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History of Aromatherapy 芳香療法的歷史

 

 

The history of aromatherapy is reputed to date back as far as 6000 years, although the term aromatherapy ("aroma" meaning fragrance, and "therapy" meaning treatment) wasn’t coined until the 20th Century.
 

The ancient Chinese, Greeks, Romans and Egyptians all used aromatherapy oils.

 

芳香植物應用在傳統醫學的歷史相當悠久。傳說中,中醫學起源於“神農嚐百草”,中醫經典「神農本草經」記載著許多對植物運用的智慧,是現代藥草學家的指南。而明朝李時珍編撰的「本草綱目」則記載了兩千多種藥材與八千多種配方,直到今天,仍被中醫視為 養生、治療疾病的重要參考資料。另外,在印度持續使用5000年的阿輸吠陀療法(它亦是  世上最古老的醫書Vedas吠陀經)中,也記載了許多芳香植物使用在宗教及醫療上的用途,但是在歷史上真正首度廣泛使用精油的證據可以追溯到古埃及時代。

 

 


The ancient Egyptians used plants for religious rituals; it was believed that certain smells could raise higher consciousness or promote a state of tranquility. They used the fragrant oils from plants (essential oils) for embalming. Oils such as myrrh, frankincense, cinnamon, cedarwood, and juniper berry are all known to have been used in the mummification process to preserve the bodies of their loved ones in preparation for the after-life.

 

西元前3000年 上古埃及


As time went on, the Egyptians continued to refine their use of aromatics in medicine, cosmetics, incense and perfumes.

 


The ancient Chinese were using some form of aromatherapy at or around the same time as the Egyptians. They used herbs and burned aromatic woods and incense to show their respect to God. The oldest surviving medical book in China, (dated around 2,700BC and written by Shen Nung, contains cures involving over three hundred different aromatic herbs.


The Greeks continued the use of aromatic oils. They used them for medicines and cosmetics. Aromatherapy came of age when they took medicine into a new light 2000 years ago. The earliest known Greek physician was Asclepius who practiced around 1200 BC combining the use of herbs and surgery with previously unrivalled skill. His reputation was so great that after his death he was deified as the god of healing in Greek mythology.


Hypocrites (400 BC), who was commonly known as the "Father of Medicine", was the first to study essential oils' effects. He believed that a daily aromatic bath and scented massage would promote good health.


Theophrastus, a physician, wrote of the healing properties of "aromatic" plants. For at least 1200 years, a book written by a Greek physician named Pedacius Dioscorides about herbal medicine was the Western world's standard medical reference. Many of the remedies he mentions are still used in Aromatherapy today.

 

西元前460~377年   希臘‧羅馬

 

The Romans built upon the knowledge of the Egyptians and Greeks and became well known for scented baths followed by aromatic oil massage.

 

希臘人承襲了古埃及的藥草醫學,持續深入的研究,並產生許多新的發現。希臘人已了解哪些植物能提振精神、哪些植物使人昏昏欲睡。『醫學之父』希波克拉底 (Hippocrates,西元前460-377年)運用系統組織的方式分類及索引,將傳承至古埃及的知識,用科學的方式解析了三百多種藥草,記載成冊,成為藥草醫學重要的經典。希臘人狄歐斯科里德(Dioscorides),終其一生完成五本『藥材醫學論』紀錄500種藥用知識及使用方法。而在羅馬宮廷採用了許多西臘人作為御用醫生,植物精油的知識隨即傳入羅馬。蓋林(Galen)運用他在醫學、解剖學、生理學的想法,依照植物的醫藥功能,將植物分門別類,即為現在『蓋林分類法』。這幾本在中古世紀完成的不朽著作,翻譯成多種語言,並隨著戰爭及文化交流傳向了東方世界。

 

 

It was during the 19th century that scientists in Europe began researching the effects of essential oils on bacteria in humans.

Rene Maurice Gattefossé, a French chemist, began research into the healing powers of essential oils in the early 1900’s after he accidentally burned his hand in his laboratory. On reflex, he immersed his burned hand in the closest liquid which happened to be lavender oil. He was quite impressed by how quickly the burn healed without infection and with no visible scar. Gattefossé is credited with coining the word "aromatherapy".

As a result of Gattefossé’s experiments, Dr. Jean Valet used essential oils to treat the injured soldiers during world war two with great success.

Since then, there has been numerous studies and books published on aromatherapy and the healing powers of essential oils.  

 

 


The late 1970’s / early 1980’s brought about the use of essential oils and aromatherapy as a major part of alternative and holistic healing across the world.

 

 

 

十到十一世紀    東方世界的傳承


在羅馬帝國滅亡後,需多醫書典籍,隨著流亡的醫生,傳到了東方世界。在君士坦丁堡翻譯成阿拉伯文,經過時空的文化交流,古希臘羅馬建立起的醫學知識,在阿拉伯世界廣泛的流傳著。阿拉伯歷史上最偉大的醫生阿維森納(Avicenne)的『醫典』記錄了八百種以上的植物及對人體的效用,他最偉大的貢獻是在十一世紀,發明了蒸餾精油的技術,使得精油的品質及萃取的技術更趨於完整。
 


十二世紀    十字軍東征

 


在十二世紀,透過十字軍東征的騎士們,將蒸餾技術及阿拉伯香水帶回歐洲,為歐洲黑暗時期注入一股新興曙光。為衍飾身體的臭味及保持心情愉悅,將香水及藥品隨身攜帶已成為這個時代的習慣。在瘟疫和黑死病流行的十四世紀,人們將花瓣和藥草灑在路上,而且隨處可見公共場所掛著香包和芳香花草,用腳踩踏擠出花草汁,作為殺死病毒、防止蚊蟲滋長、杜絕傳染病的方式。在工業革命時代,世界各地的科學快速的興起,使得化學合成藥物大量出現,並成為醫藥學的主流配方,在大量製造便宜簡易的合成草藥蓬勃發展的時候,卻發現了人工合成藥的副作用(例如:當時使用水銀/汞來治療梅毒,然而水銀/汞卻有極為可怕的副作用,它會讓病人不斷地流口水、牙齒鬆動、全身顫抖、甚至癱瘓,雖然有些梅毒病人真的就此痊癒,可是許多病人卻因此送命),這使人們從新審視傳統天然植物精油的重要性,在這波回歸自然的潮流之下,許多科學家著手研究精油的特性與功效。
 
 
西元1920年   雷內‧摩莉斯‧蓋特佛塞(René Maurice Gattefossé)


化妝品科學家 雷內‧摩莉斯‧蓋特佛塞 ,在一次的實驗的爆炸意外中,不幸灼傷了手,因為身旁剛好有薰衣草精油,直接使用浸入其中,發現疼痛感消除了,並且傷口復原的狀況良好,沒有留下任何疤痕。於是在1928年,首次提出了『芳香療法Aromatherapy』,並且在第一次世界大戰的時候,得到許多臨床上的証實,在法國的到熱烈的迴響,也吸引了更多科學家加入研究。除了身體的療效,在長期精神疾病上也有了成功的臨床經驗。另外兩位芳療先師;加提(Gatti)和開久拉 (Cajola)透過吸嗅法,釋放病患的記憶與情感,也證實精油對心理治療上的效果。
 


西元1950年   馬格利特‧摩利(Marguerite Maury)


倫敦的保養專家 馬格利特‧摩利 首度將芳香療法,結合她所熟悉的臉部、身體按摩手技加上獨創的脊椎按摩術,針對病患的心理需求及症狀選擇適合的植物精油。從此之後,芳香療法有了新的轉變,不僅在英國奠定了深厚的基礎,並將觸角擴展到輔助醫療和整體醫療上。
 

 


近 代   自然療法

民間已普遍的使用芳香療法,而各地政府及學院也陸續將芳香療法視為一們正式學科,很多私人的診所、醫院、療養院等也使用這種整體治療法來輔助人們恢復健康。
 

 

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