Even though the term aromatherapy was never coined till the late 1920s, this form of therapy was discovered several centuries ago. The history of the use of essential oils traces back to at least a few thousand years despite the fact that human beings have used plants, herbs, etc. for thousands of years.
A brief history of aromatherapy
The first Egyptians, it is believed, invented the first equipment ever to distil essential oils. They created oils that were infused with herbs for use in cosmetics, rituals, perfumery, and medicine. Hippocrates had studied the use of essential oils, their benefits, etc. and promoted their use later on. A few years down the line, a French chemist by the name of René-Maurice Gatttefossé coined the term “aromatherapy” for this form of therapy since he had once experienced a burn in his laboratory and had dipped his hand into a vessel containing the lavender essential oil, which healed the burn instantly. This got his interest in essential oils to increase. Today, Gatttefossé is known as one of the pioneers of aromatherapy. It was, however, Dr. Jean Valnet, who put aromatherapy into practical use while dressing the wounds of WW II soldiers and treating them. He had also written a book on the practice of aromatherapy.
Madame Marguerite Maury, a biochemist from Austria, had developed the use of essential oils in the modern world and their use in massage. Robert B. Tisserand had introduced the English speaking populations to aromatherapy. Today, we have many aromatherapists and they study this science for a variety of reasons including the well being of the people around the world, for natural perfumery, to create healthier skin cosmetically, and to balance the emotions.
History of aromatherapy in India
In India, the people believe that the gods themselves gave the people the different essential oils, which have been used since times immemorial. Moreover, the Vedas have described the different aromatic plants and their uses. So, people from India have been highly familiar with the use of essential oils. In fact, the use of essential oils first spread from India and China. In the middle ages, people from China and India kept aromatherapy and the use of essential oils alive while the other countries did not pursue this form of therapy. Aromatherapy was used in seduction, healing, treatment programmes, and the like in India. Even today, it is used to make elephants mate with each other. The female is given a bath in essential oils in order to attract the male bull towards her. Even during the Mughal rule in India, the emperors preferred the fragrances that were obtained from India to the fragrances procured from elsewhere in the world. The tradition of Ayurveda was never actually lost in India. It has been continuously since the inception of the same in India. Today, you could easily purchase essential oils from chemist shops and malls at an affordable price. You could also do courses in aromatherapy and get certified in it. In the present scenario, you could not only use it to help people, but also get a promising career in it.
You could alternatively get an enjoyable massage at one of the spas in India at a low cost.
The benefits of aromatherapy
Most essential oils evaporate when exposed to air. Some are easily soluble in vegetable or fatty oils (carrier oils). Since essential oils are very strong, they are to either be diluted in carrier oil or diffused in an essential oil burner. It can be applied to the skin once diluted. Here are some of the benefits of using essential oils.
Helps balance your body
When you choose nourishing fragrances, they could easily awaken the nourishing power of the mind and also help heal yourself and your body. This would help you experience wholeness and a natural vitality. The essential oils can also help balance your body and mind through their fragrances and their power of awakening the mind.
Helps evoke a state of well-being
Your olfactory sense connects you directly with memories, instincts, and emotions. The neuro-associative process is activated and then, a feeling of well-being is created. Find an aroma that you enjoy the most. If you want to feel at peace and relaxed, then you should consider applying the aromatic essential oil to the skin or spraying it on your pillow before bedtime. It could probably be the same aroma as that which emanates from your incense or any one of your favourite aromas. Essential oils can evoke a general state of well being when you apply them to the affected parts of the body.
Heals depression and anxiety
If you burn the essential oils or diffuse them, then you would find that they would help you heal your mind from anxiety and depression. What’s more, you would not feel stressed out when you inhale the fragrances of the different essential oils. When you apply essential oils to the forehead, it would reduce headaches or completely heal them.
Heals aches and nausea
The feelings of nausea and ache subside when you use essential oils to treat yourself. Moreover, essential oils can also treat menstrual pain and also respiratory infections. When you apply essential oils to the body or inhale their fragrance, they enhance the quality of life perfectly.
The application of essential oils
How you apply the various essential oils will have an impact on your healing capabilities. While some people feel that they should apply the essential oil directly to the skin, the others feel that they should not be applied directly. Here is a method of application of the essential oils.
Add some drops of your favourite essential oil to a bowl containing some warm water. Dip a cloth in the mixture and using it as a compress, apply it to those areas of the body that are affected. If you want to heal yourself from menstrual cramps, then an essential oil compress is the best way to do so. In fact, you could also treat headaches through an essential oil compress.