Introduction to Aromatherapy


My sweetie (my wife June) had breast cancer a few years ago and we opted 1) to have a lymph-ectomy (mistake) and later 2) radiation (good decision). Regardless of whether it was a mistake we did it and the result is that she has to be very careful about not injuring her right arm. Last summer and fall she burned herself on our oven three times, one of them very seriously.

She happened to go on an outing with several girl friends right after the bad burn and in talking it over with them they decided to put therapeutic-grade lavender essential oil on the burn. She could feel it healing immediately and in spite of this being a large burn (2” x 6”) it healed with only a very small scar, about the size of a half-quarter (like a half-moon shape).

Non-therapeutic-grade lavender helped the two previous burns as well. We have been using essential oils for several years, for rubs, for aromatherapy*, disinfecting and healing small cuts and abrasions, etc. But this was the first time we had learned of its healing properties for burns. And was the girls used was a much better grade of lavender than we had at home. We have since replaced all our oils with the Young Living essential oils and find that they are much more powerful and a far superior grade.

It’s also interesting to note the very modern history of aromatherapy* as documented below.

“*Aromatherapy is a phrase coined by Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, Ph.D., in 1920, who was a French cosmetic chemist. While working in his laboratory, he had an accident that resulted in a third degree thermal burn of his hand and forearm. He plunged his arm into a vat of lavender oil, thinking that it was water. To his surprise, the burning slowly decreased and then stopped within a few moments. Over a period of time, with the continual application of lavender oil, the burn healed completely without a trace of a scar. As a chemist, he analyzed the essential oil of lavender and discovered that it contained many substances referred to as chemical constituents or chemical properties. As a result of this, Dr. Gattefosse determined that essential oils contained tremendous healing properties.“

Dr. Gattefosse shared his experience with his colleague and friend, Dr. Jean Valnet, a medical doctor in Paris, France. During World War II, while serving as a medical physician in the French Army at the China Wall, treating war victims, Dr. Valnet ran out of antibiotics, so he decided to try using essential oils. To his amazement, they had a powerful effect in reducing and even stopping the infection, and he was able to save many of the soldiers who otherwise might have died even with antibiotics. “

Dr. Valnet had two students who did their internship with him who were responsible for expanding his work, Dr. Paul Belaiche and Dr. Jean Claude Lapraz. They discovered that essential oils contain antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties as well as being powerful oxygenators with the ability to act as carrying agents in the delivery of nutrients into the cells.”

The above is the “modern” history of essential oils and aromatherapy. However, the practice of creating essential oils and aromatherapy is an ancient practice likely dating to the Egyptians and Chinese, possibly older. It is known that essential oils were used at the time of Christ, as at least one of the “Gifts of the Magi” was essential oil. So what we now have is the modern incarnation of an ancient practice, given “official recognition” by the medical profession in the persona of Doctors Gattefosse and Valnet, later joined by Doctors Belaiche and Lapraz.

What is interesting to us, my wife and I, is that there is a significant difference in quality between every essential oil we have used and the “therapeutic essential oils” from Young Living. We have used what, to us, were only the finest and purest of Lavender Essential Oil. We used several, eventually finding one that was clearly better than the rest. What we have learned from this experience is that as good as the lavender oil we used was, the Young Living essential oil is significantly superior and while there are obvious disinfectant and healing properties for cuts and abrasions, it has especially superb healing powers for burns.

In coming articles I will share with you much more of the wonderful world of aromatherapy, what it has done for us and what it can do for you.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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