Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oils

Plant as Potential Resources for Efficacious Essential Oils: Underpinning Aromatherapy Evolution

Author(s): Pragati Misra*, Ghanshyam Pandey, Shambhavi Pandey, Atul Singh, Arun K. Chaurasia, Eugenia P. Lal, Shikha Agnihotry, Ajeet Kumar Srivastav and Pradeep Kumar Shukla

Pp: 31-63 (33)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815136203124010006

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The basis of healthcare has been medicinal plants from the dawn of humanity. For over 4000 years, people have carefully documented and passed down through generations the various ways in which these have been utilized. The Indian Vedic literature, which dates to roughly 2000 BC, contains a list of around 700 compounds. Cinnamon, spikenard, ginger, myrrh, coriander, and sandalwood are a few of these. Since ancient times, aromatic plant parts and oils have been used for their therapeutic and culinary characteristics, as well as to produce incense, perfumes, cosmetics, and for incense sticks. Ritual use was widespread in early cultures, where it served both sacred and therapeutic objectives that were intricately intertwined. Since prehistoric times, plant essential oils have been utilized in foods, aromatherapy, perfumes, cosmetics, spices, and alimentation. They have also been applied in other medical procedures and phytotherapy. In the current era of pharmaceutical science, interest in herbal medicines has grown relative to conventional or synthetic treatments because they are more affordable, more widely accepted, compatible with human physiology, and have fewer adverse effects. The medicinal properties and applications of an expanding number of emerging essential oils have been researched and documented by pharmacists. The interest in analysing their bioactivity has progressed owing to their widespread use, particularly the recently investigated antibacterial, antioxidant, anticancer, and antidiabetic effects. The traditional Indian or Ayurvedic system of medicine, as well as other ecumenical customary systems, would be transformed if plant predicated knowledge were to be incorporated. The uses of numerous plants for therapeutic, medical, aesthetic, psychological, olfactory, massage, aromatherapy, and other associated issues are examined in this chapter.

Keywords: Aromatherapy, Bioactivity, Essential oils, Medicinal plants, Phytotherapy.

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