Have you ever been baking and burnt yourself on a tray that wasn’t cool yet? Or sat out too long under the sun? If you’re Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, you’d add some lavender essential oil to your injury. In 1910, one Rene-Maurice Gatteefosse was working in the laboratory of his family’s cosmetic firm when he burned his hand. He quickly thrust his injury into the nearest liquid, which just so happened to be lavender essential oil. After his recovery, he remarked on the speed at which his hand healed and the little long term scarring from the incident. He then went on to become known as the father of aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is the medicinal use of essential oils that can improve physical, mental, and spiritual well being. Historically, essential oils have been used for religious practices, perfumes, etc, but the term “aromatherapy” was coined in 1935 by Rene Maurice Gattefosse. This was the start of what would become a well known, widely spread practice. It’s uses range from helping relieve anxiety and stress to topical antiseptics. Visit our previous blog post, “5 ways to use essential oils” for more information on the different ways you can use your essential oils.

Essential Oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that are made through distillation (via steam and/or water) or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing, to draw out the fragrance of the plants, capturing it in its most pure form. Essential oils can be taken in through smelling, diffusing into the air, being absorbed by your skin, or some people even use it in food. Inhaling essential oils can be used to help calm you down, lift your mood, act as a respiratory disinfectant, etc. Essential oils can also be diluted into lotions, oils, etc. to be used topically.

Visit the Aromatherapy and Essential Oil sections of our website for more information about specific essential oils, such as their latin name, their purpose, the method of extraction, and cost. The prices of essential oils vary due to the extraction method, which part of the plant the oil comes from, and other factors. 

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Assistant Professor School of Nursing University of Louisville Louisville. “Aromatherapy: Mythical, Magical, or Medicinal? : Holistic Nursing Practice.” LWW, journals.lww.com/hnpjournal/Abstract/2002/10000/Aromatherapy__Mythical,_Magical,_or_Medicinal_.5.aspx. 

BROSSARD, Flore. “A Brief History of Aromatherapy.” Puressentiel, Puressentiel, 21 Dec. 2020, uk.puressentiel.com/blogs/our-tips/a-brief-history-of-aromatherapy. 

“Aromatherapy: Uses, Benefits, Oils, and Risks.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/10884#using_aromatherapy.