Tuesday February 19, 2019 By: Alexandra Kinias
Along the banks of the Nile, where the great Egyptian civilization flourished, substantial historic evidence indicates that essential oils and herbal medicines were discovered, developed and used in Egypt over 5,000 years ago. Ancient Egyptians used essential oils, aromatic incense and perfume in their everyday lives for medicinal, religious and cosmetic purposes. In ancient Egyptian mythology, the lotus flower essence was even believed to help in the resurrection.
Over several dynasties ancient Egyptians refined their use to become the leaders of this industry, thus establishing the foundation of aromatherapy, which continued to evolve until today, by following the same methodologies the ancient Egyptians discovered and practiced.
Following in the footsteps of her ancestors, Egyptian American Aromatherapist Raghda Abdel Maksoud founded Ebers Consultancy to revive the traditional ancient Egyptian aromatherapy and herbal medicine, to become more accessible and used. Her journey with aromatherapy started when she was exploring business development options in essential oils for one of her clients. “Aromatherapy was one of the huge industries using essential oils. After studying the introduction level, I fell in love with it. It was a life changing experience for me, and since then I became very interested and involved in the field of aromatherapy,” Maksoud explained.
With more than 20 years’ experience in the field of essential oils, flavors and fragrance industry, Maksoud’s journey to learn about essential oils and their origins, included extensive travels to the most exotic places. In 2016, she founded her small business for Aromatherapy Consulting and Education.
Maksoud named her business after the Ebers Papyrus, one of the oldest preserved medical documents in history and best-preserved record of ancient Egyptian medicine. The Ebers Papyrus was purchased in Luxor by Georg Ebers in 1873-74. It dates back to 1500 BC t(believed to be a copy of a much older one). The Papyrus is 110 pages scroll, 20 meters (65 feet) long, is kept at the library of the University of Leipzig in Germany. It contains about 700 remedies and treatments for the body, skin and mind, the largest record of ancient Egyptian medicine in known existence.It also includes remedies extracted from myrrh, marjoram, olibanum, jasmine, rose, cardamom, cinnamon, lemongrass, almond, and other botanical oils. The papyrus also documents that Egyptians used 21 different types of vegetable oils for cosmetic purposes—most of them are still used today in the manufacture of natural products.
Including the development of aromatherapy in Egypt, it was also there that the first distillation of essential oils (dating back to 3500 B.C.) was done. “Today, essential oils are still used around the world to harmonize and enhance many physical and mental ailments. It is used in hospitals in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium to complement conventional treatments. Alternative use remains an exception. In France, the inclusion of aromatherapy in hospital protocols is still at a very preliminary stage,” Maksoud added.
Building upon the science, knowledge and experience in this field, Maksoud is also an Advanced Certified Professional Clinical Aromatherapist from The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). She launched two brands of aromatherapy and essential oils industries in the USA, and she is also an active speaker in conferences and webinars, in addition to serving as NAHA Director in Egypt. With her consultancy business in the field, she aims to create new business opportunities for a lot of people, “Aromaterapists can work individually, in clinics with doctors, and with companies producing and selling essential oils,” she added.
Maksoud believes it is important for people to learn more about and the use of aromatherapy and essential oils as they are “nature’s gift” and the solution to many problems that pollution, poor nutrition and stress have added to our lives. “It is proven by clinical studies that using essential oils and aromatherapy helps to reduce stress, depression, headaches and migraines and muscle and joint inflammation. In addition to using it myself, I have also helped my family and friends to ease several health conditions using aromatherapy.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, “clinical trials of aromatherapy have studied its use in the treatment of anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and other health-related conditions in cancer patients.” According to the same study published on the NCI website, inhaling essential oils has helped patients with acute leukemia, going through intensive chemotherapy treatment, to improve their “sleep, tiredness, drowsiness, lack of appetite, depression, anxiety, and well-being. Also, topical creams made of blends of essential oil has improved ranged of motion, mobility and improved the balance of patients with knee, elbow and wrist arthritis.
As a Clinical certified aromatherapist, Maksoud is also keen to raise awareness and educate people about the benefits of Essential oils and Aromatherapy, and to safely use them in various applications. Through her company, she offers workshops and seminars to introduce aromatherapy as well as its use for women health, stress management, skin care, boosting the immune system, and other. Moreover, Maksoud is planning to launch Ebres products in July 2019, “as there are more than 700 essential oils, I am sourcing them from different parts of the world, production and testing are done in USA,” she concluded.
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