- Aroma – meaning fragrance or smell and Therapy – meaning treatment.
- Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being. The modes of application of aromatherapy include:
- Aerial diffusion: for environmental fragrancing or aerial disinfection
- Direct inhalation: for respiratory disinfection, decongestant, expectoration as well as psychological effects
- Topical applications: for general massage, baths, compresses, therapeutic skin care
Origin: A brief history
Aromatic plants were used by the most ancient civilizations, we could say that aromatherapy is at least 6000 years old. An Egyptian medical papyrus considered to date back to around 1555 BC contains remedies for all types of illnesses and the methods of application are similar to the ones used in Aromatherapy and Herbal medicine today.The Egyptians used a method known as infusion to extract the oils from aromatic plants and incense was probably one of the earliest ways of using aromatics. Frankincense was burned at sunrise as an offering to the sun god, Ra, while myrrh was offered to the moon. The Egyptians were experts at embalming using aromatics to help preserve flesh. The Egyptians used to be massaged with fragrant oils after bathing. The Greeks continued the use of aromatic oils and used them medicinally and cosmetically.
Aromatherapy offers diverse physical and psychological benefits, depending on the essential oil or oil combination and method of application used. Some common medicinal properties of essential oils used in aromatherapy include: analgesic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, sedative, antispasmodic, expectorant, diuretic, and sedative. Essential oils are used to treat a wide range of symptoms and conditions, including, but not limited to, gastrointestinal discomfort, skin conditions, menstrual pain and irregularities, stress-related conditions, mood disorders, circulatory problems, respiratory infections, and wounds.