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Aromatherapy History

Aromatherapy History


Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine thatuses volatile plant materials, known as essential oils, and otheraromatic compounds for the purpose of altering a person's mind, mood,cognitive function or health.


Some essential oils suchas tea tree[1] have demonstrated anti-microbial effects, but there isstill a lack of clinical evidence demonstrating efficacy againstbacterial, fungal, or viral infections. Evidence for the efficacy ofaromatherapy in treating medical conditions remains poor, with aparticular lack of studies employing rigorous methodology,[2] howeversome evidence exists that essential oils may have therapeutic potential.


Aromatheraphy may haveorigins in antiquity with the use of infused aromatic oils, made bymacerating dried plant material in fatty oil, heating and thenfiltering. Many such oils are described by Dioscorides, along withbeliefs of the time regarding their healing properties, in his DeMateria Medica, written in the first century.[4] Distilled essentialoils have been employed as medicines since the invention ofdistillation in the eleventh century,[5] when Avicenna isolatedessential oils using steam distillation.[6]


The concept ofaromatherapy was first mooted by a small number of European scientistsand doctors, in about[weasel words] 1907. In 1937, the word firstappeared in print in a French book on the subject: Aromathérapie: LesHuiles Essentielles, Hormones Végétales by René-Maurice Gattefossé, achemist. An English version was published in 1993.[7] In 1910,Gattefossé burned a hand very badly in a laboratory explosion. The handdeveloped gas gangrene, which he successfully, and intentionally,treated with lavender oil.[8]





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