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A term used for the treatment of illness and the maintenance of physical health by using essential oils distilled from plants such as chamomile, camphor, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, and eucalyptus. Such treatments were known in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and other civilizations. Early Arabian physicians developed the distillation of aromatic oils through experiments in alchemy.

The term aromatherapy originates from the writings of the French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, whose book Aromatherapie was published in 1928. Aromatherapy is simply more than a department of herbalism, since it postulates subtle energies of aromatic plants are related to the life force, which correlates to the ancient Chinese concepts of Yin and Yang. A.G.H.

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