Since ancient times, man has used essential oils for their many healthful benefits.  The use of aromatic plants goes back as far as 7000 BC. However, the Egyptians are generally considered the founders of Aromatherapy.  They used essential oils not only as medicines and perfumes, but as fumigants and for mummification.  They had methods of infusion as well as steam distillation, to extract the oils.    The bible contains many references to the use of essential oils.  Mary of Magdalene washed Jesus'’ feet and anointed his head with spikenard.  The gifts to the Christ child were gold, frankincense and myrrh.  With the development of modern chemistry, essential oils became neglected.  In the early 1900’s, a French Chemist, Rene’-Maurice Gattefosse’ was working lab at the family perfume factory and burned himself severely.  He stuck his hand in a vat of what he thought was water, but was really lavender oil.  He was surprised to find that his wound healed quickly and left no scar.  He spent the rest of his life researching essential oils.

 Today’s serious health concerns are all related to stress.  Health professionals agree that lifestyle changes are a must to improving overall health.  The Mind-Body-Spirit connection is now becoming a reality for modern scientific medicine.  Sensory stimulus works both on a physical and emotional level and it is something we are bombarded by daily.  Our responses are both positive and negative.  We are all on sensory overload.  Balance is the key and that is what Aromatherapy does.  Our olfactory sense is the one that elicits the quickest and most dramatic response.  Why is that?  Our sense of smell is directly connected to the Limbic system, which is part of our brain, and the Limbic system is responsible for our emotions. For example, the smell of cookies baking triggers a bodily response of relaxation and pleasure.  The pleasurable feeling relaxes our bodies and we become less stressed. Essential oils work so quickly because they are concentrated and work within the bodily system that has the quickest response time.

 The use of essential oils, together with a balanced diet, exercise, nutritional program and water can help us achieve a more healthful lifestyle. 

 If you would like more information on essential oils, Marlene teaches classes in Aromatherapy as well as doing HomeSpa Parties