What is aromatherapy?


Aroma is a Greek word meaning "spice".
The term aromatherapy was coined in the late 1930's and relates to the use of the distilled aromatic essences, rather than the whole plant.
Today we treat aromatherapy as a branch of herbology.

What is an essential oil?

The word oil, in relation to aromatic essences, first appeared in Italy in the late 13th century. The researchers observed the essences' solubility in oil and concluded these were also oils.

The french call them L'huile essentielle (essential oils), and the Germans use the term Ätherisches Öl (etherial oils). Etherial comes from the word "ether" in Greek and it means the 8th heaven, where the souls reach once they leave this world.

The English term – essential oils, refers to the hydrophobic quality of these essences (the fact they are not soluble in water), even though they are not fixed oils like the ones you use for cooking.

The essential oils are mostly comprised of carbohydrate compounds small enough to evaporate. They are produced by the plant in special sacks.

We distill these aromatic essences most commonly by steam, although there are other methods of extraction.

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