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History of aromatherapy

history of aroma therapy

Ayurveda considers aroma blends to be more effective than single aromas because of the added benefits of synergy and balance.

Aromatherapy, the therapeutic use of essential oils, is one of the most popular techniques of natural medicine practiced today.

History of Aromatherapy

The first form of aromatherapy utilized different kinds of burning woods. The use of smoke in the form of incense has survived in almost all cultures.

The Egyptians used aromatics 5,000 years ago for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. The Greeks used olive oil to absorb the odor from flower petals and herbs. Arab physicians perfected the method of distilling essential oils and brought them to Europe. By the 16th century, the women of the household made all kinds of remedies for home use.

The new sciences of chemistry and pharmacology, however, reduced these practices to superstition, thus discouraging the use of aromatherapy until the beginning of the 20th century, when a succession of French chemists started to research the healing properties of essential oils. The first among them, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, turned his attention to the use of oils in dermatology after he discovered how lavender oil healed his burned hand. He coined the word "aromatherapy" in 1928 and published a book by the same title in 1937.

In the eastern cultures of India and China, however, the tradition remained unbroken. Vaidyas, ayurvedic physicians, treated people with dried and fresh herbs, floral waters and aromatherapy oil massage.

Aromatherapy in Ayurveda

Ayurveda considers the use of aroma as an important tool for prevention and healing. Practitioners use it for protecting the vital force, prana, regulating digestion and metabolism, agni, and increasing resistance to disease, ojas. Traditional ayurvedic practices include fumigation by burning neem leaves, use of holy basil or rose petals in water while bathing, and burning incense sticks during meditation.

More: mapi.com

Paper flower in spring, North India

Paper flower

This flower is blooming in my garden, though I don’t know the name. I’ve seen it in shades of yellow, rust, orange, maroon, white and pink.

I call it the paper flower because of the crisp, papery texture of its petals. These make lovely dry flower arrangements. There is no need to dry the flowers. They last forever in an arrangement, minus the water.

Guava tree in bloom

 

Guava tree in bloom

Guava trees are the star attraction in our garden for monkeys, birds, squirrels and kids. The monsoon fruit is not as sweet as the winter fruit, nonetheless, those eying the fruit couldn't care less!

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