What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy uses a variety of essential oils to treat conditions. These oils can be inhaled or applied directly to the skin. It is important to choose a pure oil. Avoid fragrance or perfume oils, which often contain additives and may be less effective.

Aromatherapy can be helpful in managing anxiety, but it is not a substitute for seeing a healthcare professional.

Medicinal properties

Clinical aromatherapy uses essential oils to treat a variety of conditions. These oils are distilled from the seeds, barks, stems, leaves, needles, flowers, rinds and fruits, woods and resins, roots and rhizomes, and grasses of certain plants.

Aromatherapy has been used for thousands of years. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, advocated aromatic baths and scented massage. Later, in the third century, the first private apothecary shop opened in Baghdad, with tinctures, suppositories, and inhalants used as medicines.

Aromatherapy is a practice based on the claims that certain scents can improve psychological well-being and promote physical health. Inhaling the scents of essential oils is believed to directly affect the central nervous system. However, this theory has not been proven. Studies have shown that the chemicals in essential oils are absorbed by the skin and may interact with the body’s hormone systems. They can cause mood changes, such as a decrease in anxiety and an increase in alertness.


Aromatherapy involves the use of fragrant plant oils in a diffuser or applied directly to the skin. It is generally considered to be safe, but caution is required in the use of undiluted oils on infants, children and the elderly or those with serious health conditions. It is also important to note that plant oils can be toxic if ingested, so all oils should never be swallowed or applied to the skin without first consulting with a trained aromatherapist or other healthcare professional.

Several studies have reported the beneficial effects of essential oils on psychological stress and anxiety, and functional imaging studies show that odors can affect limbic areas of the brain associated with emotions and behaviors. However, there is limited data on the safety of individual aromatherapy oils, interactions between different oils and impacts on medications.

Ingestion of some oils may be harmful, and repeated exposure to lavender and tea tree oil has been shown to cause reversible prepubertal gynecomastia. Additionally, some oils can cause phototoxicity, and some should not be used during pregnancy.


Aromatherapy is a safe and effective alternative to pharmaceuticals for many symptoms. It has been used for thousands of years, and the evidence supporting its use is strong. However, most published studies have focused on the psychological effects of aromatherapy as a stress reliever and anxiolytic agent.

When inhaled, the molecules of an aromatherapy oil travel to the olfactory bulb, where they stimulate brain cells. The amygdala then triggers an emotional response, and the hippocampus retrieves and forms memories. The olfactory stimulation also affects the limbic system, which regulates emotions and controls behavior. The oils are usually diluted with a carrier, such as coconut oil or olive oil. Several studies have shown that the essential oil Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) is effective in treating herpes, abscesses, cold sores and blisters. It is also useful in rashes, eczema, psoriasis and dandruff. It has been used in tuberculosis, cough, bronchitis and asthma and to treat respiratory associated problems.


Aromatherapy is an alternative treatment that uses extracts from certain plants to improve your mood, sleep and anxiety. These oils are called essential oils. They come from flowers, herbs and trees. They can be sprayed or massaged into your skin. You can also inhale them through an oil diffuser or put them into a bath.

Unlike other complementary therapies, aromatherapy has been clinically evaluated. A few studies have shown that it may be helpful for some patients. However, it should not replace your medical treatment.

To use clinical aromatherapy, start by identifying the symptoms you want to manage. Then, identify a preoutcome and a postoutcome measurement tool for each symptom. Next, find an aromatherapy champion to lead the program. This person should be able to identify and educate nurses and other staff members. Finally, develop a policy and procedure manual to guide your aromatherapy program. This will ensure that the program meets the facility’s guidelines and can be administered safely.