Aromatic plants where used for their therapeutic, preservative and pleasing properties throughout the entire history of mankind. The systematic study and recording of plants and their use has led to the art of aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using natural aromatic essential oils in order to enhance and maintain good physical, emotional and mental health. It is part of a holistic approach and has better results when affecting simultaneously body and soul. For that reason its main methods of application are massage and inhalations.
One characteristic that makes aromatherapy fascinating is the endless potential of choosing and mixing essential oils. Aromatherapy is thus a field of inexhaustible experimentation and an enchanting journey of senses, where everyone is invited to find his/her unique combination of pleasant scent and therapeutic effectiveness. Most first records of Aromatherapy uses have been found in Egypt’s temple and pyramid ruins. Ancient Egyptians had created an extensive commercial network for importing vegetable raw material which they used to produce essential oils, therapeutic and beauty blends which they then exported all over the world. The popular blend Kyphi, used in the temples of ancient Egypt,contained spikenard, the essential oil of a plant growing only on the Himalayas.
Aromatherapy was introduced into modern era by the French pharmacist Rene Gattefosse in the 1920s. While he was working in the lab he incidentally burned his hand. Instinctively he seeked comfort in a bowl containing lavender essential oil. The soothing effect of lavender on his hand led Gattefosse to further research and experiments concerning essential oils. The persons who carried on with Gattefosse’s research where Dr Jean Valnet, a doctor that used essential oils for treating wounded soldiers in the 1st World War and Marguerite Maury who introduced essential oils in beauty treatments. The modern practice of aromatherapy as a combination of essential oils and massage techniques was developed in the 1960s.