What Is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy, also referred to as Essential Oil therapy, can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize, and promote the health of body, mind, and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological, and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.

It was the French perfumer and chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who coined the term “aromatherapie” in 1937 with his publication of a book by that name. His book “Gattefosse’s Aromatherapy” contains early clinical findings for utilizing essential oils for a range of physiological ailments. It seems vital to understand what Gattefosses’s intention for coining the word was, as he clearly meant to distinguish the medicinal application of essential oils from their perfumery applications.

So we can interpret his coming of the word “Aromatherapie” to mean the therapeutic application or the medicinal use of aromatic substances (essential oils) for holistic healing. As the practice of aromatherapy has progressed, over the years, it has adopted a more holistic approach encompassing the whole body, mind, and spirit (energy).

“Aromatherapy is a caring, hands-on therapy which seeks to induce relaxation, to increase energy, to reduce the effects of stress, and to restore lost balance to mind, body, and soul.” -Robert Tisserand

“Aromatherapy can be defined as the controlled use of essential oils to maintain and protect physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being.” -Gabriel Mojay