Aromatherapy: Science or Fiction?

By Victoria L.

Is there more to medicine than pills and needles? Is there another way other than Advil and Tylenol? In fact yes, aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is one of the world’s most popular therapy treatments. It offers a range of healthy treatments that can cure illnesses, bring up your immune system, or even lift your spirits when down.

Aromatherapy is a type of traditional treatments and uses types of oils and plant compounds. From there, they are either inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Yes, is said to cure great diseases, but it is yet to be proven to actually physically heal us, the way more traditional medicines would. However doctors do acknowledge that aromatherapy does make people feel better, (depending on the issue) but can not prove how.

Pharmacist Joan Li, from Shoppers Drug Mart helps us clarify a few points on aromatherapy. First of all, is aromatherapy a legitimate medicine?

“Aromatherapy would make a good adjunct however we should take cautious in using it as monotherapy as many medical conditions require more than scents.” says Li.

Are there any dangers with aromatherapy?

“There potentially can be issues with aromatherapy.  Medical conditions can become further exacerbated and complicated if not treated appropriately and in a timely manner. For example illnesses like diabetes, malaria and heart disease may not directly be cured by aromatherapy. However there is a complementary place for aromatherapy to help calm, boost, and lift spirits.”

Lastly, is aromatherapy more psychological or physical?

“It can be both. Scents can help relax people with stress or anxiety. Scented oils in massage can help to release muscle tension. A a certain smell may be able to trigger releases of certain neurotransmitters and help improve mood. Usually these are helpful in mild or moderate cases but approach with caution when people have more severe medical issues.”

Aromatherapy is believed to be closely related to the placebo effect. The placebo effect is a beneficial effect where the patients thoughts help heal them even though the drug may not be efficient. In other words, if you believe in it, it will help. Essential oils play a large part in healing, by triggering your brain. In doing so different neurotransmitters are released that can help. Aromatherapy does not only help sickness , it can help stress and other emotional issues. Stress can make you sick, or sicker by lowering your immune response.

Overall aromatherapy is difficult to judge since it really depends on how each individual body will react. Telling a therapist about past medications, emotional issues and other illnesses can help them find a specialized scent for you.

Work Cited:

September 15, 2014, What is Aromatherapy? 2004-2015. Medilexicon International Ltd UK.

Retrieved on April 22 2015. at <>.

AromaWeb, 1997-2015. Aromatherapy. Retrieved on April 22, 2015 at <>.


Quinessence, What is Aromatherapy? Quinessence Aromatherapy Ldt, 1997-2015. Retrieved

on April 23, 2015 at <>.


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