What is aromatherapy?
Posted on 12 December 2018
Aromatherapy is the practice of using the essential oils and other aromatic compounds from plants for physical and psychological well-being.
Did you know that for thousands of years the use of aromatic plants has contributed to health treatments, but only recently aromatherapy is being defined as we know it today.
First documented evidence showing the use of aromatic plants in medicine dates back in 18000 BC. Then since 4500 BC aromatic plants are used in perfume oils, resins, food, healing potions, meditation purposes and religion. From the Egyptians the Greeks gained the knowledge and wrote it down at 500 BC. From then on more and more knowledge about the aromatic plants and their medicinal properties was catalogued and books were written.
Essential oils during the 18th century were widely used in medicine and by late 19th century they could be produced synthetically in labs. In 1928 the French chemist, Gattefosse introduced the term Aromatherapy and not until 1950’s the essential oils were to be used under the name Aromatherapy through various methods of Aromatherapy as we know it today.
Breaking down the meaning of the word Aromatherapy we can say that ‘aroma’ means smell and ‘therapy’ means a method to cure; therefore aromatherapy is a practice that cures through smell.
More specific ‘aroma’ comes from the ancient Greek word ‘άρωμα’ (ˈa.ɾɔ.ma) meaning nice smell and ‘therapy’ comes from the ancient Greek word ‘θεραπεία’ (θɛ.ɾa.ˈpi.a), which used to had a more extended meaning than today with a psycho-mental touch that expressed a combination of offer and care.
Aromatherapy is considered an alternative form of medicine which can be used independently or in combination with other therapies.
The fantastic about aromatherapy, in my opinion, is that anyone can benefit just by using it with care by oneself.
Aromatherapy is a creative and sense-wakening experience.