How was Aromatherapy Discovered?

By Rania Watts

The individual who coined the term aromatherapy was Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, a chemist, who burnt his hands back in 1910. He stated that he treated his burn with Lavender essential oil. Although flora and their extracts have been used for thousands of years in India, Pakistan, Iran, China, and Ancient Egypt. 

The perfume makers in Grasse, France used these distilled scents within their products. The term Aromatherapy was finally coined in 1937 by the same human who decided to treat his burn with Lavender.  

The term ‘necessity is the mother of all inventions’ springs to mind here. It really is quite fascinating how Gattefosse used quick thinking – knowing the properties of the Lavender plant and being able to place that on his skin to help soothe and heal his hand. 

Here are a few Aromatherapy Basics from the Alliance of International Aromatherapists for those individuals who relish quick facts. 

·         “Use only genuine 100% essential oils (avoid synthetic fragrance oils)

·         Be aware of individual sensitivity / allergy

·         Use diluted in a carrier, such as lotion, vegetable oil

·         Photo-sensitive essential oils: Bergamot, Lemon, Lime, Bitter Orange, Angelica root

·         In the case of skin irritation, apply vegetable oil to wick essential oils from the skin.

·         Keep out of reach of children. Store away from heat and light

·         Can stain clothing and damage the finish on furniture”

Also please remember that Essential Oils are not regulated through the FDA. Before purchasing any essential oils, please ensure that you do your research – that you are indeed receiving pure oils.

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