Aromatotherapy, papyrus and holistic health

Aromatotherapy, papyrus and holistic health

Aromatherapy is a method of alternative medicine in which the essential oils of plants are used for relaxation, relief of the symptoms of a disease or even for purely therapeutic purposes. Although the concept of holistic medicine has been known in recent years, the use of essential oils as a medicine has been known for millennia.

Oils come from different parts of plants and mix with another substance (oil, lotion or alcohol). Their use can be made either by direct contact with the skin or by inhalation. Another very widespread use is the bath with water containing essential oils.

The first records of aromatherapy techniques are found in the ancient Egyptians. In Egyptian papyri there are references to the method of distilling substances from plants and their healing properties. The famous papyrus "Ebers", an Egyptian papyrus of 1,550 BC. who took his name from the German Egyptiologist Georg Moritz Ebers who discovered him, contains dozens of medical secrets of aromatherapy. Indeed, many archaeologists claim that their therapies and recipes have their roots much older than the time they were written in the papyrus, about 3,400 BC!


From this papyrus, but also from other three (Papyros "Edwin Smith", Papyros Hearst, Papyros of London), we learn that slaves gave garlic to give them strength, aloe was used to relieve burns and other skin diseases, the basil was a medicine for the heart, the poppy reduced the pain and the onion prevented the cold. There are reports of papyrus even for the treatment of depression and dementia.

Pretty familiar with aromatherapy seems to be the ancient Chinese, and we even suspect that first they used the use of perfumes with traditional acupuncture and massage treatments. Later, the knowledge of aromatherapy was passed to ancient Greece and was widely used by the Greeks, with Hippocrates, the father of medicine.

In the 19th century, with the development of the science of chemistry and the industrial revolution, the production of chemical preparations was dominated, and all interest in aromatherapy was lost. However, in the 20th century, due to the undesirable side effects of chemical formulations, interest in natural products and alternative therapies has returned.


The term 'aromatherapy' was first used by a French chemist and pharmacist, Rene Gattefosse, who researched the medical and therapeutic properties of essential oils and wrote the first modern aromatherapy book. His discovery of the curative properties of essential oils has become more accidental. It all happened when Gattefosse burned his hand during a cosmetic experiment. Immediately she dipped it in a container of lavender essential oil and after a few hours she noticed that the burn was healed. She then experimented with several essential oils, many of which are known to date.

In 1940, the biochemist Marguerite Maury proceeded to the holistic use of essential oils, inventing treatments for the whole body and laying the foundation for aromatherapy. She was the first to use the essential oils in beauty treatments and revitalizing the body.

The tendency for alternative forms of treatment and the use of natural products has been strengthened even further in the 21st century, especially in recent years, where the problems created by the modern lifestyle are becoming more and more pronounced.

Aromatherapy can help in many diseases or at least relieve it. But for better results, it should be part of a holistic approach to health, that is, it focuses on the cause and not just the symptoms, as holistic medicine demands. One of the basic principles of physical therapy is that the body can be self-healing as long as appropriate conditions are given. This can be done through proper nutrition, exercise, and internal balance.




Aggeliki Koskeridou

Holistic Doctor – Counseling Psychotherapist

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

MSc c. Health Psychology

insta: dr_aggelikikoskeridou_official 

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