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History of

Essential Oils

Since the earliest recorded history, man has been drawn to aromatics and fragrant resins. In fact, aromatics reigned over the ancient world. Frangrance-laden headdresses were worn atop the heads of wealthy Egyptian woman, while the herbal concoctions of the great Greek physician Hippocrates were well known. The Romans were also extravagant users of perfumes and aromatic oils.

Beginning in the 1940's, the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé and physician Jean Valet led the resurgence of interest in essential oils. Dr Valnet's book, The Practice of Aromatherapy, told of research documenting the power of essential oils such as clove, thyme and cinnamon in studies from the 1800's.

However, it wasn't until 1989 that researchers realised the importance of the amygdala, the part of the brain that stores and releases emotional trauma. The sense of smell is the only one of the five senses that is directly linked to the limbic lobe of the brain, which is the brain's emotional control centre. A powerful aroma will evoke emotion long before there is conscious thought.

The inhalation of essential oils has a calming and relaxing effect.

From the dawn of time to the space age, aromatics continue to exert a powerful influence.

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