Les plantes aromatiques au fil des âges

Aromatic plants throughout the ages

Jan 04, 2024

In all parts of the globe, civilizations have shown a clear interest in aromatic plants in medicine , cooking, cosmetology and perfumery.

In the Middle-East

4000 BC the Sumerians were already using aromatic and medicinal plants (Acore, Cedar, Cypress, Fennel, Pine).

The Arabs, geographically located at the junction between the East and the West, monopolized the spice trade for a long time and actively participated in the techniques of distillation of essential oils .

In China

China can be considered the true homeland of spices, using aromatic plants such as cinnamon, pepper and ginger from the most ancient times to fight against epidemics . The Chinese used oleo-aromatic preparations for their massage .

In Greece

The turning point for herbal medicine in ancient Greece was the expedition of Alexander the Great who brought exotic plants (especially pepper, cinnamon and ginger ) from Egypt.

These aromatic plants were used in the therapy of the first doctors: Asclepiades . Thus juniper and laurel were used against epidemics.

During his conquest of Egypt, Alexander founded the famous port of Alexandria. This port became a key hub for the spice trade. It was enough for aromatherapy to spread throughout Greece.

The Romans

In his De Materia Medica, Dioscorides lists no less than 519 species of plants. Aromatic baths, lotions, ointments and perfumed creams were in daily use in Rome. This treatise will remain, for a millennium, a reference for Western medicine.

The Americas: the New World

The advanced civilizations of the Aztecs and Mayans were perfectly familiar with the use of aromatic vegetable drugs, styrax balms and copaiba, which they used as they were to cure infections and wounds.

Another civilization of the New World, the Incas also used embalming processes parallel to those of the Egyptians: immersion in a sea salt bath and impregnation with balms rich in aromatic derivatives.

aromatic plants


The most advanced civilization in the use of essential oils was Egypt during the prosperous period of the pharaohs. Through this medicine, it is Man as a whole that we strive to treat. Doctors treated both the body and the mind . Ancient medicine was a true science, linked to a transcendence of a sacred order.

The study of plants thus showed that there is no separation between the elements which constitute the universe:

  • Plants
  • the minerals
  • the animal
  • the man

The three kingdoms communicate and respond to each other .


India is certainly the only country in the world where the tradition has never been lost. The Indian continent is one of the regions in the world richest in aromatic plants: they have long been in the spotlight in the treatment of health disorders. With over 7,000 years of continuous practice, Ayurvedic medicine is the oldest form of medical practice known to man.

The Vedas, sacred books of India, mention more than seven hundred different spices such as

  • the Basilic
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • coriander
  • ginger
  • Sandalwood

In India plants are considered to be born of the gods ; herbs, roots and fruits are the hairs of “Brahma” , the creator.

Find here our Ayurvedic products for all types of ailments


The fall of the Roman Empire marked the beginning of a long period of decline in traditional knowledge. It was followed by the Middle Ages where science, witchcraft and magic intermingled closely.

Fortunately, knowledge of the properties of herbs was preserved by religious people who, thanks to their knowledge of Latin and Greek , passed on their knowledge. The Crusades increased relations with the East, brought exotic plants to the West, and played a role in the development of the science of perfumes .

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