History of Aromatherapy and Its Development
The history of aromatherapy dates back to approximately 3000 years before Christ when the Egyptians of the ancient times used to burn incense crafted from aromatic herb and woods in honor of their deities. It was by the 12th Dynasty (circa 1800 BC) that aromatics were successfully introduced for both medicinal and cosmetic purposes.
The use of aromatherapy was also evident among the ancient Chinese who make reference to massages using infused oils in texts dated around 2650 BC. This then shows that the Chinese may even have preceded the Egyptians in their use as well as knowledge of aromatherapy.
In ancient Greece, although much of the medical knowledge of aromatherapy was acquired from the Egyptians, it was basically the Greeks who developed aromatherapy considerably. According to some resources that tackles the history of aromatherapy; it was almost 2500 years ago when Hippocrates, known as the Father of Medicine, wrote something about the benefits of aromatic baths. He even advocated the use of massage using olive oil that had absorbed the aroma from flower petals and herbs.
The presence of aromatherapy was also observed in England, specifically during the second visitation of the Black Death (1603 AD) when the only people who were said to give in to the plague were the workers involved in perfumery and aromatics. Since that time, several writings were published both in America and Europe extensively highlighting the virtues of essential oils for healing. This was then supported by a number of scientific studies which give way to a full understanding of the concept of aromatherapy.
It was in the twentieth century when numerous contributions toward the further knowledge of the healing properties of essential were given and observed. In France, it was the French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse who coined the term “aromatherapie” after successfully treating a burn to his hand with undiluted lavender oil. This discovery was then supported by another incident when a Frech doctor named Jean Valnet employed essential oils to treat psychiatric and medical conditions. The results of which were actually published in 1964.
Later in France, Madame Marguerite Maury who had studied the work of Dr. Valnet introduced the first holistic approach to aromatherapy. It was this introduction then that led to the re-introduction of the original concept and application or practice of aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is now considered as one of the finest ways to battle with the detrimental effects of stress, restoring the beauty, harmony and tranquility of nature into the lives of everyone. It is worldly known as a potent way of balancing and harmonizing the body, mind, and spirit to promote an ultimate well-being.