Saturday, August 1, 2020

History of Aromatherapy

Let us equip ourselves further with a brief history about Aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy can be traced back around 5000 B.C.


Over 4,000 years ago, an Indian literature listed over 700-plant based recipe for medicine. They have founded an aromatic massage for Ayurveda (a traditional Indian medicine).


In around 2700 B.C., a Chinese practitioner, Shen Nung wrote a book about 400 plants and herbs and listed their healing benefits. It is noted to be the oldest surviving medical book 'til today.


Egyptians obviously has been practicing aromatherapy through herbal extraction, burning aromatic plants and using incense to worship their gods. Their ancient civilization is also known for their embalming techniques  for their Pharaohs using herbs of Galbanum, Chamomile, Myrrh and other aromatic essentials.


The Ancient Greeks along with the Egyptians also developed their own medicines and cosmetics using essential oils. Over 1,200 years ago, Pedacius Dioscorides, a Greek physician, authored a medicinal book of herbs. Many of his remedies are still in use in Aromatherapy in our present times.


As the Romans expanded their empire into Greece and Egypt, they learned much of their medical knowledge from these advancing societies, using and improving the science of aromatherapy.

Middle East

While the Roman Empire is busy conquering nations and cities, they brought along their influences on aromatherapy to Europe and some parts of Asia. The Arabs are known to firstly distill alcohol combined with essential oils creating the first perfumes.

Around 1000 A.D., Avicenna, a physician is believed to have been the first person to incorporate the process known as distillation to distill the essence of rose flower.


The Spanish Conquistadors while exploring the world in its conquest to invade North and South America also brought herbs, plants and oils to Europe. They found great healing benefits of herbs and oils from plants from the Incans, Mayans and Aztecs in their botanical garden. They have used it in their religious ceremonies as well as remedies for healing illnesses.


A French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse  while in at work in his laboratory, accidentally burned his hand. He then quickly immersed it in lavender oil and was amazed that the burn he had when treated with essential oil healed faster. In 1937 he published a book about oils and their antimicrobial effects where he also firstly use the word, 'AROMATHERAPY'. He later went up to open a fragrances and cosmetics business.

In 1964, Dr. Jean Valnet, a French medical doctor, was impressed by Gattefosse’s research and began experimenting in his clinic with essential oils as medical therapy.

Impressed by Dr. Valnet’s work, Margaret Maury began to apply Valnet’s research into her beauty therapy, customising beauty treatments for her clients individually. She was the first person to set up Aromatherapy clinics in Switzerland, London and France would use oils to maintain healthy, youthful skin, now known as the day spa.


Presently, Aromatherapy is still new to many and not much information yet about it. However, there are a number of case studies already done by scientist and researchers about it. It has been used already in hospitals, clinics, spas and home . People are leaning towards to adhere to it as an alternative way to heal. However, aromatherapy is not a replacement to medicines prescribed by doctors, it can work as a complementary to treat illness. It is highly suggested to be used by healthy individuals as a form of preventive measure rather than a cure.

Cebu, Philippines

This website is dedicated to educate all advocates, enthusiasts and newly interested individuals about the proper way of doing aromatherapy at home carefully selecting the right essential oils and the manner it will be used. An advice of a certified essential oils specialist or  aromatherapist is recommended when needed.

-Created by the admin of Aromatherapy Cebu

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