The History Of Essential Oils

history of essential oils

The history of essential oils in human medicine is fascinating. It ‘s an interesting fact  that during its advancement, modern medicine didn’t just abandon traditional remedies of no value, but also abandoned and condemned many remedies that did work – that have always worked – and branded them as superstitious nonsense. This happened because science, although giving us profound insights and benefits, wasn’t always secure of its acceptance by society. So as the science of antibiotics and molecular medicine were developed, scientists had to fight opposition  from those who deferred to religion and tradition. Sadly, this resulted in science ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’.

Cures and treatments based on  essential oils, herbs and other plants were dismissed and denigrated for centuries. But as science has found greater acceptance, it has also found confidence and now it looks back to many ‘old wives tales’ and investigates the truth of their claims more objectively. One of the areas of traditional medicine that has been rediscovered by science is the use of ‘essential oils’. Proof of the efficacy of using essential oils goes back some 7,000 years; quite frankly, if using these oils didn’t help people, then humans would not have continues using them for most of our recorded past. The article extracts below show just how far back we have been healing ourselves with these ‘miracle’ gifts from nature. We begin with an extract from the website (full accreditation and link below)


The philosophy of Ayurvedic medicine founded around 7,000 years ago was based on utilizing the healing benefits of plant extracts.  Though Ayurveda practice wasn’t called aromatherapy until the early 20th century, it was being practiced in these early years of human civilization.

Practitioners of Ayurveda knew the best use of essential oils wasn’t through internal or even external application, but  aromatherapy. Long before we had the convenience of ultrasonic diffusers, humans were vaporizing essential oils in bowls of boiling water, leaning over them and covering their heads and the bowl with a towel.

Ancient Egyptians used essential oils on a daily basis. Royalty and high priests were given their own signature scent blend. Egyptians mastered the art of aromatherapy, releasing fragrance through burning, enfluerage (extraction using animal fats) and through dilution in other oils. The earliest recorded recipe for a body deodorant was in the Papyrus Ebers, the oldest record of herbal knowledge. Written in 1500 BC, it contained medicinal recipes, ailment remedies and magical spells—all derived from herbs, plants and trees.

Essential oils are an important part of religious history as well. It is written that God told Moses to create a holy anointing oil made from Myrrh, Sweet Cinnamon, Calamus, Cassia and Olive oil. Egyptians used botanical extracts in mummification, believing the perfumed oils would serve as an offering to gods and carry the deceased into the next life in good favor. Ancient Arabic texts mention Musk and Camphor used for medicinal purposes. Ancient Greeks associated fragrances with gods and goddesses and believed in an after life full of beautiful perfumes. Incense and essential oils still play a role in religious ceremonies today, from meditation to baptism.

Hippocrates said “the way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day.” If the long relationship between humans and oils is any indication, these beautiful oils have always been perceived as a precious gift from the planet.


The above extract is from EOProducts. Click on the link to visit them.

The History, Medicinal Uses & Science Behind The Use Of Essential Oils

Essential oils have been used throughout recorded history for a wide variety of health-related applications. The very wise Egyptians were some of the first people to use essential oils extensively in their medical practice, beauty treatments, food preparation, and religious ceremonies. Frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh, and cinnamon were considered incredibly valuable cargo along the caravan trade routes and were sometimes exchanged in return for gold.


The Greeks discovered the Egyptian’s methods and also used essential oils in their practices of therapeutic massage and aromatherapy. The ancient Romans also used essential oils to promote health and personal hygiene amongst their people. Chinese and Indian Ayurvedics also used aromatic herbs, and the Persians began to improve distillation methods for extracting essential oils from aromatic plants and herbs.

When King Tut’s tomb was opened, 350 liters of essential oils were discovered in alabaster jars.

Moses used essential oils and this is referenced in the bible. In the book of Exodus, the Lord refers to holy anointing oil that was a specific ‘god formula’ (source plus free ebook here)

Essential oil extracts were used throughout the dark ages in Europe for their anti-bacterial and fragrant properties. When the plague broke out, essential oils were used to help treat sick patients. (source)

More recently, in 1937, the very powerful healing properties of essential oils were rediscovered by a famous French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who healed a very badly burnt hand with pure lavender oil.

Another French contemporary, Dr. Jean Valnet, used therapeutic-grade essential oils to successfully treat injured soldiers during World War II. He then went on to become a world leader in the development of respected aromatherapy practices. The modern use of essential oils has continued to grow incredibly rapidly as health scientists and medical practitioners continue to research and validate the benefits of therapeutic-grade essential oil.

Exciting Research

Why are essential oils so effective for beauty and health? It’s because they are composed of very small molecules that can penetrate very deeply and quickly into the cells. This is caused transdermal delivery. They even can cross the blood-brain barrier.

For a long time, lovers of essential oils lacked solid scientific proof of the efficacy of essential oils, and the medical industry labelled their use as a “quack” treatment (some still do!), but there have now been thousands of studies examining exactly what essential oils can do for health and well-being. If you look at pubmed, there are over tens of thousands of studies using essential oils. Searching for “essential oils cancer” brings up 641 results.  If you have the time to look check out pubmed

Oils are doing wonders for other health ailments too. Check out some of these articles:

  • Frankincense Superior to Chemotherapy in Killing Late-Stage Ovarian Cancer Cells (source)
  • Lavender Aromatherapy Proven to Calm Premenstrual Emotions (source)
  • Peppermint has 15 proven health benefits (source)
  • Natural Ear Infection Alternatives to Antibiotics Proven Safer and More Effective (source)
  • Lavender for Migraines (source)
  • Clove oil tested to be the most effective repellent against mosquitos (source)
  • Lavender has anti-fungal activity against candida albicans (source)
  • Cinnamon verum bark has the highest antimicrobial activity, particularly against antibiotic resistant strains 

It’s pretty clear that essential oils are an effective way to treat common and more serious ailments.


The article above is extracted from collective evolution who own the copyright – visit them via the link provided.

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