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The history of aromatherapy

Aromatherapy: A Fragrant, Herbal Journey Through Time
Aromatherapy, is the practice of using natural plant extracts, called essential oils, to promote health and well-being. These oils are typically inhaled or applied topically to the skin, and they can have various effects on the mind, body and spirit.

Over 4,000 years ago, in the ancient land of India, scholars and healers were already compiling extensive lists of plant-based ingredients, each with its own unique medicinal properties. This ancient knowledge, known as Ayurveda, has been passed down through generations and is still thriving today.


The first Chinese Emperor Shennung authored a herbal book that is the oldest surviving medical book in existence, containing over 400 plants. Shennong's Herbal Classics, is one of the earliest and most influential books on traditional Chinese medicine and pharmacology and is still thriving today.


At around the same time, on the other side of the world, the Egyptians were also developing Aromatherapy. They practiced aromatherapy in much the same way the Chinese, by herbal extraction and by burning aromatic woods and incense to show respect to their Gods.

Besides the religious use of aromatherapy, wealthy Egyptians used essentials oils in their everyday life.

The Pyramids of Egypt told of the practical use of essential oils in the treatments of ALL of the illnesses.


Over 1,200 years ago, Pedanius Dioscorides, a Greek physician, authored a book on herbal medicine. many of his remedies are still used today.

As the Romans expanded their empire into Greece and Egypt, they learned much of their medical knowledge from these advancing societies, using and improving the science of aromatherapy. As the Romans moved towards the Orient. new oils were introduced into Europe from India, China and the Arab empire via the newly expanding trade routes.


Around 1000A.D., Avicenna, a physician is believed to have been the first person to incorporate the process known as distillation to distil the essence of rose. Also during this period, alcohol was also first distilled by the Arabs, and then combined with essential oils, creating perfume.


Spanish Conquistadors invading North and South America brought new plants and oils to Europe. The Spanish were amazed at the wealth of medicinal plants found in Incan, Mayan and Aztec botanical gardens and the knowledge they possessed concerning the use of plants in medicine.

Together with the South American Indians, The Indians of North America also used aromatic oils and produced their own herbal remedies for both medicinal and religious ceremonies .