It is the use of essential oils, extracted from plants, as a therapy.
The oils have therapeutic properties, used for treating both medical and non medical conditions (improving health and preventing disease).
Oils have been used for centuries in holistic treatments to improve both physical and emotional well-being, they have also been used for religious and cosmetic purposes.
Aromatherapy can be utilized in a number of ways including massage, baths and inhalations.
It is said that the use of essential oils is as old as man himself, but the first evidence goes back 5000 years. The Bible at Exodus 30:22-24 gives the formula God gave to Moses for the holy annointing oil: myrrh, sweet cinnamon, sweet calamus, cassia and olive oil. It even specified the exact quantities to be used.
The Arabs - Avicenna, a physician, is credited with the discovery of the steam distillation used today to obtain essential oils.
…and another Modern Art
In the 17th Century, a famous Physician Nicolas Culpepper wrote the Herbal Book, documenting plants, herbal oils and there uses.
Unfortunately, as the 19th Century progressed, the use of aromatic medicine and herbs declined as drug therapies advanced.
This changed with the emergence of a French scientist, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, whose family was in the perfume business.
After burning his hand one day he plunged it into a vat of the essential oil, Lavender. He was amazed that his hand healed so quickly, without scarring.
During the First World War he used essential oils on soldiers’ wounds and demonstrated the healing effects they had.
In 1920s he coined the phase aromatherapy. In 1928 he published a book by that name.
Dr Jean Valnet brought the power of aromatherapy to both the medical field and lay persons. During the Second World War he too used essential oils on the soldiers. He used Cammomile and Lemon as disinfectants and antiseptic. He also used oils on psychiatric patients. In 1964 he published a book called “The Practice Of Aromatherapy”.
Others followed. Today Aromatherapy is a household word, widely accepted in many countries.
If you are suffering from any medical condition you are advised to contact your licensed medical practitioner…