The Beginning of Essential Oils

20 Nov 2019 - 18:48 by Joana Marques Wallace

essential oils jasmine, sandalwood and rose alba

Last week I briefly covered important facts on what essential oils are, what should be taken into account when buying an essential oil, how they can be used and how they can benefit our body and our health.

This week I would like to tell you a little about the story behind Essential Oils. How this “magical and powerful” source of healing has been used for millenniums.

Back into history – The Beginning of Essential Oils

The first records of essential oils come from ancient India, Persia, and Egypt. The Arab culture was the first to distil ethyl alcohol from fermented sugar, thus providing a new solvent for the extraction of essential oils in place of the fatty oils that had probably been used for several millennia. Whichever way we look at it, history of the following cultures has enriched and enhanced valuable aspects of the essential oils and aromatherapy world. (1)



Around 2000 BC the ancient Egyptians were using essential oils for medicinal benefits, beauty care, spiritual balance, and in their daily life. For them, beauty was an important part of their daily care and for that reason many beauty care treatments were created. Cleopatra’s legendary beauty is attributed to her extensive use of essential oils, fatty oils, clays and salts. (1)



Much of the education that became part of Greek, Roman, and Jewish culture was derived from the Egyptians. Hippocrates, father of modern medicine, studied and documented the medicinal influence of over 300 plants and is reported to have advised that “The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day.” (1)



Essential oils have been a present element of the Indian Ayurvedic health care system; a natural healing system blending spiritual, philosophical, and practical elements. It has been practiced for at least 5000 years where doctors administered oils such cinnamongingermyrrhcorianderspikenard and sandalwood to their patients, and it continues in India today.

The term Ayurveda, a traditional Indian text, is rooted in Sanskrit. Derived from the words “ayur,” (meaning ‘life), and “veda” (meaning ‘knowledge’). (2) One of the sacred plants in India is Basil . People believe it has tremendous benefits to open the heart and mind, bestowing the energy of love and devotion.



The Roman culture was extremely influenced by the Greeks. The Romans used aromatic materials and essential oils in baths, massages, to scent the hair, body, and medicinal care (3). Essential oils were used in many natural remedies such as myrrh to treat gum infections; juniper berry as a well-known diuretic; marjoram for its sedative properties; and cypress showed to be useful in relieving diarrhea.



Herbs and plant medicine are an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Records have shown the use of essential oils have been used here before the time of Christ. China’s long connection to herbal and plant medicine started with Shennong, dated around 2700 BC.



There are dozens of references to aromatic plants, with at least 12 essential oils mentioned such as cedarwoodfrankincensefircinnamonmyrrhmyrtle and spikenard.

One of the most well-known references to aromatics is the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh brought to Christ. There are many important and significant references where people would make holy anointing oils using cassiacinnamonclovemyrrholive oil and spikenard. (3)



During the Middle Ages, the use of aromatics was considered ‘inappropriate’. This temporarily reduced the use of essential oils therapeutically, although they were kept in use for their pleasant aromas. In secrecy the Monks of that era kept using plant medicine and keep the wisdom alive and well. Later most of the pharmacopoeia of England, Germany and France were referencing and prescribing essential oils for a variety of illnesses. (1)

Around 1500 European medieval pharmacies started to introduce several essential oils using the distillation process such as: cedarwood, roserosemaryfrankincensesagecinnamon and myrrh.


Let’s Go Back to the Way It Used To Be

Over the years I realize that the notion of 'taking your time' is increasingly being understood as a 'waste' and not as an 'investment'. In the same way that we need to find space and time in our daily lives to appreciate life, to value those around us, we need to find that same time and space for our body to recover, to heal, to become whole. The rush to immediately “feel better”, the urgency that constantly guides our days increases the misconception that the cure for our health problems lies behind a pharmacy counter. We ‘obey without question’ our doctors and stop believing that the natural elements of Mother Earth, specifically essential oils, can help the body to resolve many of the health challenges we face.

We are surrounded by natural medicines in vegetables, fruits, and seeds, as well as excellent supplements such as Essential Oils. There are great alternatives at our disposal, which are very accessible and for reasonable prices. Our bodies deserve the best!

Here at Nusaroma you can find simple, easy, effective and affordable essential oils for practical, every day uses!


In conclusion 

It is important to create awareness to what we are doing to our body and how we treat the health of our family. By showing everyone around us that Mother Nature provides all the best foods, supplements, and medicines that helps us to stay healthy, to balance our immune system, to treat our health problems, we are also showing respect for nature.

“…toxic foods, toxic medication, toxic emotions, toxins of all kinds not only harm our bodies but more importantly, they further separate us from our inherent wisdom, divide nature, and whispering of Spirit…” written by Lorene Davies, Founder Essential Oils Academy.(2)

I hope you enjoyed this week’s article. I would love to answer all your questions and help you to continue this journey and make big changes in your life. Just post your comment bellow.

Thank you!

Joana Marques Wallace 



  1. Essential Oil plant substance, written by: The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica and published on
  2. “Living in a drug addicted culture”published on
  3. Ancient Medicine”, written by Josh Axe.

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