Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy (Therapy with an Aroma) will refer to a group of supplements said to have properties secondary to their scent. They are extracted from the raw plant materials, either distilled or cold pressed, as compounds called essential oils which are then diffused into the air.

This page features 4 unique references to scientific papers.

Goals

Aromatherapy is the concept of using the aroma from a plant or product, usually given off via diffusion, for its pharmacological activity. Aromatherapy, at least relative to many other fields, tends to have less evidence supporting its claims and is mostly based in traditional medicine and anecdotes (and as such, placebo effect is certainly problematic when it comes to aromatherapy).

Research into aromatherapy is relatively young (and generally has less robust studies conducted due to difficulties in blinding participants) and relies on the assumption that volatile compounds in the essential oils are diffused into the air and then enter the nasal cavity of lungs where they can then act upon the body. Compounds that are traditionally smoked (such as Marijuana) are not generally referred to as aromatherapy.

Methods of aromatherapy include burning incense (which may not be preferred, due in part to a possibility of altering the molecular structure with combustion) or diffusing without combustion either with a direct air unit, an ultrasonic diffuser, or the essential oil can be used without any machinery.

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Scientific Support & Reference Citations

References

  1. Writing Group for the NINDS Exploratory Trials in Parkinson Disease (NET-PD) Investigators, et al Effect of creatine monohydrate on clinical progression in patients with Parkinson disease: a randomized clinical trial . JAMA. (2015)
  2. Taylor MJ1, et al Folate for depressive disorders . Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (2003)
  3. Godfrey PS1, et al Enhancement of recovery from psychiatric illness by methylfolate . Lancet. (1990)
  4. Kushwaha S1, Chawla P1, Kochhar A1 Effect of supplementation of drumstick (Moringa oleifera) and amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor) leaves powder on antioxidant profile and oxidative status among postmenopausal women . J Food Sci Technol. (2014)