Aroma Spa

China – 2700 BC – For the early Chinese there was little distinction between recovery treatments for the mind and the body. Substances that nourished and promoted healing for the mind were also used for healing the body. The Chinese considered perfumes as medicine. The ancient herbal traditions practiced today, such as acupuncture, started with the publication of The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine by Huang Ti. This ancient text primarily deals with the causes and treatment of disease.

Ayurveda East India – 2000 BC – Terra cotta distillation apparatus and perfume containers have been found in the early Indus Valley (what is now mostly located in the states of India and Pakistan) dating back to 3000 BC. The utilization of plant aromatics from the Indian civilization was vast. Aromatic oils and plants were used in every facet of their lives, such as beauty treatments, perfumery, medicinal practices, cleansing and ritual bathing, and spiritual ceremonies.

In the ancient Indian tantric practices there were elaborate rituals of anointing the body with oils to seduce and arouse the passions. The Vedas, the most ancient sacred texts known, included formulas for aromatics. The Rig Veda included instructions for the uses of over 700 plants, including spikenard, myrrh, sandalwood, ginger, cinnamon, and coriander. The human has been seen as part of nature and the preparation of medicinal plants was considered a sacred practice. Ayurvedic medication is among the oldest forms of medicine practiced continuously since ancient times.

The Bible – Considered as, or more precious than gold, plant aromatics were rare and highly prized in the ancient world. The Bible makes numerous references to the use of aromatic oils in both the New and Old Testaments. The ancient Hebrews valued plant aromatics for medicinal, perfume, and sacred religious practices. In the Bible Moses received an anointing oil formula for consecrating men to the priesthood that was practiced for generations. The formula included myrrh, cinnamon, frankincense, and olive oil. Mary Magdalene anointed her Master Jesus’ feet with the rare and costly Spikenard oil. The Phoenician merchants introduced aromatics in the Orient to the West, and helped establish large trading routes for plant aromatics.