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The history of aromatherapy


Discovery of aromatherapy


The true birth of thearomatherapy is to be credited to the gattefossé chemist in 1928. It is by working on perfumes that M R.Gatefossé rediscovered, following an accident, the virtues of essential oil.

Immersed by reflexing his hand burned during an explosion in the first liquid nearby, he noted a rapid and infection-free cure. That liquid was nothing but essential oil of lavender. he invented the term Aromatherapy and therefore further studied the properties of these oils.


The premics of aromatherapy

Known since antiquity essential oils are used in medicine, perfumery, cosmetics and culinary aroma. They are part of our daily life without us knowing it.

properties beneficial to plant species have been known for a long time: Egyptian papyrus, dating from 2800, speak of fine oils and perfumes of choice. In the temples, incense was burned to the glory of the gods. 4000 years ago, in babylone, cypress was burned to fight epidemics. and already, the first Chinese dynasties learned the properties of very many plants. the distillation would be born in perse 1000 years before our era. the phytotherapy, science of plant use in medicine, is common to all civilizations.


Perfume with aromatherapy


The origin of perfumes would go back to the prehistory where men already burned fragrant woods, a practice still used nowadays by some puffs.
The use of perfumes is known since antiquity. We find traces of it, of course, in Egypt where the priests burned incense to purify the mind, but also in Mesopotamia where we discovered the anchor of the alambic.

At all times the perfume was used to honor the gods where the dead were embalmed, it would serve, according to ancient beliefs, astral vehicle that would make the land of the gods.

Romans, known for their baths, already used essential oils, as well as perfume, as well as to relieve pain. the Nero emperor and the Leopatra queen both had a preference for essential rose oil, one to relieve his migraines and the other to increase his charms !
After centuries of use, the fragrance will experience its peak in the 1600s where clergy and medicine demand the closure of public baths, thus causing a huge increase in perfume consumption.

Currently, for profit reasons, few are the perfumes that still contain plant essences, most are completely synthetic !


Phytotherapy to aromatherapy


Over the epochs, sometimes the medicinal virtues of plants and plant extracts (to embalm the mummies, disinfect the wounds, ...), sometimes the effluves and flavor (to scent its bath, scent its body, scent the wines, ...)

The populations have thus treated themselves for centuries by plants in an empirical way, guided by tradition and customs. the remedies of "good woman" (wife meaning here reputation) prevailed.


Aromatherapy and our century


The development of allopathic medicine (as opposed to homeopathic) has marginalized the use of natural medical techniques. It should be noted, however, that the latter are now creating a renewed interest, particularly in the face of psychosomatic diseases (pathologies of psychic origin). these are difficult to cure. then one on medication is as disastrous biologically as it is economically.

Natural medicines (including aromatherapy), without wanting to replace allopathic medicine, have here a considerable asset. in addition to therapeutic propertiesintrinsic to products, this natural medicine is also a way of finding a certain well-being and adopting behaviour and consumption conducive to good health. and to do this, nothing is worth prevention.


Research and aromatherapy


For more than a century, and physicians will work on the many properties of essential oils and contribute to accepting aromatherapy and integrate it into the french medical tradition.

We now know, thanks to the evolution of technology, that the properties of essential oils come from the many biochemical components or chémo who composes them.
Essential oil components can be separated into chemical groups distinct, each with its own characteristics: terpenes, phenols, aldehydes, cetones, acids, esters, lactones.
Thyme which is one of the plants with the most numerous properties is composed of two phenols (thymol and carvacrol) of terpenes (terpinene, cymene,) of alcohols (bornol, linalol,). etc.

The task of research is complex, some plants contain several hundred constituents, the coffee contains at least 608! but this scientific approach should not forget the traditional and popular foundations of plant care.

We can't talk aromatherapy without mentioning the dr jean valnet, which in his writings, his lectures, his clinical observations. will help to prove that essential oils have their place in our drug overconsumption society.