History of essential oils

Why did we make so much effort ?
Why did we go to so much cleverness when we had absolutely no idea what to do, how to do it or what it may result in?

There were many reasons for this extraordinary profusion of energy, creativity and hope, if not only the attraction to play with plants' magic.

  • Firstly, there is passion, love of plants, their smell, their properties. Yes, this can be enough to make some people work very hard to create, invent and find new things !
  • It is also about an alchemical process within the quest for the essence of life in which many scholars got involved unconditionally.
  • And of course, it was about being able to preserve and carry a plant's beneficial effects, above all! Either to preserve it without its rotting so as to cure someone days, weeks or year after it was harvested. Or to bring and share a plant's medicinal properties in places it did not grow : mountain plants to plain, plain plants to the mountains, plants from India to Europe... etc.
The history of essential oils itself is a bit tricky to understand.
It did not develop equally on the 5 continents, just like medicine did not evolve the same way in different cultures.

Fabrication of essential oils was mentioned in vedic writings dating back thousands of years before Christ. We can say India has is experience in this field!
Stills were excavated in Babylon.

This long experience doesn't compare at all with relatively few decades we have been playing around and fumbling with synthetic drugs made of one and only molecule.
These mono-molecules are certainly powerful but not intelligent at all and cannot respect the natural balance in one's body.
They save lives in emergency situations.
Otherwise, why not turn to natural substances which carry within themselves the ability to adapt to one's own state of balance whenever possible?
Some preparations have prove their efficacity in many areas...

In Europe, the significant time when the importance of essential oils was highlighted again was during the Plague. In two ways.

Firstly, while epidemics decimated entire nations and brought certain death to all those who contracted them, perfumers and their family were astonishingly not much infected.
They worked with oils every day which reinforced their immune system due to the oil's anti-infective properties.

Indeed, essential oils are powerful in many ways, but one of their areas of excellence is immune stimulation and anti-infective action.

During those disastrous epidemics, as everyone fled their village as soons as they saw one person infected (plague is extremely contagious), four people used to walk around the same places with a different agenda.
They pillaged the dead or sick people's houses.

There were many years before they got arrested : soldiers and the police any authority person was as scared to go near plague-stricken as anybody else.
They were granted immunity from prosecution until the day of their arrestation came. At last.

Of course they were sentenced to death as it was usual in those days, but the judge had a brilliant idea.
He offered to spare their lives if they revealed their secret. He expected to burn them anyway, thinking the Devil must have something to do with this supernatural miracle.
But he had to incline and really keep them alive (though, imprisoned with ball and chain).

Their secret was much more simple : they used to oil themselves up with olive oil in which aromatic plants had infused.
They oiled themselves up with essential oils and were protected while others died.

Essential oils were suddenly much more subject to studies until this new interest slowly disappeared when witch-hunt started (aromatherapists were included in this hunt of course...).

But now, India's age-old experience and Europe's research techniques can ally to give us the gift that essential oils, and our modern knowledge of them, are.

Scientists and authors throughout the world work for our happiness, health and the pleasure of our nostrils!

Essential Oils

Agatophylle Agatophylle leaves Ajowan Ajwain All-spice Allspice Angelica Arabian jasmine Archangel Balsam fir Basil (exotic) Bay laurel Bergamot Bigaradier feuilles Black Pepper Black pepper Black spruce Blue ginger Camphor cineol CT leaves 1,8-cineole (Madagascar) Cananga Cane Cardamom Cedar (Atlas) Celery Ceylan citronella Chamomile Chamomile (roman) Chamomile(roman) Cilanthro (leaves) Cinnamon Cinnamon (bark) Cinnamon (leaves) Cinnamon bark Cinnamon leaves Citronella Clove Clove bud Clove leaf Cochingrass Common sage Coriander Cumin Cupressus Curcuma Curry leaf Curry plant Curry tree Cuscusgrass Cypress Davana Dill East-indian Lemongrass Eucalyptus radiata Everlasting Exotic basil Fennel Fir Fir (Balsam) Fir (balsam) Flag Frankincense Frankincense (salai) Galanga Galangal Garden Angelica Garden dill Geranium Ginger Gingergrass Grapefruit Greater galanga Green Mandarin Green Pepper Green cardamom Green pepper Grey eucalyptus Helichrysum angustifolium Helichrysum italicum Holy basil Ilang-ilang Indian Basil Indian Frankincense Indian wintergreen Jamanatsi Jasmine Jasmine (arabian) Jasmine (royal) Jeera safed Jessamine Juniper berries Khus-khus Lavender Lemon Lemon (yellow) Lemongrass Limetta Macassar-oil plant Malabargrass Mandarin Mediterranean sweet lemon Mulilam Muskroot Myrrh Nard Nardin Narrow leaf eucalyptus Narrow leaved peppermint Norway pine Officinal lavender Officinal rosemary Orange Orange (sweet) Orange bergamot Orange peel Oranger amer feuilles Oregano Palmarosa Parsley Patchouli Pelargonium Pepper Peppermint Petitgrain Bigarade Pimento Pine Pine (Norway) Pomelo Ravensara Ravintsara Roman chamomile Rose geranium Rose pelargonium Rosemary Rosemary borneon Rosha grass Royal jasmine Sacred basil Sage Salai Frankincense Salvia Sambac Scotch pine Shaddock Spanish jasmine Spearmint Spearmint Spikenard Spruce Sweet cane Sweet celery Sweet fennel Sweet flag Sweet lemon Sweet lime Sweet limetta Sweet orange Tea tree Tea tree m.a. Thai galangal Thai ginger Thyme Thyme (thymol) Tropical Basil True lavender Tulsi Turmeric Turmeric (aromatica) Turmeric (longa) Valerian Vanilla Vetiver White Pepper White cumin White pepper Wild marjoram Wintergreen Yellow lemon Ylang-ylang Zanthoxylum