Aromatherapy Traces in Ancient Egypt

Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, and Egyptians: It’s Not as new as You Think

From a method of pleasing the supernatural powers to a well-established health boosting science, Aromatherapy has covered a long way.
It is a well-known method of relaxation, mood changing and health maintenance. The plants and their aromatic materials are extracted to prepare the essential oils. The other substances are also mixed to this highly concentrated material for boosting the health benefits.
Let us see preparation method, benefits and usage of essential oils and aromatic medicines in Egypt. The history is as soothing as the therapy itself so knowing it will be a nice experience too. Let’s go through it – from the superstitious beginning to scientific evolution!

History of Aromatherapy: How it Began in Ancient Egypt

ancient egypt
The beginning of Aromatherapy is dated back to around 6 thousand years when ancient Greeks considered the essential oils delivered by their God. The beginning of aromatic medicines and aromatherapy are linked to each other.
The Greeks in ancient Egypt believed that the smoke caused by burning the aromatic woods, herbs and spices reached the deities in heaven, carrying their prayers and wishes. This myth led to the eventual development of Aromatic medicines which acted as the foundation for the Aromatherapy. There are various ways of utilizing this therapy and you will come to know about it in a few minutes.
Aroma and therapy are two different words, denoting the fragrance and treatment respectively, united together to give a meaningful name to this health evolving and pleasing method.

Practical Implementation and Preparation of Essential Oils

The essential scent oils were used for the preparation of perfumes and medicines. These were mainly used for healing the health hazards and in the rituals.
Ancient Egyptians are considered the first to invent the technique of essence and oil extractions from the flowers, woods, herbs and spices. One of their ancient medical papyruses, prepared in 1555 BC features the remedies for all illnesses and method of using essential oils for the purpose.
For releasing the fragrances, they used the following three methods –

By Burning

This is probably the oldest method. The fragrances were floated in the air through burning. This is the base for the invention of perfumes too.

By Preparing Pastes or Using Animal Fats

The essential oils and perfumes were extracted by using the unscented vegetable and animal fat. The paste of flowers was made to prepare these oils.

Utilizing The Oils

In this method, the fragrant oils were blended in the base oils like almond oil to prepare a utilizable solution.

Method of Application

Egyptians had found the way of distillation of essential oils. They applied these oils in medicines, sacred rituals, cosmetic products, perfumes and many such things.
The massage, vaporization, and sprinkling were the common methods being used for applying them to the body.

Substituent Materials

The essential oils are not the only constituent of the Aromatherapy. There were some preparation materials too. Let’s know them all –

Essential Oil

The main substance extracted from the plants by various releasing methods. (Look above)


The highly concentrated oils cannot be directly employed so they were mixed in other base or carrier diluted oils like sweet almond oil or vegetable/animal fats.

Benefits of the Therapy

The Greeks believed that the essential oils being used in the therapy, can purify, heal and protect their bodies and spirits. And they were right.
The Aromatherapy has many benefits for mental and physical health. It can act as a soothing and health-boosting element at the same time if used properly. It is also found effective in recovering the wounds.

Safety Concerns

When used improperly, it may have unpleasant effects like illness and even death. So, it is advised to use 1 to 2 drops of the oil in some base oil or water. You can learn to use Aromatherapy correctly from this detailed article.
Greeks were fond of the aromatic fragrances and used them for the major rituals as well. Perfumes and other such things were found in the tomb of King Tutankhamon. The furniture in the tomb is featuring the Pharoh’s wife, wrapping the body in lotus oil.
The modern Aromatherapy traces back in the Ancient Egypt and will continue to evolve continually in the future as well so the story is to be continued.


  1. Shelly October 11, 2016
  2. sarfraz761 July 29, 2017

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