The history of aromatherapy is probably as long as civilization itself. Although the term aromatherapy was not used until the twentieth century the use of plants and plant oils to treat physical and mental ailments has been done for thousands of years. Many different cultures over time have studied and used aromatherapy methods to benefit people.
Chinese History Of Aromatherapy
The Chinese people were probably one of the first cultures to use the principles of aromatherapy. The Chinese Yellow Emperor Book of Internal Medicine is a very old manuscript dating back prior to 2500BC that discusses several plants and their uses for medical treatments. The Chinese are also well known to have always used aromatic plants oils and incense to maintain a natural life balance. Still, today, in Chinese cultures people use scents to create a peaceful and healthy balance in their homes and work places.
The Egyptian History Of Aromatherapy
Another ancient culture with a well documented use of aromatherapy techniques is the ancient Egyptians. There are many papyruses that may be as old as 3000 years that describe the uses of different plants. Some of these plants are used in much the same way in current times. Ancient Egyptians were very advanced in many scientific areas as evidenced by there use of embalming for their dead. This culture was also advanced in the fact that they documented much of there knowledge for future generations.
The Greek And Roman Histories Of Aromatherapy
Both the Greeks and the Romans have a history in aromatherapy. Hippocrates, the famous Greek philosopher and physician, used aromatherapy for both the fragrance benefits and the medicinal benefits. Many Greeks used certain plant oils to treat wounds and decrease inflammation.
The Romans are known to have used massage oils to treat their skin and other tissues following their baths. Romans also used aromatherapy for makeup techniques and distilling techniques. It is also probable that the history of aromatherapy in Rome included the use of aromatic fragrances.
The History Of Aromatherapy In Other Cultures
There are many other cultures that have used aromatherapy over the centuries. The records of these uses is scattered and not completely conclusive but it is evident that aromatherapy has been a key factor in many cultures including Asian, African, Indian, and European. As the world was explored and the cultures intermingled the world of aromatherapy benefited by the use of plants found all over the world and the traditions of the many different groups of people.