In Defense of Aromatherapy

A picture of a woman smelling a scent from a bottle

I got my undergraduate degree in art with a minor in biology. I got a graduate degree in public health and I currently work in healthcare. I have worked in healthcare for about 15 months as of February 2020. I’ve worked as a medical scribe, a medical transcriptionist, a personal assistant to a doctor, medical records clerk, and a “miscellanious everything” behind the desk at a pain clinic so everyone is aware of my background in regards to me and the healthcare community. I have a few mental and physical conditions as well.

I have dabbled with aromatherapy in the past. Aromatherapy is the idea that smelling certain smells can help alleviate different conditions and the like. Some colleges (that are accredited) offer degrees and certificates regarding aromatherapy as well. There are peer review studies that support the “legitimacy” of aromatherapy as well. It is not just a placebo effect.

Personally, I have used it to help manage anxiety, sleeping troubles, and just to help myself with mindfulness. I remember one time I set up my oil diffuser and ended up accidentally knocking myself out to sleep within five minutes of turning it on.

It is important to remember the ethical, professional users of aromatherapy know very well the limitations of their equipment. They know that aromatherapy is not the “cure all” for every condition under the sun. Unfortunately, there are scam companies that want to take advantage of clueless people and those wanting to make a “quick buck”.

Aromatherapy is a tool in medicine, just like steroid shots and heating pads. Google Scholar (a website used to pull peer review studies) have all kinds of articles about aromatherapy and the different effectiveness it has for different conditions. ResearchGate (a research community of scientists from different scientific fields) also has articles showing the effectiveness of aromatherapy.

Dosing is very important for aromatherapy when using it in oil form. The type of diffuser and where the oil comes from (brand, what it’s stored in, etc.) also makes a difference. A person might need to experiment before they find something that “works” for them.

I’m a queer adopted healthcare worker who writers in their spare time. I have a MPH degree.