Ancient Tales: The History of Aromatherapy
Essential Oils

The term AROMATHERAPY is coined from two words, “aroma” meaning pleasant scent and “therapy” meaning a treatment that aims to cure a physical or mental condition. The scents involved are pure essential oils of plants valued for their therapeutic properties. Treatments involve applying these oils to the body to improve physical, mental and emotional health. Thus, essential oils affect the body systems in three ways: pharmacologically, physiologically and psychologically.

Aromatherapy is much more than simply subjecting a client to a series of different smells. Perhaps it is because of the word “aroma” therapy that some people think that the healing claims about the oils only relate to the scent. In fact, some practitioners prefer to call the oils “essential” oils rather than “aromatherapy” oils as it is the plant essence that is used in the treatment rather than just the scent. Although each oil does have its own unique and individual smell, some flowery and pleasant (ylang-ylang, lavender), some menthol (eucalyptus, peppermint), some woody (sandalwood, cedarwood) and other sharp and refreshing (lime, grapefruit), this aroma and its effect on the limbic part of our brain is only a part of the therapeutic power of the oils.

The oils are made up of components which have healing properties. Once these have entered the system (through the skin with massage or the lungs in inhalation) they can get on with their healing work and improve a whole variety of conditions.

History of Aromatherapy

Although aromatherapy has only become popular in the last 10 to 15 years, it is actually an age old treatment dating back to the ancient civilizations on the left.


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