Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils, fragrance oils, absolutes, carrier oils, and other fragrances from plants to affect someone's mood or health, and is commonly associated with alternative medicine.
One of the best known essential oils for aromatherapy is lavender, which is recommended by practitioners for treating wounds, to enhance memory and to aid sleep by combating anxiety and insomnia. Other popular scents include eucalyptus, rose, jasmine and bergamot.
While pleasant scents can make a room a nicer place to be in and therefore relaxing, lowering stress and related effects, there is no scientific basis at all for aromatherapy or any form of proof it does anything other than make a room smell nice. There are some that give a form of relief for the airways when having a cold or the flu, such as most citrus-based essential oils. While there is no scientific proof that essential oils cure diseases, many people have found great success in their usage.
Fragrances can have a relaxing effect measured as an increase in alpha brain waves.
While many essential oils have antimicrobial activity if applied directly, these effects are not related to aromatherapy where the mere smell is claimed to have medicinal properties.
Last updated: 05-07-2005 13:30:54
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04