HISTORY OF AROMATHERAPY USAGE
Ancient Egyptians were probably the first to use essential oils in a manner similar to what we do. They created distillation techniques to extract the oils from the various sources (trees, herbs, plants, etc) and used essential oils for medical, spiritual, and practical usages (embalming, etc.). Ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese and native cultures all utilized aromatherapy distillation processes in their medical explorations.
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 with impunity. When they were captured, they were given the option of telling the secret of the oils and being put to death quickly or not telling and being out to death…very slowly.
A French chemist and perfumer named Rene Maurice Gattefosse discovered lavender oil’s ability to assist in the healing of burns after immersing his burned hand into a vat of lavender oil.
During the the second World War, another pioneer named Jean Valet used oils in the treatment of wounded soldiers. To this day, scientists have continued their research into the usage of nature’s bounty as essential oils. Of course, people have shared the benefits of aromatherapy oils with their companion animals, with great success.
Recently, at the University of South Dakota, a student received her doctoral degree for pioneering work in ethnobotany, which examined veterinary essential oil use.
Oils have been shown to reduce anxiety and inflammation, fight infections by inhibiting bacteria, fungi and viruses from growing and soothe muscular aches and pains. Aromatherapy oils are also used to affect emotional changes, lessen stress, activate memory and much more…in people and their pets. Aromatherapy oils are powerful and must be used with caution. Dogs especially, have such heightened senses of smell, we must use discretion when using oils with them.
Plants cannot move and escape predators or disease, so they produce compounds that neutralize or repel pests and pathogens. Yeah, plants get stinky or prickly to repel threats! By using the natural defenses that plants have we can create healing substances for our (and our dogs) health and well-bring.
Essential oils are absorbed by inhalation, ingestion and contact with the skin. They enter the body and the blood stream and are distributed to various tissues very quickly. With a good working knowledge of what oils work for what you can start the support and healing process quickly with aromatherapy oils.
Aromatherapy oils and essential oils are essentially the same (bad pun). There is a lot of overuse of aromatherapy verbiage in advertising. Everything seems to be lavender this or that…I can almost guarantee that there is little or no REAL lavender in any of those products. We are talking about therapeutic grade oils, that are of a very high quality NOT the scent-only oils you find in most consumer products such as room fresheners, etc.
Calming Aromatherapy Oils
Here are a few calming oils that are great for use on your dogs (and yourself). If you have a good nose, you may recognize some of them in Relax!