Essential Oils History Facts

Essential oils are the fragrant oils that are present in many plants. Hundreds of plants yield essential oils that are used as perfumes, food flavorings, medicines, and as fragrant and antiseptic additives in many common products.

Essential Oils in Early Society

Ayurvedic medicine, the world’s oldest healing system, has long recommended essential oil massage as a health treatment for many conditions.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years and have been found in 3,000-year-old tombs in the Pyramids. Early Greek physicians, including Hippocrates, mentioned aromatic plant essences and oil massages for their healing and mood-enhancing qualities.

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Healing Powers of Essential Oils

Aromatherapy began in the 1920s by a French chemist named Réné-Maurice Gattefosse, who became convinced of the healing powers of essential oils when he used lavender oil to effectively heal a severe burn on his body. Gattefosse also discovered that essential oils could be absorbed into the bloodstream when applied to the skin, and had medicinal effects inside the body. Another Frenchman, Dr. Jean Valnet, used essential oils during World War II to treat soldiers, and wrote a major book on the topic in 1964 called Aromatherapie. European biochemist, Marguerite Maury, performed thorough studies of how essential oils influence the body and emotions, and popularized essential oil massages as therapy. In the 1990s, aromatherapy was one of the fastest-growing alternative health treatments