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AROMATHERAPY: HISTORY & CLASSIFICATION

Modified: 31st Aug 2020 ; By: Team Aromapedia
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Aromatherapy is now not a new word. We have come across this much in previous blogs.

A person who is highly involved in field of aroma and fragrance well understands the importance of such therapies. A common person might think it is not of much use because it is pretty expensive but trust me it has its own advantages.

Aromatherapy can be defined as complementary or alternative therapy that uses essential oils and aroma chemicals as major therapeutic agents to treat several diseases. In today’s generation, such complementary and alternative therapy with normal medication has gained the momentum.

The essential oils are concentrated volatile oils that are extracted from flowers, bark, stem, leaves, root, fruits and other parts of the plant using conventional as well as modern techniques. These oils have powerful aroma that creates all difference. Existence of aromatherapy took place when scientists interpreted the therapeutic properties of oil. These include antiseptic and skin permeability properties of oil, which plays crucial role in improving skin health.

The essential oils are concentrated volatile oils that are extracted from flowers, bark, stem, leaves, root, fruits and other parts of the plant using conventional as well as modern techniques. These oils have powerful aroma that creates all difference. Existence of aromatherapy took place when scientists interpreted the therapeutic properties of oil. These include antiseptic and skin permeability properties of oil, which plays crucial role in improving skin health.

History of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has well established itself for the treatment of various complications and health conditions. Studies concluded that ancient civilizations like Egypt, China and India have used this complementary therapy from at least 6000 years. Evidence suggests that human race recognized the supremacy of aromatics as early as Neolithic Period which ended some 4000 years ago.  

Now you can guess the significance and benefits of this therapy.


 Greek mythology claims that Gods were gifted with knowledge of perfume and fragrance. Ancient India was one of the first civilizations that came up with treating people holistically. Ayurvedic, the traditional Indian medicine is the oldest form of medical practice in the world.

‘Vedas’ is one of the oldest books that are dedicated to plants. It lists utilities of over 500 plants and substances that include sandalwood, ginger, myrrh, cinnamon etc for religious as well as medicinal purpose.

Hippocrates who is known as father of modern medicine mentioned 2500 years ago that “key to good health is based on having a daily aromatic bath and scented massage”. Rene-Maurice Gattefossé is a French chemist who is known as Father of Aromatherapy. He invented the word aromatherapy after a burn stimulated his curiosity about healing properties of essential oils.

Now we are heading towards classification of aromatherapy to comprehend it in deep.

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Classification of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy classification is an important aspect of recognizing vast field of essential oil benefits. It is classified into five types which are as follows:

  • Cosmetic aromatherapy
  • Massage aromatherapy
  • Medical aromatherapy
  • Olfactory aromatherapy
  • Psycho-aromatherapy

Cosmetic aromatherapy: The purpose of therapies is hidden in their word only. As cosmetic aromatherapy utilizes essential oils for body, hair, skin and face cosmetic products. These products are mostly preferred for cleansing, moisturizing, drying and toning.

 The cosmetic industry is surging toward use of aromatherapy to revitalize and rejuvenate the body. Use of essential oils in facial products imparts healthy skin.
Cosmetic aromatherapy of full body or foot bath can be simple and effective approach.

Massage aromatherapy: 

Massage aromatherapy is also known as topical application of essential oils. In this approach, essential oils are applied on skin from where they get absorbed. This ensures holistic healing of the whole body. Essential oil absorbed and travels through the bloodstream and targets various organs of the body. Massage therapy utilizes essential oil diluted in grape seed oil, almond or jojoba oil.


Medical aromatherapy:

Medical aromatherapy involves use of essential oils for treating clinically diagnosed medical aliments. This was brought into limelight by Rene-Maurice Gattefossé who used essential oils to massage patients during surgery. This way, knowledge of essential oil for medical aliments came into effect.

Olfactory aromatherapy:

The most simple and effective approach of essential oil involves inhalation that takes into consideration olfactory nerves. This effortless approach resulted in enhanced emotional health. It helped to relax, calm and refresh human body. The pleasurable fragrances unlock memories and overcome stress.

Psycho-aromatherapy:

Psycho aromatherapy deals with essential oil influence on brain. Aromatherapy is known to trigger moods and emotions of individual. This brings positive energy inflow along with increased focus and concentration. Aromatherapy also interferes with sleep patterns and overcomes problem of insomnia. Psycho-aromatherapy and aromacology both deal with the study and effects of aroma be it natural and synthetic.  

These classification forms the basis of aromatherapy. It should be noted that dilution of essential oil into carrier oil or vegetable oil is an unavoidable step. Addition of essential oil to cosmetic products can show beneficial results but one has to just add 1-2 drops of oil. You have to keep in mind that essential oils are concentrated liquid and less is more!

 Enjoy reading.
 Thank you for exploring aromatherapy with my blog.

I hope you have liked the blog, comment in the blog below and share your awesome experience with Aromatherapy.Let the audience know how have you found the aromatherapy to be life changing.

Sharmistha

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