Aromatherapy is the use of perfumes, fragrances, and essential oils for health and beauty, and has been used for thousands of years. There is evidence to show that plants were used as medicine over 60,000 years ago, predating written history. The earliest recorded use of aromatherapy is ancient Egypt.
In 2697 BC, the Chinese Yellow Emperor Book of Internal Medicine contains information on more than 300 plants and their properties making it the oldest surviving medical book. Aromatherapy was also used by the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans in daily life. North American Indians have been using aromatic oils, smudges, and aromatic plant-based remedies for centuries.
In the mid 19th century, scientists began making synthetic fragrances. These were made to imitate the natural scents around us as well as create new scents. They can also be much less expensive than the essential oil equivalents. Pure essential oils are created from natural ingredients.
Everyone can use aromatherapy. Pregnant women, children, and the elderly should use care however. Usually, smaller doses are used for these groups.
Proper use of aromatherapy is to use a single scent or a combination of a few scents to create the desired effect or emotion. It should never be overbearing. It's as much technical as it is creative. Creativity comes from knowing the properties of the oils and properly combining them. Aromas can have a very positive effect on your well-being impacting mind, body, and spirit through both smell and skin contact.