The History of Essential Oils

While Target and Walmart (and just about everyone else) is busy adding essential oils to their shelves and order forms, there is a real (and deep-hello three wise men) history with essential oils. I know they are trendy right now, I know your sisters Aunt-in-law is trying to sell them to you, and I know that it might seem far fetched that a little drop from a bottle could (gasp!) actually work. I get it.

What I also get, though, is that for four years while in doctorate school and for the three years since I have been out of school, I have experienced, researched, and tested these magic little snakes oils. It’s not fair to say that I was never a believer but it is fair to say that I had zero clue about their potential…until I did.

In my manuscript for school I wrote about my study on anxiety. I studied how essential oils reduce anxiety and how anyone can use them to help reduce their anxiety. These results were statistically significant! And a bonus? They reduced the blood pressure of my study participants as well. So, ya, they work and I have a 28 page manuscript to show it.

I wanted to dive a little deeper into the historical and societal perspective of essential oils and for the rest of the blog post I will be referring to them as EO’s (because I feel lazy right now :P). Below is a direct excerpt from my manuscript that I wrote (and is published BTW-Yasss Queen emoji please:)) so it’s going to sound like a more sophisticated me but that’s just because for four years I had to pretend that I didn’t say things like shizzz and wear sweatpants, and not refer to the yasss queen emoji (lol). Lezzz do this… P.S. this is Copyrighted info, soooo…

The use of essential oils dates back to thousands of years and was originally part of herbal medicine (Buckle, 2003). Aromatherapy has some history in almost every part of the world. To date, the oldest use of essential oils can be found in Iraq which were discovered next to a skeleton dating back 60,000 years (Buckle, 2003). Areas around the world that historically used EO’s for perfume, healing and a form of medicine include France, Egypt, China, India,Tibet, Greece, Arabia, Europe, and the Native America.

As the modern drug development boomed, the use of essential oils decreased and by 1910, almost all of the education of EO medicinal benefits were removed from medical schools (Buckle, 2010). It is interesting to note that synthetic versions of essential oils were being manufactured at this time. Willow bark turned in to aspirin and foxglove became digitalis.

The French in the early 1900s continued research on EOs, which has allowed us in the modern day to revisit the use of EOs in our current health care system (Buckle, 2003). With the staggering amount of injured and reported deaths from traditional medications, more and more people are looking toward alternative means to traditional health care. This is possibly why aromatherapy is the fastest growing of all complimentary therapies (Buckle, 2003). Essential oils have found their way back in to the health care system with more support from the nursing community as new evidence based research becomes available. In fact, essential oils are becoming so mainstream in nursing that the American Journal of Nursing (AJN) highlighted their use and benefits in the nursing world and even offer continuing education (CEU) credits for education on essential oils in nursing.

Did you guys read that part about EO’s being found 60,000 years ago?! Mind blown. And in the past 60,000 years these oils have had a serious impact on societies. And because it’s Christmas time, I believe it is only fair to remind you that sweet little baby Jesus was gifted, not one, but 2 essential oils- good ol’ Frankincense and his companion, Myrrh, right along side gold. If that’s not special, I don’t know what it.

I found it also funny that instead of teaching medical providers about EOs and their amazingness that they just created synthetic versions of them, and then bad talked oils as if the digoxin they were prescribing wasn’t just that. I digress.

The bottom line is this; these puppies date farther back than I can even fathom, your sister’s Aunt-in-law is totally on to something, these oils are being heavily researched in places like John’s Hopkins, Vanderbilt & Duke University, you better believe that your local hospital already has EO’s in their possession, and oils from Target, Walmart, or pretty much anywhere are worthless and a waste of money (If you don’t know now you know). Those Universities I was rattling off five seconds ago? They use dōTERRA. Why? Because dōTERRA is medical based, science based and the only Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils on the market. And I am just going to go ahead and drop my mic right here ;).

In good health,

Oils used in my study: Frankincense, AromaTouch, Lavender, Bergamot

P.S. Frank is free this month with a 200 PV purchase. Email me with questions at

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