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Aromatherapy has a rich and diverse history. We cannot trace it to one era or even culture. Combining plants and herbs to make powerful medicine has been a common thread across all of humanity. Of course, there are many instances of civilizations using aromatherapy. Within this introductory guide, we will look at some of the key periods.
Aromatherapy has been used in medicine and wellness around the world since the dawn of man. While many people think that this practice was used in communities and tribes first, the truth may be that Neanderthals also used plants in their everyday routine.
Back in 1979, archeologists dug up a Neanderthal man in Iraq. The remains were accompanied by pollen grains from plants that had holistic uses and properties. While we cannot say for sure, this evidence suggests that ancient civilizations used aromatherapy.
Dating back to around 3,000 BCE, Ayurvedic medicine is popular all throughout India. This holistic-style of treatment is still used in modern times. The treatments range from dealing with physical ailments but also link to your inner world, your mind, and your spiritualism.
Around 240,000 American adults now use the Ayurvedic medical system as a way to treat illnesses and diseases. We know that the practice can be effective in helping people overcome conditions such as diabetes and also mental health problems like anxiety.
The oldest texts surrounding this medical approach suggest using plant-based remedies and fragrances. Experts believe that this is one of the first instances of aromatherapy.
The Roman Empire
When the Roman soldiers defeated the Greeks and brought down their empire, a new wealth of knowledge was unleashed. The philosopher Avicenna wrote the ‘Canon of Medicine,’ which was an encyclopedia of health and wellness used across Europe.
Within this insightful text, the expert outlined how we can use aromatherapy as part of our wellness practices. Aside from publishing the text, he also invented specific apparatus to distill plant materials, possibly leading to the birth of essential oils. Fun fact: It is believed that the first essential oil to be made using his unique methodology was rose.
The Middle Ages
Across Europe and the Mediterranean region, religious wars took place during the Middle Ages. Fighters who took part in the conflict would often return with new expertise. This is how the information of plant medicine and spices spread across the continent.
While Christian monks were using traditional herbal cures throughout the dark ages, much of this knowledge had been lost. However, while the wars were raging, those who were involved gained new techniques and approaches in the realms of aromatherapy.
The Modern Day
Fast-forward to the modern world, and aromatherapy has proven to be extremely popular. Micheline Arcier, Marguerite Maury, and Jean Valnet are often credited with the contemporary version of the practice. The former opened a clinic in London in the 1960s.
Thanks to the unyielding benefits of aromatherapy, you can now use essential oils and incense sticks in a whole selection of ways. Now that you have started your Kundalini Yoga journey, you can use it within your everyday regime or even your morning Sadhana.