The Origins of Incense & Aromatherapy
Updated: Jan 4, 2019
Did you know that Ancient Egypt is the motherland of an ancient form of aromatherapy? "aromatic: a substance or plant emitting a pleasant and distinctive smell. " The origins of incense and aromatherapy can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians around 6000 years ago. Aromatic woods, spices, herbs, oils and resins were burned by the Ancient Egyptians for many of the same reasons we burn our incense today, as a spiritual aid, meditation, healing or simply for the pleasing aroma. People traveled from all over to trade with the Ancient Egyptians as they were well known for their incense, perfumes and oils.
Incense, resins and oils had another use that most of us might find peculiar these days, as death is not something that we think about much and the process of preparing the dead for burial or cremation is mostly hidden behind closed doors. But in Ancient Egypt, perfumes, oils and resins played a key role in the mummification process as well as denoting the status the person had in life. And its thanks to the various aromatics used in preserving the ancient bodies so well that 6000 years later, scientists are able to get glimpses into the lives of these ancient people.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to aid in healing. They have even helped people who worked with essential oils regularly or in perfumeries avoid death from the black plague. But in the 19th century with the development of modern science, all forms of natural, herbal medicine disappeared until French chemist Gattefosse revived the practice in the 1920's, giving it the name Aromatherapy.
India, a country well known for their incense, Satya Sai Baba Nag Champa being one of their most famous exports has never lost their faith in natural, herbal medicine and holistic practice. Ayurveda is one of the most ancient natural therapies still practiced in India and around the world today.
Temples in Ancient Egypt were full of smokey offerings to the Gods and many religions alive today still continue the practice of using incense as offerings as well as cleansings in churches, mosques, temples etc. The offering of scented smoke in temples is what gave birth to the ancient form of aromatherapy, so it is amazing to know that the practice that gave rise to what we know as aromatherapy that began 6000 years ago, is still used in the same way today.
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Sending you energy of happiness, positivity, success and abundance.
Sage Netto <3