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History of Essential Oils

Anubis god of death

Quick History of Essential Oils Usage and Dogs

Ancient Egyptians were probably the first to use essential oils for emotional benefits. Those ancient Egyptians were sure busy, it seems they were the first to do so many things! They created distillation methods of  extracting oils from the trees, herbs, and plants that were available. These essential oils were used in medical, spiritual, and daily activities and of course, for embalming. 

Cats are well known to have been embalmed by ancient Egyptians, but did you know millions of embalmed dog mummies have been discovered?

In catacombs south of Cairo, researchers have discovered burial sites filled with huge numbers of mummified animals — nearly 8 million of them, mostly dogs.
The catacombs, at a site called Saqqara, are dedicated to Anubis, the jackal-headed god of the afterlife. Archaeologist and Egyptologist Salima Ikram, a professor at the American University in Cairo who has worked extensively at the site, writes that animal mummification began in ancient Egypt "to allow beloved pets to go on to the afterlife, to provide food in the afterlife, to act as offerings to a particular god and because some were seen as physical manifestations of specific gods that the Egyptians worshipped." From NPR Learn More Here

 

Ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese and native cultures worldwide all utilized some sort off distillation process to extract the essential oils. Keep in mind, there was no freeze drying or canning back then. This distillation allowed them to preserve the benefits of the various plants into a compact form that needed no preservatives. 

Many have heard the story of the thieves who soaked themselves in a variety of protective antibacterial oils, then crept into the homes of those who had died of the Black Death or Plague and robbed the homes.  When captured, they were given the option of telling the secret of the oils and being put to death quickly or not telling and being put to death…very VERY slowly. They spilled the secret.

Throughout the 1700 and 1800s pharmacists, doctors and others healers of that time often prescribed essential oils for their patients.

In 1910 French chemist and perfumer, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, expanded upon knowledge of lavender oil’s ability to help heal burns that happened in a laboratory explosion.