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Brief History of Aromatherapy

For more than 6,000 years, the natural oils that come from plants have served as an important substance for the people that lived in the ancient world. The many uses of plant oils have survived throughout the years and continue to deliver great benefit to those who tap into their power. In this article, we will touch upon a brief history of aromatherapy.

In the past, natural plant oils were used in many different ways. With properties that span healing, cleansing, and mood-enhancement , the oils delivered much more than just a nice scent. Today, natural oils bring balance to the hectic lives of the modern world. The extra boost comes in quite handy, as the world has become saturated with pollution, stress, sedentary jobs, laziness, and poor diets. Aromatherapy helps those looking for an escape to these everyday factors in life. With the help of aromatic plants, resins, and flowers , an individual can treat the body and mind to a healthy dose of relaxation.

Many people wonder where in the world did the practice of aromatherapy originate. To get to the bottom of this question, one must travel through a great deal of history, which is seeped in religious, medicinal, and social traditions. In most circles, it is the Chinese that are looked upon as the first culture to acknowledge the medicinal wealth of plants. This is dated to have taken place around 4500 BC. However, if you want to give credit to a culture that actually explored the physical and spiritual power of aromatic oils, look towards the Egyptians. Archeologists have found plenty of paintings and hieroglyphs that show their people offering aromatic substances to their gods.

Egyptians also used natural plant oils in one of their most infamous practices of the past. When preserving their dead, they used essential oils and resins (like cedarwood and frankincense) as a vital part of getting the deceased ready for the afterlife. Evidence to back up this claim is seen in the well-preserved mummies that have been found over time. For example, some extraordinary specimens have been found from up to 5,000 years into the past.

By the time 3000 BC rolled around, priests began to use natural oils during their religious ceremonies. The oils also found a place in embalming rites and soon after, the living would learn of the usefulness of oil in regards to their daily lives. During this time, we start to see “magic” potions being created , the kind that provided some sort of medicinal assistance. The recipes for such cures were kept a secret. In the end, natural oils would spread across the land with everyone becoming aware of their uses. Cosmetics and perfumes started to emerge as well.