The ancient Chinese also used essential oils for religious purposes and for healing, massage, and incense making. Incense burning was, and still is, an important part of the religious ceremonies in China.

All this time, China was perfecting its herbal traditions. The Chinese only had one word for what was produced from a plant’s fragrance. “Heang” could mean perfume, incense or unguent.

The Chinese classified their “heang” into 6 mood inducing categories: tranquil, luxurious, refined, beautiful, reclusive and noble. Not only did the Chinese people scent their bodies, hair, clothes, homes and temples with sweet smelling oils, but they also added perfumes to things like paper and ink (referred as scented stationary).

The Classic of the Materia Medica was the first Chinese book to reference over 250 plant substances and their healing qualities, including proper preparation.


China and Hot Springs

Hot springs were known to many civilizations for their ability to treat skin-related diseases. The first emperor of China, Shi Huang Ti, who built the Great Wall of China, contracted a rare skin disease which even the best physicians of his time could not treat.

Later, he discovered the effectiveness of hot spring water for treating his skin disease. He subsequently built the famous Lishan Tang hot spring in China.

Many ancient civilizations have also recorded the use of hydrotherapy in achieving beauty. Yang Quifei, one of the four great beauties of China, used hydrotherapy to achieve and maintain her great complexion. Her favourite is the rose petal bath.


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