Aromatherapy and Essential Oils

Alban Integrative Practitioner Modalities

SECTIONS

Overview

  • Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants (flowers,herbs, or trees) as therapy to improve physical, emotional, andspiritual well-being (see Question 1).
  • Patients with cancer use aromatherapy mainly to improve theirquality of life, such as reducing stress and anxiety (see Question 1).
  • Aromatherapy may be combined with other complementarytreatments as well as with standard treatments for symptom management (see Question 1).
  • Essential oils like Roman chamomile, geranium, lavender, orcedarwood are the basic materials of aromatherapy (seeQuestion 1).
  • Interest in aromatherapy grew in the late 20th century as a form of complementary medicine (see Question 2).
  • Aromatherapy may work by sending chemical messages to the part of the brain that affects moods and emotions (see Question 3).
  • Essential oils are most often used by inhaling them or by applying them in dilutedform to the skin (see Question 4).
  • Laboratory studies and animal studies have shown that certain essential oils haveantibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, calming, or energizing effects (see Question 5).
  • Aromatherapy research with cancer patients has mainly studied its effect on other health conditions and quality-of-life issues such as cancer-related symptoms, stress, and anxiety. There are no studies discussing aromatherapy as a treatment for cancer (see Question 6).
  • Safety testing on essential oils has found very few bad side effects. Lavender andtea tree oils have been found to have some hormone -like effects (see Question 7).
  • Aromatherapy products do not need approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because no specific medical claims are made (see Question 8).