AILMENTS

An ailment is a particular abnormal condition, a disorder of a structure or function, that affects part or all of an organism. The study of disease is called pathology which includes the causal study of etiology. Disease is often construed as a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors such as pathogens, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions particularly of the immune system such as an immunodeficiency, or a hypersensitivity including allergies and autoimmunity.

In humans, ailments often refer to any condition that causes pain, dysfunction, distress, social problems, or death to the person afflicted, or similar problems for those in contact with the person. In this broader sense, it sometimes includes injuries, disabilities, disorders, syndromes, infections, isolated symptoms, deviant behaviors, and atypical variations of structure and function, while in other contexts and for other purposes these may be considered distinguishable categories. Diseases can affect people not only physically, but also emotionally, as contracting and living with a disease can alter the affected person's perspective on life.

A Home remedy is defined as a simply prepared medication or tonic often of unproven effectiveness administered without prescription or professional supervision. Home remedies may or may not have medicinal properties that treat or cure the disease or ailment in question. Every civilization defines, views and applies its home remedies differently. Historic cookbooks are frequently full of remedies for dyspepsia, fevers, and female complaints.

The use of essential oils for therapeutic, spiritual, hygienic and ritualistic purposes goes back to a number of ancient civilizations including the Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans who used them in cosmetics, perfumes and drugs. Oils are described by Dioscorides, along with beliefs of the time regarding their healing properties, in his De Materia Medica, written in the first century. Distilled essential oils have been employed as medicines since the invention of distillation in the eleventh century, when Avicenna isolated essential oils using steam distillation.

The concept of aromatherapy was first mooted by a small number of European scientists and doctors, in about 1907.In 1937, the word first appeared in print in a French book on the subject: Aromathérapie: Les Huiles Essentielles, Hormones Végétales by René-Maurice Gattefossé, a chemist. An English version was published in 1993. In 1910, Gattefossé burned a hand very badly and later claimed he treated it effectively with lavender oil. A French surgeon, Jean Valnet, pioneered the medicinal uses of essential oils, which he used as antiseptics in the treatment of wounded soldiers during World War II.

There is much scepticism concerning the treatment of ailments with medicinal herbs and essential oils. Many millions of people use them every day and can attest to their effectiveness. The medical profession refer to it as an 'alternative medicine', yet believe, based on their studies, which are financed by the pharmaceutical industry, that there is no alternative to the chemical and sometimes toxic remedies they offer, as many patients who have been told “There is nothing more we can do for you” can attest to.

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