy. Here is a list of good research sites to explore:
There is also a page on our website that is linked to research on the essential oils that we use in our blends. http://www.tazekaaromatherapy.com/pages/our-essential-oils.
5. Scent is very personal. If I don’t like how something smells will aromatherapy still work?
Scent is indeed very personal. If an essential oil were chosen specifically for its chemical composition for a particular issue or condition then there is a very good chance that the oil will work, even if the aroma is not pleasing. However, why subject ourselves to an unpleasing scent, when there are so many gorgeous oils that are going to smell so very different and be equally beneficial. Aromatherapy should be fun, smell great and be therapeutic, all at the same time.
6. Any tips on how to choose genuine therapeutic aromatherapy products?
Sadly, there is a wide range of both adulterated and pure aromatherapy products available in the market place. For an essential oil to be therapeutic it must be 100% pure, the same goes for the raw materials used in aromatherapy products.
It really comes down to trust and reliability in a particular company. Sometimes it’s worth calling to ask where, and how, they are sourcing their materials. I tend to go to a company’s website to get a feel for their ethos, and other times I give them a call.
If you’re getting products from a store, always check the label for pure, organic, wild-crafted or un-sprayed essential oils, and other organic ingredients.
7. Is there a best way to use aromatherapy? For instance is applying to skin more potent than inhaling?
I don’t think there is a best way to use aromatherapy. It depends on what the intention is for using an oil, lotion or other aromatherapy product.
Although inhalation is the most direct route of essential oil use, it’s not necessarily always the most appropriate method. Along with choosing an oil for its therapeutic action, correct dosage and using the best route of administration is key. For example, if someone is stressed and depleted, a massage may be great for that individual because they can enjoy the benefit of touch, and feeling cared for while also getting benefit from the aromas and therapeutic properties of the essential oil blend. On the other hand, if someone has sinus congestion or chest cold, then a steam inhalation, balm / chest rub or a sniffy stick may be perfect to assist in clearing the sinuses and congestion.
8. What is your top (non-product) related natural beauty tip?
An attitude of gratitude. Be kind, and helpful to one another. It shines through.
9. What’s the most unusual way of using aromatherapy that you know of?
Drinking essential oils undiluted and undiluted skin application. Essential oils are so potent and concentrated – it takes 50-70 rose petals to make one drop of essential oil – that inappropriate usage and dosage can do a great deal of harm, and is not necessary. Sometimes less is more, and one drop may be all that is needed.
Please don’t try this at home!
10. Do you have a favourite smell?
What a tough question! I love the smell of so many oils that it’s difficult to pick just one favorite. However, for quite some time now, neroli has been speaking to me. Neroli is an essential oil produced from the blossom of the bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium subsp. amara or Bigaradia). Its scent is sweet, honeyed, with green and spicy facets.
Many thanks to Zena for providing such detailed answers. Hope you found that as useful as I did. It was pretty much everything I wanted to know about aromatherapy but was afraid to ask! Anything else you’d like to know?
More information about Tazeka Aromatherapy at www.tazekaaromatherapy.com