|While the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé coined the term
Aromathérapie in 1928, the use of ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OILS began anywhere
between 5000 and 7000 B.C.
The recorded HISTORY OF AROMATHERAPY is noted in the
paintings and hieroglyphics left by the Egyptians. Everyone knows about
their incredible embalming techniques using ESSENTIAL OILS and spices.
They used oils noted for their fragrant, antiseptic and antibacterial
properties; oils like myrrh, cinnamon, cedarwood, cypress and spikenard.
Entire rooms were set aside in the temples for the preparation of the
ESSENTIAL OILS used in offerings to the gods. The
Temple of Edfou has a room which reveals detailed formulae inscribed on the
walls of the many different perfumes required by the Pharoah and his family.
The Greeks used various spices, medicines, perfumes and incense. The
temple priestesses burned bay leaves to induce trancelike states so they
could tell the future.
The Romans are as well-known as the Egyptians in their use of
ESSENTIAL OILS and other fragrant spices. Their baths were an important
ritual where the body was first cleansed then massaged with sweet smelling
oils. The sense of smell and use of aromatics was so highly valued that Nero
would have guests sprayed with particular oils to put them in the mood of
Using their individual properties for reference, the Chinese classified
oils into six categories: Luxurious, Tranquil, Reclusive, Beautiful, Noble,
and Refined. Geisha’s would use specific oils to create the moods they
wanted from their clients.
The Japanese set up special schools to teach the art of perfumery, or
Kodo, which still exist today.
In ancient Britain, the Druids favored herbs that induced mind altering
states to enhance mystical experiences. Invaders brought their own medicinal
remedies, which were incorporated into Celtic traditions. Because the monks
were the main healers of the day, much of the knowledge of plants and their
healing properties was cultivated by them; knowledge we still have to this
During the 14th century, the Bubonic Plague devastated most of England
and Europe. Physicians would wear protective clothing filled with various
spices, including cinnamon and cloves. They carried pomanders and wore
garlic around their necks to protect themselves from the disease. They may
very well have succeeded for garlic, cinnamon and cloves are renowned today
for their antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, the art of perfuming widened to include
putting plant essences to darker uses. Catherine dé Medici took her perfumer
with her when she married the king of France. He was skilled in the making
of lethally poisoned yet fragrant gloves, which she sent to her enemies in
her efforts to foil intrigues against her.
By the 19th century, synthetic drugs came onto the scene and the use of
medicinal ESSENTIAL OILS declined.
Now we have seen a return to the use of medicinal oils and Science is
able to back up many of the claims made through the centuries of ORGANIC
ESSENTIAL OILS. While it is interesting to know the HISTORY OF AROMATHERAPY,
what matters most is how you educate yourself. Learn the properties and uses
of the oils before using and find what works best for you.