Early Recordings of Essential Oils
As human history continued, many great leaders began to record the descriptions and amazing benefits of a variety of plants, flowers, trees, bark, seeds, herbs, fruit, pulp, roots and other sources of essential oils. Shen Yun’s Herbal Book is the oldest surviving medical book in China’s history. It contains information on over 300 herbs and their applications. The Ebers Papyrus is an Egyptian record holding herbal knowledge dating back to 1550 BC. It contains over 800 solutions for many types of issues and describes many methods for applying essential oils.
The Egyptians were some of the first people to use aromatic essential oils extensively for wellness purposes, beauty treatment, food preparation, and religious ceremony. Frankincense, Sandalwood, Myrrh, and Cinnamon were considered very valuable cargo along caravan trade routes. It has been estimated that over 3,000 tons of Frankincense was transported via caravans annually. The Bible also holds many accounts of the use of these precious herbs.
Borrowing from the Egyptians, the Greeks used essential oils in their practices of therapeutic massage and aromatherapy. Hypocrites, commonly known as the father of medicine, believed that a daily application of both of these practices would promote good health. The Romans also used aromatic oils to promote health and personal hygiene.