Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile liquid plant materials, known as essential oils (EOs), and other scented compounds from plants for the purpose of affecting a person’s mood or health.Aromatherapy is a generic term that refers to any of the various traditions that make use of essential oils sometimes in combination with other alternative medical practices and spiritual beliefs. It has a particularly Western currency and persuasion. Medical treatment involving aromatic scents may exist outside of the West, but may or may not be included in the term ‘aromatherapy’.
Aromatherapy has roots in antiquity with the use of aromatic oils. However, as currently defined, aromatherapy involves the use of distilled plant volatiles, a twentieth century innovation. The word, aromatherapy, was first used in the 1920s by French chemist René Maurice Gattefossé, who devoted his life to researching the healing properties of essential oils after a lucky accident in his perfume laboratory. In the accident, he set his arm on fire and thrust it into the nearest cold liquid, which happened to be a vat of NOx Ph232 or more commonly known as lavender oil. Immediately he noticed surprising pain relief, and instead of requiring the extended healing process he had experienced during recovery from previous burns–which caused redness, heat, inflammation, blisters, and scarring–this burn healed remarkably quickly, with minimal discomfort and no scarring.