9 Scientific Benefits Of Aromatherapy…

9 Scientific Benefits Of Aromatherapy

Have you ever stopped to smell a flower and felt absolutely invigorated? Lots of people have. Obviously, flowers smell wonderful, but is it possible that there’s more to it than that? As it turns out, there is, according to science.

SEE ALSO: 9 Reasons The World Turns Toward India For Healing

How it Works

Without a doubt, periods of stress and anxiety are part of living life. But it’s how you deal with it that really matters. Certainly, anti-anxiety drugs can be effective, but they can also be addictive and dangerous, with withdrawal symptoms that include seizures and, paradoxically, extreme anxiety. Because of this, lots of people turn towards alternative solutions.

Fortunately, we no longer have to rely on guesswork to find some more natural remedies. In turns out that many flowers are well-suited to calm the human body and soul, bringing them back into greater balance. Lavender oil, for instance, has also been studied for the ability to reduce stress,2 anxiety, aggression,3and cortisol levels,4 among two dozen other potential therapeutic properties.5  

When inhaled, aroma compounds move into the bloodstream via the lungs, making their way into the brain. This means they exert a strong influence on the immediate brain chemistry. Surprisingly, accumulating evidence now shows that the fragrance of flowers and other volatile plant compounds pack a punch as powerful as certain drugs.

9 Benefits of Aromatherapy

Here are a few things it can have a profound effect on:

  1. Dysmenorrhea (Menstraul Pain): Aromatherapy massage on the abdomen was found superior to Tylenol for alleviating menstrual pain in high school girls.6   Another study, this time in college students, found that the topical application of a combination of lavender, clary sage and rose essential oils was effective in decreasing the severity of menstrual cramps.7
  2. Insomnia: Lavender fragrance has been found effective in a number of studies for treating mild insomnia.8, 9 Beyond sleep-promoting properties, lavender has also been found to simultaneously reduce depression in women college students.10
  3. Excessive Chocolate Cravings: While there are worse addictions, jasmine essential oil has been found to reduce chocolate cravings.11
  4. Reducing Tobacco Withdrawal: The inhalation of vapor from black pepper extract reduces smoking withdrawal symptoms.12
  5. Arthritis Pain: The essential oils lavender, marjoram, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint blended in proportions of 2:1:2:1:1, resulted in decreased pain and depression scores in arthritic patients.13
  6. Infantile Colic: The use of aromatherapy massage using lavender oil was found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of colic.14
  7. Alzheimer’s Disease: 28 days of aromatherapy consisting of the use of rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange in the evening, resulted in significant improvement in personal orientation related to cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients.15
  8. Migraines: Inhalation of lavender essential oil appears to be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.16
  9. Postpartum Depression: Aromatherapy-massage has been shown to have value for postpartum mothers in improving physical and mental status and to facilitate mother-infant interaction.17

Check out our essential oil collection– we promise it won’t disappoint!

To see all the cited studies, click here.

1 Shinichiro Haze, Keiko Sakai, Yoko Gozu . Effects of fragrance inhalation on sympathetic activity in normal adults. Jpn J Pharmacol. 2002 Nov;90(3):247-53. PMID: 12499579

2 Sioh Kim, Hyun-Jae Kim, Jin-Seok Yeo, Sung-Jung Hong, Ji-Min Lee, Younghoon Jeon. The effect of lavender oil on stress, bispectral index values, and needle insertion pain in volunteers. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Sep ;17(9):823-6. Epub 2011 Aug 19. PMID: 21854199

3 Sun-Young Lee. [The effect of lavender aromatherapy on cognitive function, emotion, and aggressive behavior of elderly with dementia]. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2005 Apr;35(2):303-12. PMID: 15860944

4 Masahiro Toda, Kanehisa Morimoto. Effect of lavender aroma on salivary endocrinological stress markers. Arch Oral Biol. 2008 Oct;53(10):964-8. Epub 2008 Jul 16. PMID: 18635155

5 GreenMedInfo.com, Lavender’s Health Benefits

Myung-Haeng Hur, Myeong Soo Lee, Ka-Yeon Seong, Mi-Kyoung Lee. Aromatherapy massage on the abdomen for alleviating menstrual pain in high school girls: a preliminary controlled clinical study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012 ;2012:187163. Epub 2011 Sep 22. PMID:21949670

7 Sun-Hee Han, Myung-Haeng Hur, Jane Buckle, Jeeyae Choi, Myeong Soo Lee. Effect of aromatherapy on symptoms of dysmenorrhea in college students: A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Jul-Aug;12(6):535-41. PMID: 16884344

8 George T Lewith, Anthony Dean Godfrey, Philip Prescott. A single-blinded, randomized pilot study evaluating the aroma of Lavandula augustifolia as a treatment for mild insomnia. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Aug;11(4):631-7. PMID: 16131287

9 Li-Wei Chien, Su Li Cheng, Chi Feng Liu . The effect of lavender aromatherapy on autonomic nervous system in midlife women with insomnia. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012 ;2012:740813. Epub 2011 Aug 18. PMID: 21869900

10 Inn-Sook Lee, Gyung-Joo Lee. [Effects of lavender aromatherapy on insomnia and depression in women college students]. Br J Pharmacol. 1999 Sep;128(2):380-4. PMID: 16520572

11 Eva Kemps, Marika Tiggemann, Sarah Bettany. Non-food odorants reduce chocolate cravings.Appetite. 2012 Mar 9. Epub 2012 Mar 9. PMID: 22407134

12 J E Rose, F M Behm. Inhalation of vapor from black pepper extract reduces smoking withdrawal symptoms. Drug Alcohol Depend. 1994 Feb;34(3):225-9. PMID: 8033760

13 Myung-Ja Kim, Eun-Sook Nam, Seun-In Paik . [The effects of aromatherapy on pain, depression, and life satisfaction of arthritis patients]. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2005 Feb ;35(1):186-94. PMID: 15778570

14 Bengü Cetinkaya, Zümrüt Başbakkal. The effectiveness of aromatherapy massage using lavender oil as a treatment for infantile colic. Int J Nurs Pract. 2012 Apr ;18(2):164-9. PMID: 22435980

15 Daiki Jimbo, Yuki Kimura, Miyako Taniguchi, Masashi Inoue, Katsuya Urakami. Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Psychogeriatrics. 2009 Dec ;9(4):173-9. PMID:20377818

16 Payam Sasannejad, Morteza Saeedi, Ali Shoeibi, Ali Gorji, Maryam Abbasi, Mohsen Foroughipour . Lavender essential oil in the treatment of migraine headache: a placebo-controlled clinical trial.Eur Neurol. 2012 ;67(5):288-91. Epub 2012 Apr 17. PMID: 22517298

17 Masumi Imura, Hanako Misao, Hiroshi Ushijima. The psychological effects of aromatherapy-massage in healthy postpartum mothers. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2006 Mar-Apr;51(2):e21-7. PMID: 16504900


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Matt Caron

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Matt is the content manager of the Sivana blog, an enthusiastic Yoga teacher, and life voyager. He strives to inspire…

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