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Home Page > Aromatherapy Articles & Guides > Essential Oil and Aromatherapy Introductory Guides and Articles > Aromatherapy Is Science Based

Aromatherapy is Science Based: It is Not a Gimmick

Comment from AromaWeb Visitor:

On behalf of AromaWeb, I receive many interesting and unique emails. I don't keep track of how many emails that I receive or reply to, but with several million visits to AromaWeb a year, I'm sure you can get an idea. Most emails are from individuals that have sincere, genuine aromatherapy questions.

The other evening, I received an intriguing email that was quite negative and naive in some ways, but it makes the basis for an interesting article.

I won't quote his email or use his name. Essentially, his rant indicated that he "tried" essential oils, claimed that it was "a gimmick just like religion" and he claimed that there was no science to support aromatherapy. He did not provide any indication of what he meant by "trying essential oils."

My Response:

Holistic aromatherapy is based in science. Some spiritual and other applications of essential oils are certainly esoteric, but many therapeutic applications can be validated by research.

Essential oils consist of the natural chemical constituents found in plants. Due to these chemical constituents, many essential oils, for example, are antibacterial and antiviral, Some essential oils like lavender and roman chamomile consist of constituents that act as mild sedatives. It's the natural essential oil in chamomile, for instance, that gives chamomile tea its ability to promote relaxation in some individuals. The natural oil is released when the chamomile buds are infused into the hot water. A number of products that you use every day likely do include essential oils or their constituents...

Listerine, as a singular product example that has been around for more than a century, contains antimicrobial constituents found in Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Thyme essential oils. I believe it was originally invented and used to sterilize surgical equipment.

You mentioned that you "tried" aromatherapy, but didn't touch on what your trial entailed, so I'm not able to offer possible feedback about that. Sadly, a number of uneducated individuals exist that promote aromatherapy inaccurately and give it a bad name by making misleading claims. That is what lead to my starting AromaWeb 18 years ago.

Without knowing more about your "trial," I'm guessing that one or more of the following issues were inappropriate in your situation: (a) the method of application that was used, (b) the choice in essential oils, (c) your expectations or possible misunderstanding as to the results you would achieve, and/or (d) any promises that were made to you by a salesperson or misleading site/book about the specific results that you could achieve.

I do sense that you are determined to hold a negative opinion regardless of my response, so I'll stop here. I do hope that you do find this response helpful. However, please understand that I do not have the time or desire to engage in an email debate.

Wishing you the best on your personal journey.

For More Information...

For more general information, read AromaWeb's article entitled Is All the Hype About Aromatherapy and Essential Oils True?

For those interested in pursuing the fascinating realm of essential oil chemistry, consider the books categorized and described within AromaWeb's Books area and/or enroll in a reputable aromatherapy course. You can view listings of holistic aromatherapy educators by visiting AromaWeb's Aromatherapy Schools and Educators Directory.



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Wendy Robbins (Cert. Aroma ACHS), Founder of AromaWeb, is a Professional Level Member of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.

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