Going for a massage or experiencing a luxurious aromatherapy bath is something most people enjoy, because of their natural healing effects and great smelling fragrances. Aromatherapy oils have been around for over 3,000 years, with perfumed water and fragrant wax being the first kinds of early perfumes. These have also been believed to have had healing powers and properties for minor ailments and health conditions.
Aromatherapy itself has been around for approximately 6,000 years or more, dating back to the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans. Imhotep, an Egyptian physician had used aromatherapy oils and fragrance waters for bathing and healing purposes. The oils were also used for embalming dead bodies.
The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, had used aromatherapy fragrances and oils to rid Athens from the plague, through aromatherapy fumigation in the air. He would also often recommend herbal baths and aromatherapy treatments to heal the sick and promote general cleanliness. The Romans would use the oils and aromatherapy fragrances for their public bathhouses. Often the rich and wealthy were privileged enough to use these fragrances to keep the body perfumed well.
Aromatherapy, unlike essential oils were seen as a luxury and used for cosmetic purposes. Essential oils were used mainly for health and medicinal purposes. However, aromatherapy has also played a very important part in improving the health, which essential oils are always used for aromatherapy.
The French chemist in 1920, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, first coined this term. In the incident whereby he had, accidently caught his arm on fire; he had reacted by immersing it very quickly into a vat of cold lavender oil. To his surprise his arm had healed very quickly without any residual scars, thus his decision to practise aromatherapy to treat gangrene during the First World War had begun. Over the years this became more widely appreciated and many more people adopted the aromatherapy healing techniques.
Aromatherapy oils are commonly used for use in massage and treating small ailments. The word ‘aromatherapy’ derives from the words ‘aroma’ meaning smell and ‘therapy’ meaning healing or treating. Aromatherapy now is used more in spa treatment and beauty products.
Many sceptics have disputed the use of aromatherapy oils and its healing properties. What many are unaware of is that these were the first known uses of medicine, when antibiotics and prescription drugs were not created. These were the only method of treating minor and serious illnesses, often these consisted of continual use to feel the effects of its healing properties. Some essential oils have proven to work well with certain skin and hair conditions, in which many cosmetic and beauty products use them for its affective results.
Herbal remedies such as Lavender oil, Chamomile, Peppermint, and Almond Oils have been commonly added to various products. Eucalyptus, Fennel and Peppermint are still in wide use for relieving common colds and flues. These are also good properties for treating stomach discomfort and headaches. Fragranced oils are still available for use of perfuming the body; however, these have developed into water and alcohol based perfumes, which are extremely popular amongst famous designers.
Many street brand products have also accommodated the natural benefits of using aromatherapy oils for skin care and general well-being. The idea that the smell of a fragrant herb or flower is good for health and relaxation has continued to stay strong in the consumer product industry and is evident in many celebrity endorsed products. This is something that will continue to live on as a basic healing component and play a strong part in health well-being.