What Is Aromatherapy?


Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses essential oils to help people relax. It is not a cure for any disease, but it may make some conditions less painful. It can also be used to soothe anxiety and depression.

Before using aromatherapy, make sure the oils are pure and free of contaminants. They should be stored in dark-colored glass bottles to protect them from light and heat.

It is a form of alternative medicine

Aromatherapy uses scented essential oils to promote relaxation and mental health. Typically, the scents are inhaled or placed on the skin through lotions and bath salts. The oils can be used to help with stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Many people also use aromatherapy for chronic pain, like from arthritis or headaches.

Some studies have found that aromatherapy can improve mood, reduce pain, and decrease nausea in hospitalized patients. But, it’s important to consult with your doctor before trying this therapy. It can interfere with some medical treatments and cause side effects.

Hundreds of years ago, Hippocrates believed that aromatic baths were beneficial for healthy living. Then, a French chemist named RenA(c)-Maurice Gattefosse burned his hands in an accident at work and discovered that wound rinsing with lavender oil alleviated the pain. This led to the development of clinical aromatherapy. It is a holistic and complementary medicine practice that has gained credence among nursing theorists.

It is safe

Aromatherapy is safe if it’s used properly, and a trained aromatherapist can help you choose the right oils and methods for your needs. The therapist will also instruct you on how to dilute the oils and apply them. Avoid taking any essential oils by mouth, and only use undiluted oil on your skin if it’s been diluted with a carrier oil. Look for pure, high-quality oils that have been properly harvested and stored in dark-colored glass bottles.

A reputable aromatherapist will recommend that you avoid some oils and techniques, especially if you have certain medical conditions. Some oils may interact with medications, including some herbal supplements and prescription drugs. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also consult a doctor before using essential oils. Also, some oils can cause allergic reactions or make you more sensitive to sunlight.

It is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration

Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils (from plants) to improve emotional and physical well-being. The most commonly used oils are lavender, chamomile, and peppermint. They can be inhaled or applied to the skin through a diffuser or vaporizer. They can also be added to bath salts or lotions. Aromatherapy has been shown to relieve stress and anxiety in cancer patients. It can also help with nausea and vomiting, critical care, and general symptom management.

However, it is important for nurses to understand the risks of aromatherapy. It may have negative side effects, including skin irritation and sun sensitivity. It can also interfere with the function of some medications.

Before implementing an aromatherapy program, nurses should first seek buy-in from major stakeholders. They should also consult a best practice model for clinical aromatherapy. A good starting point is the Mayo Clinic’s aromatherapy program. The hospital has several clinical aromatherapy rooms and a comprehensive policy on its use.

It can have side effects

Aromatherapy is not regulated, and the oils used in it can have side effects, such as allergic reactions or skin irritation. Before starting aromatherapy, consult a healthcare provider to see if it is safe for you. They will be able to answer your questions and help you choose the right oils for your needs.

A variety of health issues can be treated with aromatherapy, including stress and anxiety. Lavender and chamomile can reduce anxiety by lowering activation of the nervous system. However, it is important to note that this type of anxiety can also be a sign of other health conditions.

Some studies show that aromatherapy can improve mood and alleviate some symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. But some studies conclude that it doesn’t work, and other results are mixed. It’s best to discuss your treatment options with a healthcare provider who is familiar with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). They will be able to help you understand the latest research on aromatherapy and how it might benefit you.