Most of us came across aromatherapy and essential oils one way or another, even if we weren’t aware of the fact. Each one of us bought a product containing one essential oil or another at least once in a lifetime, and usually more. Examples of such products are soaps, shampoo, cosmetics and toiletries, incense, fragrant oils for burner (those are not essential oils, but contain a small amount of essential oil) etc.
After all, aromatherapy and essential oils are not something new that has developed in the wake of the “New Age” era, flower children, or the return to nature. Aromatherapy and essential oils have existed for thousands of years throughout history, in all cultures in some way or other. They are used in “conventional” medical centers around the world to reduce the spread of bacteria and to speed patients’ recovery.
Although aromatherapy and essential oils are considered “alternative” medicine, more studies have actually been done on essential oils and their effects on the body than all the modern drugs put together – including the best known and most popular.
The Egyptians were the first to start with essential oils and because they were very expensive ingredients, they usually sacrificed them to the gods. The priests in their temples experimented with these oils to see how each of them was useful. They made different prescriptions for treating various problems and these prescriptions passed on to the next generation. The next generation continued the research and so on.
Following the Roman occupation, aromatherapy and essential oils also reached the Roman Empire. There they became very common because the roman love of baths. From Rome, the essential oils spread to all the territories occupied by Rome. Each of these cultures added to the research and documentation on the subject following experiments. And so it continued until these days.
Also in the east, especially in China, India, and Japan various studies have been done throughout the generations on the effects of essential oils on the body and health. And once again, the findings passed on to future generations that continued the study and so on.
To date, in fact, only 30-40% of the world’s population uses “conventional” medicine and the rest of the population turns to medicine that is for some reason considered “alternative,” when in fact the more correct term would be “old and established” medicine versus “new and under research” medicine. And a big part of the old medicine is the use of essential oils whether applied on the skin or aromatherapy which is the inhalation of the active ingredients through the lungs.
In Western culture, the subject of aromatherapy and essential oils has been less known in the last century. As a result of the enthusiasm for new drugs such as penicillin, painkillers, etc., the old drugs were forgotten. But more and more data is coming up about the damages from modern medicines. Data on the fact that antibiotics are losing their strength in the world because of excessive overuse. All this encourages an increasingly great return to the old natural medicine, and in that return aromatherapy and essential oils are the stars.
Today modern scientific studies have already begun on the subject. More and more data is gathered that these oils can treat a lot of physical problems, without the side effects that come with the chemical drugs that are supposed to treat the exact same problem.