A full range of natural fragrances has passed through many historical periods. Every stage is marked with some peculiar usage prescriptions. Thus, in ancient times, the essential oils were mostly employed in religious rituals. Today, however, such substances are used in aromatherapy.
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This paper reviews the specifications of the fragrances usage in ancient times. The history of essential oils in this period was prevalently linked to the active appliance of the natural medication as well as the conduction of healing rituals. The richness of Egyptian lands, for instance, presented the first citizens not only with the abundance of food but with a variety of essential oils as well. In the aftermath of the prolonged usage, the early healers compiled a script that was called Ebers Papyrus. It documented numerous recipes and ceremonies that were held with the appliance of fragrances (Young Living Blog, 2015).
One can distinguish three basic ways of using essential oils, which were practiced in ancient times. First, the population of Egypt, Greece, as well as Romans, used to make extensive use of fragrances as the parts of embalming procedures (The history of essential oils and aromatherapy, 2015). Since the time the ancient Egyptians managed to gain access to distillation methods, the essential oils were employed as effective antiseptics and anti-inflammatory substances. These qualities assisted our ancestors in preserving the bodies of their friends and relatives in a presentable condition. Specifically, the citizens of ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece used cedar and myrrh gums so that to mummify the corpses. The tradition stemmed from the belief, due to which people had to be prepared for the outer life existence. Second, the citizens of ancient Greece were the predecessors of the essential oils medical usage.
Thus, in the 4th century BC, the well-known doctor Hippocrates noticed that fragrances possessed some sedative properties. Therefore, he started to practice aromatherapy massages as an exclusive technique of medical treatment. Later on, the ancient Egyptians embraced medication manufacturing on the basis of fragrant substances. For instance, the most famous herbal preparation was “Kyphi,” which was made of sixteen ingredients (Aromatherapy guide, 2015). Finally, the essential oils played a crucial role in the accomplishment of ritual ceremonies. The core substances that were employed in such situations included cedar, onion, garlic, and melon oils. Moreover, some people used the ashes and smoke from these products. In ancient times, it was believed that essential oils possessed some hieratic qualities. That is why only priests were allowed to employ the fragrances.
The customs of the essential oils used in ancient times had their distinct roots. The idea of the employment of fragrances corresponded to the fundamental dogmas of paganism. The scientists claim that every God that was valued by the first people had its essential oil, which symbolized his powers. Often, the dainties were remembered only through the particular substances that were dedicated to them. Moreover, since the Egyptian pharaohs were believed to possess some godly abilities, they devised their mixtures of essential oils, which signified their power and were carried by them for such events as wars and coronations. The ancient people considered the pagan gods to be sources of life and eternal existence. Therefore, they referred to the essential oils as to the attributes of both worldly living and the afterlife tokens.
Aromatherapy guide. (2015). Web.
Young Living Blog. (2015). Re: Essential oils in the ancient world [Blog post]. Web.
The history of essential oils and aromatherapy. (2015). Web.