Used by the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians, they recognized the beneficial effects of scented baths, candles, and diffusers. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, recommended the spraying of Athens to help rid them of the plague that was going though the city.
In 1930, Dr. Rene-Maurice Gattefosse created the basic principles of aromatherapy. He used some lavender oil after he burned his hand and his hand healed completely. This led him to believe there might be other uses for these scents and oils.
Jean Valnet, a French doctor found that these oils were also effective in disinfection and healing if applied to the skin. He wrote a book n aromatherapy in 1964 to teach others about this new science.
Professor Paolo Rovesti tested the different oils with different situations. For depression, he tried Jasmine, Sandalwood, and Lemon Oil. For anxiety, he used Cypress, Orange Leaf, Lime, and Rose.
One doctor helped a small child that had cancer by letting her smell some rose oil. It greatly decreased her pain. It has been known throughout history that odors can cause significant memory triggering responses.
People who mix their own oils find fragrances that are pleasing to them and help them to relax. The olfactory nerves pick up on the scent and cause relaxing results. Lemon scents will usually vitalize you as will any citrus smell. The aromatherapy can be inhaled, sprayed into the air, massaged into the skin, placed in the bath water, or used in hot and cold compresses.
Those people with asthma must be careful around the fragrant scents because it could set off an attack. For people with allergies, Sage and Rosemary can set them off and cause breathing issues. For pregnant women, Juniper oil could set off uterine contractions.
Be careful of your surrounding and people therein when you try an aromatherapy session. Most people like to place the scent in the bath water. Find what works for you and stick to it.