Aromatics of the Ancient Romans

When it comes to using aromatics to heal medical problems and treat daily irritations, it is important to note the various characteristics and origins of a certain plant. Not all herbal remedies work in the same manner. For the ancient Romans, they utilized aromatics like bay, fennel, and lavender. In this article, you will learn a variety of therapeutic effects of the past.


In some old paintings of ancient Roman emperors, you may have noticed them wearing sprigs of greenery. In many cases, you are seeing bay, which was known as Roman laurel in the past. At that time, bay served as a symbol of wealth and was also used to keep evil spirits away. In the Greek culture, chewing bay leaves meant that you would receive an effect that helped you go to sleep. After settling into a large feast, bay also helped people regain a fresh breath.  

The Effect of Bay

Since bay possesses an antiseptic power to treat the pulmonary system, it was often an ancient remedy for colds, flu, and bronchitis-like medical concerns. It also came in pretty handy when an individual needed help getting a good night’s rest or aid in digesting a meal. Other therapeutic ways that bay is known to come to the rescue include easing the discomfort of rheumatic aches and pains. Bay was also used as a general tonic.

How to Use Bay

The best ways to administer bay as an herbal remedy is through inhalation, massages, and in a bath. Because of its ability to uplift the mood and spirits, bay was a common ingredient in perfumes and bath essences.


With a strong flavor, fennel seeds were recognized by the ancient Romans as a way to boost levels of strength , a view also held by the ancient Greeks. The seeds were also used to get rid of fleas, keep evil spirits away, as well as make the breath smell a bit sweeter after consuming a meal.

In Europe, it was easy to locate the fennel plant, as it often grew by the sea and was identified by its bright green, feathery appearance. Not only did ancient Roman use fennel as a way to heal, but it also found a place as a popular herb. The fresh leaves gave fish dishes a special touch and the seeds favored an aniseed scent that was used in making licorice treats.

The Effect of Fennel

Because fennel brings on a diuretic effect, it makes a decent laxative for those looking for mild relief. This attribute also makes fennel a good remedy for treating colic, constipation, kidney stones, nausea, obesity, and kidney stones. Some women have found fennel seeds helpful in easing some of their issues during menopause. A breast-feeding mother may turn towards fennel to help her produce milk for her baby.

How to Use Fennel

A nice way to utilize fennel is through a massage. With a sweet aromatic scent, it can create quite a relaxing situation. Some people have used fennel to add flavor to medicines that treat flatulence and indigestion.