Part 3: Historic Value of Essential Oils—India


The term “Ayurveda” combines the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). The Ayurvedic tradition was developed in India over the course of 5,000 years and is one of the oldest systems in the world. In fact, many of the Ayurvedic practices precede written text and were passed down by word of mouth. Today, the majority of the people in India follow the Ayurvedic tradition exclusively or combine it with Western practices.

The Ayurvedic practice stresses the use of the Earth’s elements to find balance in the body, and, in turn, good health. Ayurvedic physicians recommend individualized treatment plans that include the use of herbal mixtures. The original works describing this system and their protocols are still commonly used today. Although the methods vary widely, the Ayurvedic use of plant and aromatic compounds is currently taught in over 100 accredited universities in India. Emerging research is now being performed to validate many protocols rooted in this tradition.

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