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Aromatherapy - a Global History

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ed in monasteries to prevent the spread of plague and to fumigate homes. Western doctors did not use aromatherapy until the nineteenth century and it has only recently been recognised outside of cosmetic applications. Aromatic herbs have been popular in Europe since the Middle Ages for use in toiletries and for scenting homes in the form of small pouches and pillows.

Aroma Types: Lavender .

Essential Oils: Basil, chamomile, clary, sage, juniper, lavender, mandarin, melissa, rose, peppermint, thyme.

(Mediterranean) Europe

In Mediterranean Europe, more than 4000 years ago, the Ancient Greeks used oils both medicinally and cosmetically. Many of their practices were adopted by the Romans, who enjoyed scented baths and massages with therapeutic oils. As well as using native plants, many oils were imported from India and Arabia. The Romans cultivated herbs wherever they set up new outposts, spreading aromatherapy across Europe.

Aroma Types: Basil, lemon, bergamot.

Essential Oils: Basil, fennel, bergamot, lemon, bay, marjoram, parsley, rose, rosemary, sage, spearmint.

(Ancient) Egypt

Aromatherapy is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt, and the use of essential oils is thought to date back more than 6000 years. Traces of cedar wood oil were even found in Tutankhamen's tomb. Egypt was the first country to embrace aromatherapy.

Aroma Types: Heady, resinous.

Essential Oils: Aloe, vera, basil, geranium, frankincense, peppermint.

India

In India oils are a very important part of Ayurveda, which has been practised for more than 3000 years. Oils and incense are also important for stimulating the seven Major Chakras of the body. Oils are part of an ancient healing tradition in India.

Aroma Types: Spicy, aromatic, earthy.

Essential Oils: Basil, lemongrass, black pepper, lemon, cardamom, cinnamon, patchouli, myrrh, palmarosa and sandalwood.

 

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