Health and Medicine

Health Care

What is aromatherapy?

Holistic medicine looks at the health of the whole individual, and treatments emphasize the connection of mind, body, and spirit. Aromatherapy involves using particular scents derived from essential oils to influence emotions and to treat and cure minor ailments. It is based on the fact that the olfactory and emotional centers of the body are connected. By inhaling different aromas, emotional concerns as well as physical complaints are said to be eased. The term “aromatherapy” was first used by René-Maurice Gattefossé (1881–1950), a French perfume chemist. He discovered the healing powers of lavender oil following a laboratory accident during which he burned his hand. Gattefossé began to investigate the properties of lavender oil and other essential oils and published a book on plant extracts. During aromatherapy treatments, essential oils are absorbed through breath or the pores of the skin; this process triggers certain physiological responses.


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