“The poetry of the earth is never dead.” —John Keats
The Essential Truth
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils, all of which are derived from plants. Essential oils give a plant its scent, protect it from environmental conditions, and assist with pollination and other important functions. They are aromatic concentrated plant extracts that have been distilled and prepared for a dose of natural wellness. Ancient Egypt was the birthplace of essential oils. The Egyptians cultivated plants for their oils and used them extensively in their religion, in cosmetics and for medicinal purposes. Around the same time China and India were exploring herbs and plants as well, and this would become a foundation of Indian Aryuvedic medicine. The Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates was a firm believer in the holistic treatment of patients and the Romans took "treatments" in the form of aromatic baths. In 1910 the French perfumer and chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé "re-discovered" the virtues of essential oils. He badly burned his hands following an explosion in his laboratory and to ease the burn he applied lavender essential oil to the area. He was amazed how quickly his hands healed, and published a book in 1937 coining the word "aromatherapy" and describing essential oil use for improved health. Today the renewed interest in natural medicine and removing chemicals and pollutants from our home and products has made essential oil use more popular than ever. The many clarifying, restoring, uplifting or calming benefits that can be achieved by integrating essential oils in your daily routine will help improve your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.