Aromatherapy Many people centuries ago had a deep respect for nature and an intimate knowledge of plants.

They knew precisely how and when to cultivate and harvest, and they were well aware of the medical and cosmetic uses of local plant-life. The doctors and healers in those days were also the perfumers and cosmetologists. A perfume or cream would be chosen as an herbal remedy while serving at the same time as a pleasantly fragrant cosmetic application. Historically, the first people to dispense essential oils and other aromatics were the High Priests of the ancient Egyptians, the Hebrews and other cultures of Africa and the Far East. Essences were later used ceremonially and cosmetically by the royal families and the most wealthy nobility. As usage became more common, these highlyprized plant extracts were employed by physicians as the basis of most medicines and to remedy epidemic diseases. Production expanded and merchants began to export rich unguents, scented oils, creams and aromatic wines all over the Mediterranean world and Arabic peninsula. The fragrance of flowers and plants ariss from their essential oil content. Present as tiny droplets between the plant cells, these aromatic oils occur mostly in roots, barks, wood, resins, leaves, flowers and the peel of citrus fruits. The extracted essential oil is a super-concentrated living expression of the personality and spirit of the plant, incorporating both medicinal and aromatic characteristics. Essential oils regulate botanical hormone systems. They also protect the plant against climatic change, disease and other imbalances. The essential oils tend to work within our own bodies in much the same way, balancing and protecting the delicate life-support systems.

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