Aromatherapy HistoryPeople have used aromatic oils since the ancient times. The knowledge about these substances was passed from generation to generation and many times only those worthy have been chosen to learn. There are proofs that Stone Age people used essential oils to cure many illnesses and relieve tiredness. Priests in ancient Egypt used aromatic oils for many rituals or as medicine. In fact, many times have Pharaohs changed slaves for several drops of these precious substances. Egyptians have also used essential oils to preserve the mummies and only because of the perfect preservation they have achieved we are able to see and learn much about their culture and religion.
China was no exception from the use of essential oils and they have even gathered the knowledge about aromatic oils in several books. “Yellow’s Emperor’s Private Manual”, published 3.000 years BC is one of the first books ever describing various benefits of the essential oils.Ancient Greeks knew aromatic oil as well and Hippocrates described in great detail about 300 essential oils and their purpose. Old Romans knew many things about massage, so they have used aromatic oils after bathing. Political buildings and temples of ancient Rome were also places where one could sense the smell of essential oils.
The Bible is one of the sources mentioning essential oils. They are cited some 180 times, especially when three wise men visit the newborn Jesus and bring essential oils.
Europeans knew that essential oils may eliminate the unpleasant smell of the body and many of people of high class used these oils. Prevention of diseases and decrease in death toll with the use of aromatic oils came to life in 12th century Europe, in the time of many epidemics.
Further Development of AromatherapyTo the end of 19th and beginning of the 20th century essential oils found their way and were highly appreciated among Europeans. 1920s were reserved for numerous published books about this matter and one of the authors was French botanist Rene-Maurine Gatteforril. He described the characteristics of many essential oils and their usage as anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and disinfection substances. Lavender, chamomile, lemon, thyme and clove essential oils found their purpose in medicine after his experimenting and later depictions in these books.
From that time onwards, essential oils are used to heal the wounds and burns, regenerate the tissue and disinfect different objects and rooms. These oils are also found to affect the brain and stimulate human senses. Essential oils can excite or calm the person, restore the vitality and bring the sense of well being.