Since the ancient times, the essential oils are known for their medicinal, beauty enhancing, aromatic, spiritual and therapeutic value. These therapeutic and aromatic plants and oils have been used for so many years as the herbal medicinal remedies. And now they are even the basics of pharmaceuticals.
The old manuscripts reveal so many things about these magical oils’ excellent healing properties which could be highly advantageous for us today. The earliest usage evidence of essential oils occurs during 3000-2500BC.
Let us discuss a brief history of essential oils and their secrets those are unveiled by the seven ancient societies:
The old Egyptian culture, as early as 2000 BC, were utilising essential oils for beauty care, medicinal advantages, spiritual improvement, and literally in every aspect of their life. Many old pictorials on Egyptian temple walls reveal the extraction and care of these oils and their usage, and also the formulas and recipes. Even some essential oil containers were discovered in the tomb of King Tutankhamen.
The Greek physician Hippocrates was considered the father of modern medicine. He even studied and documented the healthy influence of aromatic bath and scented massage daily. He had a strong belief in the medicinal advantages of fumigation with aromatics and used the fumigation in treating plague in the city of Athens. As per his observation, the essential oils are applied externally impact the internal body organs and tissues, which is the basic principle of therapeutic aromatherapy.
Essential oils are the fundamental element in the Indian Ayurvedic healthcare system. Apparently, Ayurvedic medicine has been practised for nearly 5000 years and is largely practised in India nowadays. According to Vedas, more than 700 different aromatics and herbs were used for both therapeutic and religious purposes.
In terms of healthcare and architecture, Greek influence can be seen in Roman culture. The Romans used the essential oils and other aromatic materials with lavishness. They used these oils for bathing purpose, scenting their body, hair, and bed. The expert Greek physician, Dioscorides wrote an amazing work on herbal meds where he had given many medicinal remedies such as juniper berry is a popular diuretic, myrrh is useful for gum infections, cypress is useful to relieve diarrhoea, and marjoram has sedative properties.
Presently, China is one of the largest essential oils’ producers. China’s most ancient surviving medical text, Shennong’s Herbal, dated around 2700 BC, comprising of info on the utilisation of 365 herbs and plants. Shennong is considered as the ruler and father of Chinese traditional herbal medicine.
Both the new and old Testaments have lots of references to aromatic herbs, with almost 12 essential oils mentioned more than 9 times respectively.
Hippocrates’ wisdom and the usage of aromatics, during the middle ages, were denounced by the Catholic Church as prohibited. By the 1600’s the essential oils became popular due to their medicinal benefits. Believing that these oils can protect the workers, the first lab test of these oils’ anti-bacterial properties was performed in 1887.
Today in Europe
Now it’s widespread in Germany, England, and France as doctors prescribe it as a health remedy. Both medicines and natural essential oils are found in Europe.