The practice of using essential oils taken from plants, flowers, roots, seeds, etc., to restore or enhance mental, emotional, physical or spiritual health.
In most cases, the oil is rubbed onto the skin or ingested in a tea or other liquid. Some consider cooking with herbs a type of aromatherapy.
Even though aromatic oils have been used since antiquity, the term 'Aromatherapy' was coined in the 1920s by French chemist René Maurice Gattefossé, who dedicated his life to researching the healing properties of essential oils after a providential accident in his perfume laboratory. In the accident, Gattefossé set his arm on fire and shoved it into the nearest cold liquid, which happened to be a container of lavender oil. Almost immediately Gattefossé noticed surprising pain relief, and instead of the long healing process he had experienced during recovery from previous burns — which caused redness, heat, inflammation, blisters, and scarring — this time the burn healed remarkably fast, with minimal discomfort and no scarring.
It is important to point out that most medical professionals in the U.S.A. and England state that while pleasant scents can boost relaxation and may have related benefits for patients, the efficacy of aromatherapy in illnesses treatment remains to be proven.
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Sources: Article is scheduled to be reviewed.
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