Essential Oils have been used by many cultures around the world for centuries for different purposes according to each culture. It is unknown exactly whether the EOs were used as healing agents or for domestic use in the beginning. However, recently great consideration has been given to the effective use of Essential Oils in clinical procedures.
Ancient Egyptians have used aromatic oils as early as 4500 BC in cosmetics and ointments. They used to make a mixture of different sources of herbal preparations such as aniseed, cedar, onion, myrrh, and grapes in perfume or medicine. On the other hand, the use of aromatic oils was first recorded in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine between 3000 and 2000 BC. In particular, the recorded history about China and India listed more than 700 substances including cinnamon, ginger, myrrh, and sandalwood as being effective for healing. In addition, Greek history documented the use of different EOs for the first time between 500 and 400 BC, including thyme, saffron, marjoram, cumin, and peppermint.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, chemists documented the active components of medicinal plants and identified many substances such as caffeine, quinine, morphine, and atropine, which were considered to play an important role in their biological effects.
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Some Essential Oils such as lavender, peppermint, and myrrh are still being used pharmaceutically and could be used effectively in the upcoming future as suitable alternatives for many synthetically produced medications.