The Development of Aromatherapy Alternative Medicine in Islamic Civilization

"Before Western scientists got their hands in aromatherapy, the Islamic scientists had already researched and developed aromatherapy as an alternative medicine. Islamic scientists have invented a distillation tool to produce essential oils. For the reasons, not a few European scientists recognize the roles of Islamic scientists in aromatherapy "

Published by : Farida  -  20/07/2022 13:04 WIB

3 Minutes read.

Alternative medicine using aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years. Most of the existing references reveal that the development of aromatherapy was carried out by scientists from Europe. In fact, long before the development in Europe, aromatherapy has been developed and used by Islamic scientists.

Sumber: islamtoday.id

Quoted from kumparan.com, alternative aromatherapy treatments have begun to be developed by Islamic scientists in the 7th century AD. At that time, many Muslim chemists were trying to extract plant essences. 

As a result, in the 9th century AD, a chemist named Yakub Al-Kindi published a book entitled Perfume Chemistry and Distillation. The book discussed the capacity of the chemist to create various types of essential oils.

Sumber: www.zbrushcentral.com

Described on the sacredtreetraditions.com page, in his book, Al-Kindi wrote more than 100 recipes for perfume, aromatic water, and several substitutes for medicines. It also describes 107 methods for making aromatherapy perfumes.

Western historian, Marlene Ericken once affirmed that Islamic civilization was the forerunner of modern aromatherapy. According to Marlene, water vapor distillation was first discovered by Ibn Sina, the leading Muslim doctor of his time.

Sumber: darunnajah.com

Ibn Sina invented a circular pipe system which in the process produced water vapor from plants, then the steam was cooled more effectively. Using such a device, the concentration of essential oils is easier to take.

In addition to Ibn Sina, Jabir Ibn Hayyan also created the technology of refining essential oils from various plants and flowers.

In the 13th century AD, a Muslim doctor named Al-Samarqandi began to develop aromatherapy as a medical treatment. Al-Samarqandi performs various medicinal practices ranging from aromatic baths, aromatic powders, to using steam with the fragrance of various flowers. Al-Samarqandi is known to be able to treat ear infections and sinusitis using aromatherapy.

In the heyday of Islam, Ibn al-Baitar (1188-1248), a scientist and botanist recorded thousands of plants, food, and medicine. Even al-Baitar was able to explain the chemical content information in rose water and orange juice in detail.

Based on al-Baitar’s information, at that time there was already technology to make shurub (now commonly called syrup). The ingredients used are similar when making essential oils, ranging from flowers and plants.

Modern Aromatherapy Treatment

Based on the facts above, it can be said that Islamic civilization became one of the civilizations that helped develop and shape science about the use of herbs, especially for aromatherapy.

Sumber: herstory.co.id

According to the stadlerform.com page, aromatherapy is now considered a phytotherapy or healing using plants. Aromatherapy is believed to be able to improve fitness and cure disease.

Over the last 30 years or so, aromatherapy treatment has increased in popularity due to a lot of scientific research that proves the effectiveness of aromatherapy. In addition, unlike in the past where aromatherapy tended to be for the nobles, now almost everyone can access aromatherapy so that there are more and more users.

Now aromatherapy is more popularly considered as a way to improve body fitness. Modern tools such as nebulizers, diffusers, and aromatherapy candles are commonly used for relaxation, improving sleep quality, easing breathing, reducing nausea, and relieving pain.