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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Study Aromatherapy for Health and Well Being by Distance Learning with Tutor Support

This distance learning course looks at the health benefits of aromatherapy.  Aromatherapy is the use of aroma/scent/fragrance for therapeutic reasons.  Scent can be used in a variety of therapeutic ways, such as candles, incense, hair and body products. Oils can also be used as a complementary treatment or massage treatment.  This course looks at the principles of aromatherapy, the benefits of common scents and how these can be used to improve healt hand wellbeing.

The course requires around 100 hours of study and can be started at any time to suit you.


Course Content

There are 10 lessons in this course:

Lesson 1. Essential Oil Properties A

  • Introduction
  • Chemicals found in plants
  • Primary metabolites
  • Secondary metabolites
  • Properties of essential oils
  • Alternative effect
  • Analgesic effect
  • Anti inflammatory effect
  • Antibacterial, Anti fungal, anti viral effects
  • Astringent effect
  • Calmative effect
  • Diaphoretic effect
  • Diuretic effect
  • Emmenagogue effect
  • Using Aromatherapy

Lesson 2.  Essential Oil Properties B

  • Expectorant effect
  • Granulation-stimulating effect
  • Nervine effect
  • Rubefacient effect
  • Sedative effect
  • Spasmolytic effect
  • Stimulatory effect
  • Tonic effect
  • Chemistry of Aromatherapy
  • Phenolic compounds
  • Flavonoids
  • Terpenoids
  • Blending
  • Classical blending
  • Balancing

Lesson 3.  Oil Extraction

  • Introduction
  • Expression
  • Distillation
  • Stem Distillation
  • Enfleurage
  • Solvent extraction
  • Super critical carbon dioxide extraction
  • Hydro diffusion
  • Phytonic process

Lesson 4.  The Physiology and Psychology of Aromatherapy

  • Science of smell – olfaction
  • Mechanism of action
  • Absorption of essential oils into bloodstream

Lesson 5.  Applications of Aromatherapy

  • Introduction
  • Massage
  • Making massage oils
  • Inhalation
  • Vaporisation/ burners, diffusers
  • Baths
  • Compress
  • Creams and lotions
  • Components - oils, essential oils, emulsifiers, humectants, thickeners, preservatives, optional additives
  • Processes of making cream
  • Internal or Dermal applications

Lesson 6.   Aromatherapy Safety

  • Introduction
  • General safety notes
  • Recommended amounts – adults, children. Pregnancy
  • Reactions / Irritations
  • General Precautions – allergies, fever, blood pressure, epilepsy, cancer, etc
  • Toxicity – acute, chronic
  • Hazardous oils
  • Quality of oil
  • Storage

Lesson 7.  Aromatherapy Treatment

  • Client information
  • Counselling and assessment
  • Location
  • Body language
  • Listening skills
  • Open questions
  • The consultation form
  • Treatment plan
  • Clarify goals
  • Suitable essential oils
  • Application method
  • Explain treatment to client
  • Advise of potential adverse reactions
  • Client feedback and follow op
  • Informed consent
  • Referral
  • Confidentiality
  • Record keeping

Lesson 8.  Body Systems – Part 1

  • Introduction
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Treatments for specific conditions – poor circulation, palpitations, hypertension, hypotension etc
  • Respiratory system
  • Treatments for sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, etc
  • Lymphatic system & related treatments
  • Reproductive system & related treatments
  • Endocrine system & related treatments

Lesson 9.  Body Systems – Part 2

  • Musculoskeletal system & related treatments
  • Nervous system and related treatments
  • Essential oils to consider for other psychological disorders
  • Digestive system and related treatments
  • Integumentary System and related treatments

Lesson 10.  Running your business

  • Product development
  • Incense making
  • Soap making
  • Aromatherapy Candle making
  • Aromatherapy sprays
  • Scented waters
  • Scents derived from plant volatile oils
  • Business considerations
  • Aromatherapist practitioner
  • Business planning

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Identify the different properties of essential oils and describe their effects on the body.
  • Identify the various methods used in extracting essential oils.
  • Describe how essential oils can enter the bloodstream and the process of olfaction.
  • Learn some of the more common application methods used with essential oils in aromatherapy.
  • Ensure that essential oils are used in a safe and controlled manner and identify situations where aromatherapy might not be appropriate.
  • Develop an aromatherapy treatment plan for a client.
  • Identify which essential oils would be appropriate for use of various conditions relating to specific body systems.
  • Understand the scope and nature of an aromatherapy business.

Course Extract

In aromatherapy there are two ways that essential oils can enter the body to work therapeutically: inhalation and absorption into the blood stream.

Essential oils have three distinct modes of action:

1)      They initiate chemical changes in the body when the essential oil enters the bloodstream by reacting with hormones and enzymes

2)      They have a physiological effect on the systems of the body

3)      They have a psychological effect when the odour of the oil is inhaled

The science and physiology of smell – Olfaction

The term olfaction derives from the past participle of the Latin olfacere, which means “to smell”.

Our senses are heightened by the presence of smell. The scent of a flower may bring pleasure, or the smell of debris or noxious gases may warn about danger. It is our sense of smell that can affect our behavior, desires and sometimes illness.  Early cultures used aromatherapy in both spiritual and medicinal ways to ‘cure’ both physical and mental diseases. Throughout history, fragrances have been used to stimulate the unconscious mind by Greek philosophers and practitioners to transform a person’s emotional state. Essential oils and aromatherapy may be used to involve feelings of positivity and wellness based on their individual properties.

Scents we find pleasurable (such as lavender or rose) may have a positive effect on our psychological wellbeing through:

  • Increased memory and cognition
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Mood improvement
  • Heightened emotions
  • Reduced stress

The term ‘Psycho-Aromatherpy’ was first mentioned by two Italian doctors, Giovanni Gatti and Renato Cajola. In 1923 they published L'Azione terapeutica degli olii essenziali, or The Action of Essences on the Nervous System. This paper outlined how certain scents can influence mood and emotions, and particularly how they can affect the depressed and anxious state.

In recent times, interest in the impact of certain odours has increased due to the documented positive effects on the physiological and psychological states of being.

Mechanism of Action

For our olfactory senses to work we must first be capable of allowing gaseous molecules of scent to pass through our olfactory system. Olfaction occurs when specific molecules bind to receptors in our bodies. Humans have several million olfactory receptors in the nasal passage.  

The nasal passage is covered with a mucus membrane called nasal mucosa. This mucosa consists of small nerve cells. These connect to the the olfactory cilia, which look like tiny hairs. Olfactory cilia work by detecting sensory stimuli which has been dissolved in the nasal mucosa. The cilia then send the signals through the nerves back up to the brain. This information goes straight to the olfactory bulb, which is at the forefront of the brain, just behind the nose.

The olfactory bulb is responsible for mapping the smells to determine what senses we are experiencing. Once the signals are mapped, the information is then sent to the higher levels of the brain such as the thalamus and the hypothalamus for further processing and identification.

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Study aromatherapy and the benefits to health and wellbeing. This distance learning requires around 100 hours of study. You can enrol at any time to suit you. Your tutor is there to help you every step of the way.


Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!