History of Essential Oils & Healing

historical apothecary

Though many people are excitedly rediscovering essential oils, they have been used throughout history for medicinal purposes. There are over two hundred references in the Bible alone, regarding the use of essential oils, incense, ointments, and aromatics.

Here is a great essential oils timeline infographic.

Used medicinally in ancient Egypt, ancient Chinese/Indian culture, ancient Greek/Roman culture, during the European Middle Ages, and the Middle Eastern Golden Age, there is a great deal to be learned from antiquity on the use of essential oils in every day personal health care and healing.

“Forgotten and ignored for many years, essential oils are coming back into their own, for many researchers and for a large section of the public, as the stars of medicine. Although the powerful medicinal value of essential oils is only now being rediscovered by modern medical science, it has actually been known for centuries. In fact, essential oils were considered more valuable than gold by ancient cultures, due to their phenomenal healing properties…

…In recent years both doctors and the public have re-discovered the medical value of essential plant oils, but the idea of using their properties to maintain or regain health goes back to antiquity…The Romans had their knowledge of essential oils from the Greeks, who in turn had received it from the Egyptians…Hippocrates, for example, tackled the plague epidemic in Athens by fumigating the whole city with aromatic essences of plant oils. Later, in the 19th century it is known that perfumery distillation workers always showed an almost complete immunity during cholera outbreaks”

[Dr. Jean Valet, M.D. (1920-1995) ~ a physician and Army surgeon, began reintroducing natural treatments into the modern medical armoury in 1948, defining the therapeutic powers of essential oils on a more specific and scientific basis. At a time when medicine had almost totally turned its back on plants and herbal essences, he codified their indications and introduced useful dosages into medical practice. His overall body of work and his teaching, familiar to specialists around the world, earned him the accolade of “father of modern photo-aromatherapy”.]

black plague

One of the more dramatic essential oil history lessons goes like this:

During the Black Plague of the 17th century, a band of thieves were caught in the act and brought before the King, who forced them to divulge a most curious secret. The thieves had been entering the homes of plague victims, stripping the dead bodies of money, jewelry and anything of value that could be found. Though the plague was extremely contagious, not one of this band of thieves ever contracted the dreaded plague.

The King, eager to protect himself and the royal family, demanded to know how the thieves had avoided contracting the plague.

Soon enough the truth came out. The thieves were all members of the same family – a long lineage of Apothecaries.

M0001669 An apothecary (a man using pestle and mortar). Oil painting

Because of their intimate knowledge of the healing arts, passed down from generation to generation, they were familiar with a combination of specific plant oils that, when rubbed over the human body, would protect the body from contracting this most feared and deadly disease. The King forced the thieves to divulge the specific plant oils used, and the formula for extracting them from the plants. With that vital information in hand, he was thereby able to protect himself and his family from the deadly plague.

The recipe for the “thieves oils” can still be found in the Royal English Archives to this day. In fact, it is widely known that many perfume distillers and tanners in 17th century England were also able to escape the Black Plague because they were exposed in their daily work to the powerful plant oils used in the making of various perfumes and in the scenting of their leather goods. The plant oils they used exhibited phenomenal antimicrobial properties, and they were protected by these antimicrobial actions.

History further reveals that virtually the entire town of Bucklersbury, England was spared from the plague, even while the residents of other towns in close proximity were dying in droves. How were the residents of Bucklersbury spared? Historians believe it was no fluke. This fortunate town was the centre of the European lavender trade. Lavender is a plant the essential oil of which is widely used in making perfume. But more importantly, the oil of lavender has long been known to have powerful disease-fighting properties. In fact, recent scientific and medical research has proven that the essential oil of lavender has immune stimulating and antimicrobial properties that rival – and even surpass – many modern antiseptic chemicals and antibiotic drugs.*

* Biological activities of Lavender essential oil. 1. H.M.A. Cavanagh and 2. J.M. Wilkinson / Article first published JUN 2002.

Today, “Thieves” oil is a proprietary blend of pure essential oils tested at
Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, and found to have a
99.96 percent effective rate against airborne bacteria.

Find out how you can get authentic Thieves products for yourself and your home:   essentialoils.start@gmail.com OR visit Facebook page: Ounces Of Prevention

Thieves proprietary products

Thieves ingredients list

egyptian essential oils

“The use of essential oils dates back to ancient times, but there has never been a time when essential oils are more needed than today when contagious disease can be transported by jet aircraft around the world in hours. Fortunately, there are answers that provide a way for us to protect ourselves and our families from these dangers. Research has shown that with their immune-stimulating properties essential oils can dramatically enhance and support the building of the immune system, whether they are inhaled, rubbed on the body topically, or in some instances consumed orally.”

[Dr. Gary Young ~ pioneer researcher, developer, and expert on essential oils and their therapeutic uses, and leading producer of pure unadulterated therapeutic quality essential oils.]
03.04.2006 Diana E. Natalie Johnson
IMPORTANT: The information within this document was obtained from lectures and education which the author has received over the past two decades. It is not intended to prescribe or recommend a particular treatment or protocol, but rather, to empower the reader with knowledge that might help them to help themselves to better health naturally.

For further information on how to obtain the finest Essential Oils produced with utmost purity from seed to seal, contact Diana at:


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