A Brief History of Aromatherapy

A treatment that uses scented oils (essential oils) which trigger the olfactory system (the sensory system which interoperates smells translating messages to the brain) for physical and psychological benefits.

A Brief History of AromatherapyA Brief History of Aromatherapy:

Many religious practices for thousands of years have used plant materials to burn as incense to enhance spiritual experience and deepen meditation. It is believed that the Chinese may have been one of the first to use aromatic scents to help with well-being. However, more knowledge and evidence of use of scent comes from Egypt. We know that they invented a crude distillation system from traces which were used to preserve body parts, found in recently opened tombs. As well as embalming the dead the Egyptians also used oils in spiritual practices, for medicinal purposes, fragrance and cosmetics.

A major development for aromatherapy came in the 11th century with the improved method of distilling by the use of a coiled pipe: invented by Avicenna, this allowed for greater focus to be place on the benefits of each essential oil.

A Brief History of AromatherapyWithin the 13th century, the pharmaceutical industry was born. This event encourages great distillation of essential oils. In the 15th century the list of oils that were distilled was greatly increased, shortly followed by the popularisation of perfumery in the 16-17th Century.

The 19th Century saw much development for both sides of the oil market. Perfume became more of a fashion statement and in the medical world essential oils were broken down into their constituents to develop modern forms of medicine.

Written by Robyn Magilton – Robyn’s Holistics

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References:

The Essential Guide to Holistic and Complementary Therapy, Chapter 10.
Aroma Web – History of Aromatherapy – http://www.aromaweb.com/articles/history.asp

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