Updated: Jul 25, 2020
Essential oils are achieving worldwide recognition for their versatility, but their use is not necessarily new. The use of botanicals as healing agents is a long-standing practice throughout human story. In fact, essential oils and other botanicals have been used in wellness practices as early as 3500 BC. That's prehistoric!
Let's get started with the precursors: the Ancient Egypt.
The fertile soil around the Nile river became a source of life throughout Africa. The kingdom of Egypt grew around the delta of the Nile and its name became synonymous of power, wealth and technological advancement in many areas such as medicine.
One of the first recognised compilations by ancient healers is called the Ebers Papyrus. Although it dates from aprox.1500 BC it is believed to have been copied from earlier texts. The scroll contains recipes, ceremonies, and other informations that Egyptians considered worthy of its preservation.
The most famous use of aromatherapy was in mummification to prepare the bodies of the deceased for burial. Embalmers used various essential oils such as cinnamon, and resinoids such as olibanum (frankincense) and myrrh. With such cutting-edge advances Egypt's international reputation attracted researchers from neighbouring countries. Leading the expansion of the use of essential oils and other botanicals in everyday life.
We all have heard about Nefertiti, well known for her beauty, and radiance. According to the Egyptologist Christian Jacq, the meaning of her name is " the beautiful has arrived" Egyptian queens like Nefertiti had their own blend of kohl which was found to have anti bacterial properties. But even the lowliest of citizens were supplied with olive oil with their salary so that they could care for their bodies. Cleopatra, the famed Egyptian beauty, even wrote a book on beauty secrets and art of makeup. We all know about her baths with milk and rose petals! Ancient Egyptians discovered secrets to treat conditions like wrinkles, stretch marks and scarring. Very modern at very ancient times!