A History of Essential Oil Use (as Medicine) Through the Ages
History of Essential Oils Used As Medicine. Research by Jennifer Hansen
From earliest recorded history, essential oils have played an active role in commerce and health care. I have put together, in date order, some research I have found about the use of essential oils and herbs through the ages.
The record is there for anyone to research. From Holy Scripture to secular writings, essential oils are recorded as mankind’s first known medicine. Just because they are no longer main stream does not mean they are worthless, only that we need to spread their value more widely again.
Essential oils are the Missing Link that we need in order to live healthy lives today, as it has been in the past. Please enjoy reading about a history of essential oil use and maybe open your mind to the fact that pharmaceutical drugs are not the only way, and maybe are not always the best choice, for actually preventing and/or healing disease.
The use of essential oils has been, and still is, used today in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. This is based on an oral tradition perhaps 5000 years old, first written down in the Atreya Samhita circa 500 BC.
Ayurveda is the classical system of holistic health care that has been practiced in India for over 5000 years. It is based on the theory that formations of fundamental impurities or three doshas (Vata, Pitta, & Kapha) are inherent in the process of life itself. Though impossible to eliminate, these doshas can be rendered inert by bringing them into a state of balance, neutralizing their detrimental effects.
According to Ayurveda, imbalanced doshas are at the basis of all illness and disease. Ayurveda prescribes different therapies and procedures utilizing oils, herbs and aromas to help balance and keep in balance the doshas. These procedures include special massages and oil application therapies.
“Health in Ayurveda means more than just the absence of disease. It is a state of vibrant aliveness where mind, body, and senses are all functioning at their peak.”
On display at the Taxila Museum in Pakistan, is the oldest known distiller in the world (circa 4,000 B.C.) It is Terra Cotta and was photographed by Gary Young. You can see the photo of it on the back of the Young Living Essential Oils kit called ‘Twelve Oils of Ancient Scripture’.
3000 B.C. Shen Nung’s herbal book is the oldest surviving medical book in China. It contains information on over 350herbs and their medicinal applications.
The Essential Oils Desk Reference published by Essential Science Publishing states: Historical records describe how one of the founders of “pharaonic” medicine was the architect Imhotep, who was the Grand Vizier of King Djoser (2780 – 2720 B.C.) Imhotep is often given credit for ushering in the use of oils, herbs and aromatic plants for medicinal purposes.
There is a special called “Selections from National Geographic” and it is entitled ‘Death on the Nile’ which contains photographs of sacred oil trays found in the 2300 B.C. tomb of a physician named Qar.
More Oil Trays from a different tomb. – King Teti Oil tray
My friend T. Brown did some translating of the Egyptian writings on the trays and some of those translations are: alabaster – festive, jar – an oil for anointing, and common folk, people.
Ebers Papyrus – The 2003 Y.L. Product Guide states that ‘An Egyptian medical papyrus dating back to approximately 1555 B.C. contains directions for aromatherapy.
The Essential Oils Desk Reference published by Essential Science Publishing, states that this scroll was discovered in 1817 and called the Ebers Papyrus. The scroll was over 870 feet long and included over 800 different herbal prescriptions and remedies.
The papyrus contains the most complete record of Egyptian medicine known. It has chapters on intestinal disease, helminthiasis, ophthalmology, dermatology, gynaecology, obstetrics, pregnancy diagnosis, contraception, dentistry, and the surgical treatment of abscesses, tumours, fractures and burns. It can be found in the University of Leipzig’s library.
1473-1458 B.C.Queen Hatshepsut’s expedition to the legendary land of Punt was one of the greatest adventures of antiquity. Her army brought back wonderous riches. The greatest of all the treasures was the grove of myrrh trees, which were brought back to Egypt as gifts to the Gods.
Her expedition was formed of five ships, each measuring 70 feet long. These accommodated 210 men, and was led by the Nubian general “Nehsi”. They departed at Quseir on the Red Sea for what was primarily a trading mission, seeking frankincense and myrrh, and fragrant unguents used for cosmetics and in religious ceremonies.
A report of this voyage is left behind as temple reliefs in Deir el-Bahri.
Said by Amen, the Lord of the Thrones of the Two Land: ‘Come, come in peace my daughter, the graceful, who art in my heart, King Maatkare, (Hatshepsut)… I will give thee Punt, the whole of it…I will lead your soldiers by land and by water, on mysterious shores, which join the harbours of incense… They will take incense as much as they like. They will load their ships to the satisfaction of their hearts with trees of green (i.e. fresh) incense and all the good things of the land.’
While the Egyptians “were not particularly well versed in the hazards of sea travel, and the long voyage to Punt must have seemed something akin to a journey to the moon for present-day explorers….the rewards of obtaining (frankincense, myrrh and ebony) clearly outweighed the risks.”
When King Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened, archeologists discovered alabaster jars designed to hold precious essential oils that were valued above the price of gold and jewels.
History tells us that robbers used to take oils before they would take gold, when robbing tombs. King Tut’s tomb contained some fifty alabaster jars that each was designed to hold 350 liters of essential oil. They contained residues of aromatics including sandalwood and myrrh. Not only that, the oils found in these jars were still viable. Often the heavy jars were left and just the oil was taken. This shows us the value that this ancient civilization placed on fragrant essential oils
On Saturday, 19 March 2005, BBC.CO.UK showed an article called “Bronze Age Perfume Discovered” by Tabitha Morgan. The article states that a team of Italian archaeologists working in Cypress believes it has discovered the site of an ancient perfume factory from the Bronze Age circa 2000 B.C. The 4000 year old perfumery was thought to have manufactured frangrances for export across the Eastern Mediteranean.
Scientists have reconstituted 12 different perfumes from traces of scents found in dozens of clay bottles found at the site including laurel, cinnamon and myrtle.
In 1250 B.C. an account from ancient Israel in the Old Testament of the Bible records that Moses anointed Aaron.
Circa 1200 B.C. Moses gave the recipe for the holy anointing oil and the holy incense to the Israelites. Read more about this
in ‘Healing Oils of the Bible,’ by David Stewart PhD. Gary Young made the oil blend named ‘Exodus’ similar to this recipe.
On the back of the Young Living Essential Oils ‘Twelve Oils of Ancient Scripture’ kit, is a photo of Gary Young, standing in the vat that was part of the distillery, that was in operation, at Ein Gedi, Israel until the fifth century A.D. Ein Gedi was known for distilling balsam oil as early as 600 B.C.
Part of a unique inscription on a beautiful mosaic floor in an ancient synagogue calls down a curse on anyone revealing the secret of the town to the gentiles. According to one authority, it was designed against those revealing the secrets of the balsam industry.
0 AD – David Stewart PhD., has stated in his book ‘Healing Oils of the Bible’ that there are over 500 references to essential oils in the Bible. Why did Three Wise Men, bring baby Jesus frankincense, myrrh and gold?
Did you know that in biblical times balsam was called gold? Balsam oil, like frankincense is known as a cure for all man’s ailments.
In National Geographic Magazine Vol 168 #4 dated October 1985 you will find the main article is about Arabia’s Frankincense Trail. It was written by N.G. Senior writer, Thomas J. Abercrombie and the photographs were taken by Lynn Abercrombie.
Page 477 states that around 500 B.C. “The Hadramis grew rich in the frankincense trade’s heyday, controlling flow of the resin to the Greeks and Romans who craved it.” It is well worth getting a copy of this magazine.
Famed Arabian physcian Avicenna (980-1037 A.D.) is credited with improving the process of steam distillation. He also used essential oils extensively in his practice.
“Avicenna himself provided much of the basis for later development of fundamental chemical processes such as filtration, distillation, sublimation, and calcination. He invented the procedure of distillation of floral oils and was the first to distill essence of rose.” Rose essential oil has the highest frequency of any natural substance known to man. It’s frequency is measured at 320 htz.
Avincenna’s Canon of Medicine
400 BC. Hippocrates was commonly known as the “Father of Medicine.” Legend states that Hippocrates saved Athens from a devastating plague by fumigating the city with aromatics.
He also stated “I believe that a daily aromatic bath followed by a scented massage will promote good health.”
‘The Ancient Greek physician Dioscorides wrote a book in 85 A.D. that describes many methods still used today by aromatherapists. The book stood for at least 1200 years as the Western world’s standard medical reference.
345 B.C. After Alexander the Great defeated Darius 111 of Persia, he adopted the use of essential oils. It is said that his floors would be sprinkled with scented waters and that his clothes carried fragrant resins. Alexander was very skeptical of medicine and doctors. He stated ” I am dying from the treatment of too many physicians.”
100 AD. Pliny, a Roman historian, wrote a book titled “Natural History” that describes the uses of herbs and essential oils. He states “It is the belly, for the gratification of which the greater part of mankind exist, that causes the most suffering to man. No wonder then that the belly should have to be indebted to the aid of medicine in the very highest degree. Leaves of aizoum beaten up in wine, and dried alcea powdered are curative of gripping pains in the bowels.”
1100 AD. Saint Hildegard, an herbalist, wrote ‘Causes and Cures for Illness’. She states “With earth was the human being created. All the elements served mankind and sensing that man was alive, they busied themselves in aiding his life in every way.”
Middle Ages, 1400 AD. In Marseilles, four thieves were caught by a Medieval King after robbing the bodies and homes of the black plague victims. The King wanted to know how they could do this without catching the plague themselves. For leniency, they reported that they were spice traders and rubbed spices on their bodies to protect themselves. They knew the medicinal value of those spices, and how rubbing them on to their bodies brought out the oils so they could be absorbed.
The Young Living ‘Thieves’ oil was created by Gary Young and named to honour those thieves.
It has been scientifically documented to work as well as, or better than pharmaceutical antibiotics.
1795 AD. Napoleon and his bride Josephine used essential oils as perfumes. Occasionally, Napoleon would not approve of the oil Josephine selected, hence the famous phrase “Not tonight, Josephine.”
CENTRAL AMERICA –
1500 AD. When the Spanish Conquistadors invaded the Aztecs, they were amazed by the abundance of medicinal herbs found in Montezuma’s botanical garden.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA –
1610 A.D. – One of the earliest, if not the
first, North American botanical gardens was a medicinal garden attributed to Dr. Lawrence Bohun, Physician General of Virginia in 1610.
Oxford University Press’ A History of US 1600-1740 A.D. – friend of the Powhatan and Pocohontas, Captain John Smith, was stung by a sting ray. His doctor, Dr. Russell, used a precious oil to eaze the pain and reduce the swelling of the sting ray bite John received.
- Here is a copy of his diary entry
“But it chanced our captain taking a fish from his sword (not knowing her condition) being much of the fashion of a thornback (crab) but a long tail like a riding rod whereon the middest (base) is a most poisoned sting of two or three inches long, bearded like a saw on each side, which she struck into the wrist of his arm near an inch and a half. No blood nor wound was seen but a little blue spot. But the torment was instantly so extreme that in four hours had so swollen his hand,arm, and shoulder we all with much sorrow concluded (anticipated) his funeral and prepared his grave in an island by, as himself directed.Yet it pleased God by a precious oil Doctor Russell at the first applied to it when he sounded (examined) it with a probe (ere night) his tormenting pain was so well assuaged that he ate of the fish to his supper, which gave no less joy and content to us than ease to himself. For which we called the island Stingray Isle after the name of the fish.”
Great Britain – 1895 –
Re-discovery in Modern Times – Dr. René-Maurice Gattefosse,PhD, a French cosmetic chemist, is known to be the father of the re- discovery of aromatherapy as we know it today. He, with a group of others, began studying essential oils in 1907. An accident in 1910 left him so badly burned that his arms were rapidly developing gas gangrene. He stated in his notes that “just one rinse with lavender essence stopped the gasification of the tissue.” Over a period of time, with the continual application of lavender oil, the burn healed completely without a trace of a scar. As a chemist, he analyzed the essential oil of lavender and discovered that it contained many substances referred to as chemical constituents or chemical properties. As a result of this, Dr. Gattefosse determined that essential oils contained tremendous healing properties.
Dr. Gattefosse shared his experience with his colleague and friend, Dr. Jean Valnet a medical doctor in Paris, France. During World War II, (1940′s) while serving as commander of an advanced surgical unit, in the French Army at the China Wall, treating war victims, Dr. Valnet ran out of antibiotics, so he decided (with the approval of his superiors) to try using essential oils. To his amazement, they had a powerful effect in reducing and even stopping the infection, and he was able to save many of the soldiers who otherwise might have died, even with antibiotics.
As can be read on page 21 of Jane Buckle‘s book Clinical Aromatherapy – Essential Oils in Practice – Second Edition, Despite the impressive results he had using essential oils instead of antibiotics, when he returned to France he found the orthodox medical community unhappy with his use of unconventional medicine and they tried to strike him from the general medical list.
Fortunately for aromatherapy, some of his patients were high ranking government officials, including the Minister of Health, so this did not happen. Valnet’s book Aromatherapie (Valnet 1937), which was the first “medical” publication on aromatherapy, has been translated into German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese as well as English. In this publication, Valnet wrote “it is not necessary to be a doctor to use aromatherapy. But one has to know the power of essential oils in order to avoid accidents and incidents.”
Dr. Valnet had two students who did their internship with him who were responsible for expanding his work during the 1960′s, Dr. Paul Belaiche and Dr. Jean Claude Lapraz. They discovered that essential oils contain antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties as well as being powerful oxygenators with the ability to act as carrying agents in the delivery of nutrients into the cells. The Phyto-Aromatherapy Institute
Daniel Pénoël, M.D. stated in a letter to Young Living, printed in the September 1998 Y.L. Essential Edge Magazine that “Many companies have jumped onto the ‘aromatic bandwagon’ solely for commercial reasons. They simply do not know the meaning of “genuine” when it is applied to essential oils. They market products that are made solely for what I call ‘recreational fragrancing.’ This has nothing to do with medical aromatherapy. Gary Young, the founder and president of Young Living Essential Oils, understands the huge difference between recreational fragrancing and aromatic medicine.”
UNITED STATES AND GERMANY –
Following the Flexner report on the nation’s medical schools in 1910 (which was paid for by the Carnegie Foundation), almost all homeopathic medical schools in the United States were squeezed out. Herbal medicine, including the use of aromatics, was excluded from medical school curricula. Petrochemical drug companies became the major underwriters of all medical colleges in the United States. More importantly they also became the major funders of the American Medical Association and therefore 90% of all medical research.” Flexner was accompanied by an AMA official for most of his travels and his report had devastating effects on minority medical schools as he recommended closing 4 of the 6 (what he called “negro”) schools along with all 3 of 3 women’s medical schools. Their (AMA, Carnegie Foundation, Rockefeller, General Education Board) aim was to reduce the number of physicians, close all non-allopathic schools and close proprietary medical schools. This was achieved..
|American Medical Association desires circa 1900||Rockefeller General Education Board desires||Carnegie Foundation Wishes|
|decrease number of physicians||Favors Specialists||Against proprietary institutions|
|improve quality and reputation of physicians||Promote research|
|remove homeopathy and other competition||History of heavy allopathic funding|
. As can be read on page 20 of the second edition book Clinical Aromatherapy, Essential Oils in Practice by Jane Buckle, RN, PhD, “It was in 1930 that a partnership was formed between Rockefeller in the United States and Faben in Germany and so the petrochemical pharmaceutical industry became a major economic and political force.
1984 – Gary Young’s first experience with essential oils in a clinical environment involved a patient with advanced cancer, malignant melanoma. Even though he had been operated on twice, it had continued to grow and attach to his jugular vein, esophagus and carotid artery, and was infiltrating his brain, lungs and spine. Doctors gave him only weeks to live. Gary Young used frankincense essential oil among other treatments and in May 1985, 6 months later, the patient went home cancer free.
You can find the full story in the Integrated Aromatic Medicine book.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA –
Dr. Ann Blake Tracy has given many lectures at the Y.L. conventions. She is an expert on the detramental effects of anti-depressant drugs and always talks about how essential oils are a major part of recovering from the damages caused by taking these serotanergic medications.
Dr. Ann Blake Tracy’s book is called “Prozac – Panacea or Pandora”
Dr. Tracy is also great friends with Candace Pert, one of the two original creators of Prozac. Candace Pert wrote an article on page 8 of TIME Magazine, October 20, 1997, entitled;
SERATONIN BINDING DISCOVERER SOUNDS WARNING. “I am alarmed at the monster I created!” Please read the article shown below.
A Young Living Essential Oil protocol that has been used by many Young Living oilers for helping overcome depression is:
1. Massaging Harmony e.o. all around the belly button area.
2. Massaging Valor e.o. into the bottoms of your feet and also on to the wrists. You may find drinking around 8 – 10 drops in 8 oz of water, also benefical.
3. Then Joy oil can be massaged around the heart area.
4. Finally, a few drops of White Angelica e.o. can be poured into your non-dominant palm. Circle palms together three times in a clockwise direction to spread the oils over both palms and activate the frequency of the oil. Now beginning at the top of the head wash your whole aura, down to your toes, including your arms. Then place your hands above the crown of your head. Do all these with the intention of feeling uplifted and joyful.
One more additional oil that can be added to this protocol is:
5. Transformation e.o.
Place some oil on the tips of your fingers and beginning on the left temple, massage the oil in and then spread it across the forehead ending on the right temple. Do this closer to the hair line rather than closer to the eye brows. Repeat this beginning at the right temple and then spreading it over the forehead and ending at the left temple. This was suggested by Gary Young N.D. during one of his lectures.
Always keep some V6 vegetable oil or organic olive oil near by in case you have very sensitive skin and you need to dilute the essential oil after it has been applied.
You can find out more about the benefits of these oil in the book Essential Oils Desk Reference by Essential Science Publishing. There is now a fourth edition.
PAKISTAN 1999 –
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA –
As can be seen on the Young Living 2000 convention highlights video, Gary Young works very closely with Jean-Noel Landel – Essential Oil International Industry Expert, who says that Young Living Oils are the best on the market.
– As can be seen on the Young Living 2000 convention highlights video, Young Living’s chemist, Sue Chao, spent some time being trained by Dr. Herve Casabianca (Ph.D.). According to Dr. Hervé Casabianca (Ph.D.), Chairman of the International Standards Organization (ISO) Committee on Essential Oil Standards (a European agency whose acronym is AFNOR), there is only one company in North America who regularly sends samples to the AFNOR laboratory in France for testing to be measured against the international standards for therapeutic quality, and that is Young Living, Inc. “Therefore, “says Dr. Casabianca, “Young Living oils are the only therapeutic grade oils, of which I am aware, produced and/or marketed by an American company.”
– As can be seen on the Young Living 2000 convention highlights video, Georges Ferrando – President of Union of Importers and Producers of Essential Oils in Raw Aromatic Materials says it is wonderful to work with Gary because he is not a dealer, he is a distiller and knows everything about the oils so they communicate very well. He also says Gary is hard to work with though because he will not settle for good. He must have only the very best there is.
– A four minute segment on the 2002 Young Living Convention Highlights video entitled “A Dream Comes True in France” shows Jean-Noel Landel translating for Marcel Espieu, who has been president of the Lavender Growers Assoc. for 21 years in Southern France. Marcel had come to the U.S. to see Gary’s distilleries in St. Marie, Idaho and Mona, Utah. Marcel stated that Jean-Noel, Gary and his own son were his best students. Then after seeing the distilleries Marcel said, “the student really went above the teacher”, as Gary has created everything he, (Marcel), had always dreamed about.
– Special Report Sept 23rd. 2002 Insight magazine – Columbine High School Shooting.
Experts in a lawsuit against the manufacturer of Luvox say that the antidepressant tipped Eric Harris from being a troubled teen to a cold-blooded murderer.
19 year old Mark Taylor was shot between 7 and 13 times by Eric Harris. No one can tell how many times. He survived. Unlike all the other families involved who were threatened with loosing a lawsuit to Solvay, the pharmaceutical company, who would then sue them back, taking everything they own and making them indebted the Solvay for the rest of their lives because of the, “you loose, you pay,” law, Mark Taylor had nothing to loose. He could not be threatened or scared off and therefore went ahead with the lawsuit. This also means he does not have to abide by the gag order that is usually enforced on victims and their families, who take a settlement payout, in these situations.
Mark is now traveling with Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, lecturing around the country about the detrimental effects of serotanergic medications. He came to one of the Young Living Essential Oil conventions with Dr. Tracy and spoke of how he had begun using the oils and their effect was real.
Check out the 2003 convention highlights DVD for a talk by Dr. Jaime Matta, professor at the Ponce School of Medicine, Ponce, Puerto Rico, who chairs the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He spoke about his labs research on how Young Living Frankincense Essential Oil can kill MCF-7 strain of breast cancer cells (The toughest, that even chemotherapy cannot kill). He won an award from the American Association for Cancer Research in 2004 for his research. See this written up in April 2004’s, Young Living Essential Edge magazine, Under ‘Noteworthy News’
December 22, 2008 · JenniferBhala · 47 Comments
Tags: 845-649-7487, Abercrombie, AMA, botanical gardens, captain john smith, distillers, essential oils, exodus, frankincense, hippocrates, imhotep, Jennifer Bhala Hansen, King Tutankhamun, M.D., malignant melanoma, Moses, pert, pliny jesus, prozac, pure essential oils, seratonin, Young Living Essential Oils · Posted in: History of EO as Medicine