Early civilizations also discovered that burning twigs and leaves from certain plants produce interesting effects: some made people drowsy, some cured ailments while others stimulated the senses.
In the 1920s, French chemist René Gattefossé discovered the effectiveness of lavender oil in healing burns after he plunged his arm into some lavender essential oil after a burn from a laboratory accident. He coined the term aromathérapie in 1928 and this paved the way to contemporary aromatherapy as known today.
Essential oils evaporate as soon as they come in contact with air and a certain amount is always inhaled. Essential oil particles stimulate the olfactory nerve and, at the same time, travel down the lungs and get absorbed in the bloodstream.
Essential oils have also been used for cosmetic purposes for centuries—notably by the Egyptians, who used them in embalming. Studies have shown that certain essential oils stimulate the regeneration of healthy new skin cells while some also have a rejuvenating effect on the skin.
Nowadays, aromatherapy is considered as one of the alternative medicines. It is very effective yet without the use of synthetic chemicals or drugs. Its worldwide popularity transcended into different emerging product variations such as fragrances, massage oils, and bath soaps to name a few.