Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for the treatment of physical and psychological health. An essential oil is the distilled essence of a particular plant typically combined with a vegetable oil base. Contemporary aromatherapy is based on the inhalation of aromas rather than their ingestion or application. Thus, odor sensation and perception are responsible for the reported effects. This entry describes the history of aromatherapy, aromachology, and theories of aromatherapy.


The concept of aromatherapy came from ancient cultures that believed in the healing properties of plants. Many plants have therapeutic properties, and the basic derivatives of many modern medicines are plant-based. The term aromatherapy (originally aromatherapie) was coined in the late 1920s by the French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who began the exploration of essential ...

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