Navigation Links
Aromatherapy Falls Short, Study Finds
Date:3/5/2008

It didn't heal wounds, relieve pain or boost immune status

WEDNESDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) -- Aromatherapy: It may smell good, but is it actually good for you?

Researchers are reporting that two of the most commonly used scents in aromatherapy do nothing to heal wounds, relieve pain or enhance immune status, although one did briefly improve mood.

In fact, in some cases, distilled water showed more of a salutary effect, the study found.

"Keep it in mind before spending a lot of money" on aromatherapy, said study lead author Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, director of the Division of Health Psychology at Ohio State University. "I buy perfume, because I like the smell. If you enjoy the smell, that's one thing, but don't buy perfume because you expect to change your physiology or to really influence your health."

The study results are published online in the April issue of the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Used for thousands of years in countries such as India and Egypt, aromatherapy has many adherents who say the concentrated oils extracted from flowers improve health and emotional well-being, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Despite its widespread use, there's little scientific data on the effectiveness of the therapy, the study authors stated.

"This is by far the largest and most comprehensive study of actual physiological outcomes," Kiecolt-Glaser said. "There are different perspectives on why odors should work in terms of changing physiology, if they do. A lot of aromatherapy literature thinks of it as a drug-specific mechanism." In other words, that scents work much like drugs work, with very specific effects.

Using this point of view as a starting point, Kiecolt-Glaser and her colleagues, who included husband Dr. Ronald Glaser, looked at the two odors that have been most researched: lemon, which is purported to be stimulating and a mood enhancer, and lavender, which is supposed to be relaxing and is used as a sleep aid. Distilled water was used as a control.

Potential study participants were first screened to see if they had an adequate sense of smell. Fifty-six people were then admitted into the study. During three half-day sessions, half the group was handed an envelope that explained the scent they were about to smell and what to expect. The other participants were simply told they'd be smelling a variety of fruit and floral odors.

Then the researchers taped cotton balls laced with either lemon oil, lavender oil or distilled water below the volunteers' noses for the duration of the tests. The participants were monitored for blood pressure and heart rate, and the researchers took regular blood samples from each volunteer. The samples were analyzed for changes in different biochemical markers, including Interleukin-6 and Interleukin10, as well as the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine.

The researchers then tested the volunteers' ability to heal by using a standard test in which tape is applied and removed repeatedly on a specific site on the skin. The scientists also tested the volunteers' reaction to pain by placing their feet in 32-degree water. Finally, the participants filled out three standard psychological tests to assess mood and stress during each session.

While lemon oil showed a clear mood enhancement, lavender oil did not, the researchers said. Neither smell had any positive impact on any of the biochemical markers for stress, pain control or wound healing.

More information

The National Cancer Institute has more on aromatherapy and essential oils.



SOURCES: Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, and director, Division of Health Psychology, Ohio State University, Columbus; April 2008, Psychoneuroendocrinology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Aromatherapy may make you feel good, but it wont make you well
2. Giving emergency nurses aromatherapy massages with music dramatically reduced stress levels
3. Giving emergency nurses aromatherapy massages with music dramatically reduced stress levels
4. Aromatherapy Gift Line Sheds Humorous Light on Modern Therapy
5. Caregiver Magazine Urges Preventive Measures Against Wandering, Falls, Abuse
6. Toll-Free Hotline to Help Seniors Avoid Falls
7. U.S. Abortion Rate Falls to Lowest Level in Decades
8. Vitamin D May Curb Falls in High-Risk Older Women
9. Depression screening for cancer patients too often falls between the cracks
10. Heart attacks/pneumonia falls short of national goals
11. Visual field loss primary component in risk of falls for older adults
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/9/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... Establishment Labs, ... of Dr. David Hung to the company´s Board of Directors. , “We ... class scientist and an exceptional entrepreneur.” said Juan Jose Chacon Quiros, CEO of Establishment ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... 09, 2016 , ... ZipHearing.com is proud to ... hearing aids , increase industry transparency, and promote awareness of hearing solutions ... “For the average consumer, the hearing aid industry is esoteric and difficult to ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... Sir Grout, ... , is proud to announce that many of their franchises have received the ... The hard surface restoration franchises received customer recognition through positive reviews and testimonials, ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... its newly redesigned website, federallabs.org . The site houses a wealth of ... available federal technologies through the process called technology transfer (T2). As a network ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... ... man who has struggled to quit smoking, a man who has struggled with hair loss ... to his problems – and he did. Now Nabat, a serial entrepreneur featured as the ... inventions to the world and better people's lives. His own experience with nicotine addiction led ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016 Aesthetic Devices - Medical Devices Pipeline ... report, "Aesthetic Devices - Medical Devices Pipeline Assessment, 2015" ... stage. This report is prepared using ... by GlobalData,s team of industry experts. *Note: Certain ... based on the availability and relevance of data in ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... 2016  Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. (Ventana), a member ... world,s top oncologists, pathologists, research scientists and healthcare ... annual Tucson Symposium March 8-9 to learn ... outcomes in cancer research and treatments that will ... Thomas Grogan , annually draws more than 500 ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... LEAWOOD, Kan. , Feb. 8, 2016 ... held organization that formerly specialized in the ... facilities, recently announced that it has divided ... Nueterra Capital. While Nueterra Capital will continue ... advisory services, NueHealth will operate a national ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: