Photo courtesy of collective-evolution.com
History of Aromatherapy:
Because AYRES Beauty is such a strong believer in the power of aromatherapy, we decided to dedicate an entire blog post to its origins.
Aromatherapy is believed to have evolved from the burning of fragrant woods, needles, leaves and tree gums centuries ago. This discovery and practice most likely came about when people realized that certain firewoods produced pleasant scents when burned, and can be likened to modern day incense burning.
Between 7000 and 4000 B.C.E., Neolithic tribes discovered that heated animal fats had the ability to absorb the aromatic and healing properties that are inherent in certain plants. Though the exact specifics regarding this discovery are unclear, we speculate that it could've happened when fragrant flowers or leaves were accidentally dropped onto fat as meat was being cooked over an open fire. Either way, the impact of that discovery led to further developments such as plants being regularly added to food, used for wound healing, and helped soothe and moisturize dry skin, significantly better than unscented fat did. These "fragrant" fats - the predecessors of modern day body lotions - scented the wearer, protected hair and skin from the environment and insects, and even relaxed muscle aches. Lastly, people discovered that these scented fats even improved energy levels and emotional well-being.
The development of aromatic water came next. "Water" is a slight misnomer, because it was actually a combination of essential oils, water, and alcohol. This mixture was used to enhance the complexion and scent the hair and skin. People also ingested these mixtures as medical tonics.
As time went on, and civilizations evolved, incense, body oils, and aromatic waters were fused to form new blends that had properties that could help heal the mind, body, and spirit. This is how the use of aromas became an integral part of holistic and natural healing, and eventually lay the foundation for modern day aromatherapeutic practices.