What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is part of complementary therapy that applies the use of essential oils to improve both the physical and emotional wellbeing of all individuals. The use of certain essential oils are not appropriate for everyone, more so if you have:
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- sensitive skin
- some types of cancer.
How well does aromatherapy work?
The scientific evidence for how well aromatherapy works varies and more research is needed. Here are some of the health conditions and circumstances that have been studied.
- Anxiety. There have been studies in patients undergoing treatment in the hospital to see if aromatherapy can help to relieve stress and anxiety. Lavender oil has been studied to see if it can help people with anxiety disorders. The research suggests that aromatherapy may help relieve anxiety but more studies are needed.
- Depression. Aromatherapy may be useful for depression, but there isn’t enough information from the current research to know.
- Cancer. Aromatherapy may possibly help to reduce any pain and anxiety you have in the short term, but more research is needed.
- Dementia. The research has looked at whether or not aromatherapy can help improve symptoms such as agitation and quality of life for people with dementia. The results of this research are mixed.
- Labour pain. Research has considered if aromatherapy can help with pain during labour. While some women find aromatherapy helpful during labour, the evidence to show it works is limited.
- Sleep. Some research has found that aromatherapy can help improve your quality of sleep but the evidence is weak.
- Feeling sick after surgery. Feeling sick or vomiting is common after surgery under general anaesthesia and some people have used aromatherapy to address this. But more research is needed to show if aromatherapy can help.
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