The History of Aromatherapy

This week I decided to change things up as per usual. I decided to talk about the history of aromatherapy and what the background is behind it. Most of the stuff I will be mentioning is also new to me which is why I am very excited about this blog post this week.

It turns out that aromatherapy and its roots can be traced back from over 3500 years ago; this was the era before christ was born! In these ages the development of aromatic medicines were through magic, religion, and mysticism. Egyptians believed that the ritual of burning aromatic woods (creating incense) brought their daily prayers to the heavens above. This created the foundation of aromatherapy and from here on out it continued to grow.

From around 5000 to 10000 B.C, the people in that day and age believed that the aromatic scents and herbs could be used to keep evil spirits away from those that were sick. Studies proven today state that these people were often viewed as “mentally ill”. The only way they used their aromatic tendencies were through water, fire, and smoke (Fun Fact: the word “perfume” comes from the latin word “per fumum” which means smoke).  In contrast of what we use today, it was very popular during these times to use “scented bark” and “fragrant woods”

During the times of 2650-2575 B.C, the quest for immortality was driven by the Egyptians who eventually developed the process of embalming and mummification (Embalming is a method many people who are buried use today). Aromatherapy oils such as myrrh, galbanum, cinnamon, cedarwood, juniper berry and spikenard are commonly known to have been used in some sort to preserve the bodies of their royalty in preparation of the after-life.

Hippocrates who is known to be “The Father of Medicine” because he was the first doctor to discover natural reasons for common illnesses. Hippocrates was big on the use of essential oils which are commonly used in aromatherapy techniques today; he is said to have studied and documented over 200 different herbs during his lifetime. He often used methods of infused baths and massages as a way of healing people that were sick.

It is interesting to see all the ways essential oils were used within the daily lives of people who lived before the age of christ. We often underestimate the power and practice of aromatherapy due to the advancements we have today but sometimes the oldest trick in the book can be the best one.

Here is the website where I found most of my facts: history-of-aromatherapy