What You Should Know About Aromatherapy Essential Oils
Short History of Aromatherapy Essential Oils
3500 bc – Egyptians are believed to have been the first to use aromatherapy and aromatic herbs in their religion, cosmetics and healing practices.
3000 bc – Chinese used herbs and aromatic plants. They became part of the Indian Ayurvedic medicinal system.460 – 377 bc – Not to be left out of the story, the Greeks absorbed much of the Egyptian culture. Hippocrates began treating patients using a form of essential oils.
25 bc to 450 ad – The Romans picked up the medicinal use of oils and used them in hygiene for health while using fragrances in aromatherapy.
900 ad – When the Roman Empire fell, the Arabian empire took the Greek, Roman, the Chinese and Indian teaching of oils. It is believed that a Persian physician Avicenna, perfected the distillation process of essential oils.
Renaissance period saw the return of the use of holistic approach of Hippocrates and was used to treat leprosy.
1910 – French chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse used lavender oil to treat a burn on his hand. He learned that oils could be absorbed through the skin and interact with body chemistry. He terms, “aromatherapy”.source
WW2 – Dr. Jean Valet uses oils to treat injured soldiers.
By 1950, massage therapy was using a Tibetan technique applying oils along the spinal column.
By the 1980’s essential oils and aromatherapy became part of the alternative and holistic health practices which has increased in popularity to today.
Information on Aromatherapy Essential Oils
Aromatherapy essential oils aren’t technically oils. They do not contain the fatty acids of our concept of oil. Instead, they’re highly concentrated plant constituents possessing potent medicinal and cosmetic qualities.
Most essential oils are high in antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial, properties. They can be used for wound treatment and salves. Thier small molecular size, helps them be absorbed well by the skin.
Fragrance and aromatherapy essential oils are not the same. If you see the word
“perfume,” “fragrance oil” or “fragrance,” on the label, they are likely synthetic without all the relevant, natural properties.
An Aromatherapy Essential Oil Test to See How Pure It Is
Put a drop of the oil on a small piece of construction paper. It is pure If it evaporates quickly and leaves no noticeable ring.
If you see a ring left, then it is probably diluted by the manufacturer with an unknown oil. This test is a general test but may not work for Absolutes, Patchouli, and myrrh.
Why Aren’t Aromatherapy Essential Oils Used More Often?
In a word, “money”. Essential oils are all-natural and can not be patented. Oh yes, synthetics can be produced, but we are talking about a natural marketplace.
The essential oil in a pharmaceutical drug? Probably not, there would be no patient protection of the profit.
So you would not expect mainstream healthcare practitioners to ever recommend essential oils as therapeutic alternatives to drugs.
Without that profit motive, the scientific study does not make economic sense. Of course, that is the fate of most alternative options and choices people should be able to make for themselves.
Why are Aromatherapy Essential Oils a Tad Pricey?
It takes enormous amounts of plants to Produce Essential Oils.
As we’ve stated, essential oils bring nature to your body!
Most undiluted essential oils should not be applied to the skin. Combine with pure oils (called carrier oils), waxes, butter, alcohols, or other diluting applications.
Some essential oils which are widely considered as safe to use undiluted (sparingly) are Lavender, German chamomile, tea tree, sandalwood, and rose geranium.
Children have much thinner, more delicate skin. It is best not use any essential oil on a child.
Do not take essential oils internally; they can be absorbed by the skin just fine. It’s accepted there’s no need to take essential oils internally.
Be aware there are som toxic essential oils. They should be used at all, in any form. Toxic oils are not common and not found in reputable stores. So do know what you are using and stay in trusted sources.
Aromatherapy Essential Oil Storage and Shelf Life
Aromatherapy essential oils should last 5 to 10 years with correct storage. Yes, up to a decade!
Store essential oils:
In dark glass bottles (they probably came in one)
Out of direct sunlight.
Try to avoid hot storage areas