Egyptians and Essential Oils
Before 3000 years B.C. the Egyptians were the first true aroma-therapists, using essential oils extracted from plants for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Egyptians were skilled in extracting, blending and applying the use of essential oils in their everyday lives.
Essential oils were used to fumigate sick rooms, in cosmetics, and in their daily baths and massages. In many pyramids large quantities of cosmetic jars have been discovered. Scents such as Frankincense were still discernible from these and there are records of Cedar and Cypress being imported. An ancient papyrus discovered in the Temple of Edfu contained medical formulas and perfume recipes, which were used by the alchemist and high priests. Hieroglyphics in Egyptian temples depict the blending of oils and describe oil recipes.
Essential oils were also used in the embalming process of mummies because of the antibacterial and antiseptic properties helped to prevent decay and decomposition of the bodies. The tombs of the Pharaohs were filled with beautiful alabaster jars of essential oils which made them as important in the afterlife as they were to the living.
It has also been claimed that Cleopatra uses Essential Oils as part of her daily beauty regime. It is thought that oils played a large part in Cleopatra’s seduction of Mark Antony in her efforts to save her kingdom.
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