Aromatherapy is a great, natural compliment or alternative to other health treatment options such as certain prescribed medications. But don’t throw away those prescription bottles just yet.
Aromatherapy doesn’t “cure” major illnesses but it is effective at alleviating many of the discomforts associated with them.
For thousands of years, aromatherapy has been used to promote physical, mental and spiritual health. It involves using a plant’s essential oil, taken from its flowers, leaves, bark or roots, and massaging it (mixed with another substance like oil or lotion) into the skin, inhaling it or using it to fragrance a room.
Even as far back as Egyptian times, essential oils were made by soaking plants and filtering the oil through a linen bag.
The actual term “aromatherapy,” however, wasn’t coined until 1928, by Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, a French chemist. He first used the oils to treat wounds during World War I, and later continued experimenting with them. He found that certain oils had different healing properties, and he classified each oil as antiseptic, stimulating, calming, antitoxic, etc., depending on its uses.
How do essential oils work?