Talk:Aromatherapy

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Neutral Point-of-View (NPOV) Bias Dispute[edit]

The introduction, efficacy, and article overall have condescending language from biased sources of modern western medicine. It should be recognized that different areas of medicine do not typically agree with one another: for example folk medicine may not agree with Ayurvedic medicine, so you would not base an article on Ayurveda on citations comprised entirely from folk medicine sources. In this case, the contributions thus far are mainly about the modern medicine point-of-view.

Moreover, I have personally noticed research being published as of late which adds credibility to efficacy for Aromatherapy from a modern medicine point-of-view: isolation of volatile compounds from essential oils that enter the bloodstream through the nasal mucous membranes and lungs, which characterizes definitive proof of efficacy and would spin this article right around. --Adifeldman (talk) 19:37, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm not keen on the way a lot of the references to research / efficacy is written. It would make sense if aromatherapists only used one particular oil or combination of oils every time, but they don't. The studies therefore are of a particular essential oil rather than aromatherapy per se. (Do I make sense? If one study showed that essential oil A was ineffective but a second study showed that essential oil B was effective, would they show that aromatherapy was effective or ineffective?)The Old Trout (talk) 17:55, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

Author's credibility[edit]

The aromatherapy section is not well written. I find it hard to believe that the author was familar with the sources he cited. Given the number of sources, I think it is logical to expect to see a much larger volume of text. It resembles a research paper that is reluctantly written, utilizing a few sources but because of course requirements or appearances, the author cites sources that were never read. It is obvious that his presupposition is that essential oils do not work. This is clearly shown by the authors habit of offering unsupported negitive points as the opening sentence of a section. The sections should first offer information explaining aroma therapy, different oppinions for, and then critisim and disent. The sources cited have a weatlth of information that could have easily doubled the content, giving readers a much broader knowledge base. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jaminona1 (talkcontribs) 23:59, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes, this is mostly fringe content. Please help by editing it. --Salimfadhley (talk) 12:17, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I absolutely agree with OP but I am not a native English speaker, so I'd rather not edit this article. I will say, that clove oil for example, is widely used by dentists. Just to give you an idea of where to look for information. --86.60.203.164 (talk) 13:47, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
See Oil_of_cloves. --Salimfadhley (talk) 13:49, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Yep. That information alone is against what this article says. Does the English wikipedia have a "monthly" article that everyone improves? If you can suggest this to be one, it'd be great. --86.60.203.164 (talk) 14:02, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm not aware of any policy like that. People are free to improve whatever articles they want. Most likely the reason this article is in poor state is that few people consider this an important subject. --Salimfadhley (talk) 14:03, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Ah ok. In Finnish one we have something like that, where everyone works on one subject monthly to improve the article. The problem is that only interesting subjects get chosen as the one we work on, so topics like aromatherapy never really get any attention, thus the article is in bad shape. --86.60.203.164 (talk) 14:09, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I contributed an edit to neutralize the bias but Ronz (talk) undid it. --Adifeldman (talk) 19:37, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

Would it not make sense to change the article name to "Essential Oil Therapy" or something similar? It seems to me that some of the criticism of the validity of aromatherapy stems from the name "aroma," since the implication may be that just a scent can make a significant impact on health, whether the limited aspect mentioned is true or not. The article encompasses much more than just "aroma," in that it contains descriptions of treatments using essential oils to treat skin problems, using the oils in medicine and to repel insects.

I find it a bit ironic that the same people that call plant therapies "pseudoscience" speak of mainstream medicine as being so much more valid, when in 1994 alone, and just only in hospitals in the U.S., 106,000 people died from and 2.1 million were seriously injured by adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals administered there (American Medical Association [1]). I would say, as a scientist, that looking at plant medicine makes a whole lot more sense than many people realize.

Thank you to all who are working on the article. WriterHound (talk) 19:54, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

The name was confused in translation from the French, a better description would be Aromatic Therapy as it uses aromatic oils... Merlin-UK (talk) 16:24, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
That's your POV, and you are welcome to it. I think we can all agree that the mainstream of expert medical opinion disagrees with you on this. There appears to be much in aromatherapy which is strongly associated with other clearly pseudoscentific topics (e.g. Homoeopathy), and there seems to be almost no research which demonstrates a useful therapeutic effect for essential-oils other than some in-vitro studies which have little relevance to actual aromatherapy practice. --Salimfadhley (talk) 19:48, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

No criticisms?[edit]

I find it odd that criticism is missing. Frankly, I usually get a headache when someone enters a room wearing this stuff. I want to be in a room with someone wearing this stuff about as much as I would want to be sprayed by a skunk or take a bath in cat urine. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.51.136.5 (talk) 20:09, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Try reading the article again, close to 1/3 of the text is "criticism" Hardyplants (talk) 20:19, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

"Popular use" section somewhat problematic[edit]

The "Popular use" section doesn't have any citations/references. Other than that, it's OK, the statements therein are correct albeit incomplete. Blind cyclist (talk) 23:58, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Section Pharmacological effects attributed to essential oils is irrelivant to article[edit]

This section appears to be broadly irrelevant to the article since it consists only of references to in-vitro studies of essential oils rather than any studies which address in-vivo efficacy. Furthermore, none of these studies seem to pertain directly to use of the essential-oils as aromatherapy. I suggest that this entire section should be removed, and possibly added to an article on essential oils. --Salimfadhley (talk) 18:01, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Mis-categorization?[edit]

Can somebody explain the basis for putting Aromatherapy under Psychotherapy? From what I can tell, aromatherapy is not a technique used in mainstream psychotherapy. It's better thought of as a fringe-theory or alternative medicine? I can find no evidence that it is widely accepted by any authoritative psychotherapy body. --Salimfadhley (talk) 18:01, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Links are mostly spam[edit]

I've been checking the external links section of this article. They mainly seem to be from non-authoritative sources (e.g. personal blogs or companies advertising proprietary aromatherapy products). I suggest that we need to tidy this up a lot! --Salimfadhley (talk) 23:37, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

The list needs cleanup, so I've tagged it for the time being. --Ronz (talk) 16:17, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Can you really cure gangrene with lavender oil? (no)[edit]

Did you notice that a recently reverted edit re-added the claim that one of the original aromatherapists managed to cure his own gas-gangrene with essence of lavendar? As implausible as it sounds I'd like to find a way to include it since it appears to be one of the most widely reported founding myths of aromatherapy. The trouble is even though there are hundreds of sites which report this story I've yet to find one which is WP:N, they all seem to be repeating the same legend. Any ideas how we might proceed? --Salimfadhley (talk) 23:39, 12 March 2010 (UTC) I think they were probably referring to Gattefosse (can't do accents) though it wasn't gas gangrene - his arm was damaged in an explosion at the perfume factory he worked in (so presumably the injuries would be burns and maybe lacerations from flying debris). He put the arm in a nearby vat of lavender oil, the pain lessened and (longer term) the wound healed well and without scarring. I imagine the episode will be in one of his books. I can try to trace the source, though I don't have very much time. The Old Trout (talk) 21:20, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Of interest[edit]

People here might be interested in this, though I don't know if it could be used in the article. Becritical (talk) 15:27, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Alternative or Complimentary[edit]

Why is aromatherapy described as 'alternative medicine'? As a practising therapist, I'd call it a complementary treatment, not alternative, as would my colleagues. The Old Trout (talk) 20:37, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

I think we just use the same kind of language that the most reliable secondary sources use. I suppose if we could find a reference that showed that one usage was more appropriate than another we could change it. --Salimfadhley (talk) 21:38, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Choice and purchase[edit]

I have considerably changed this section as the comments regarding 'therapeutic quality' were grossly inaccurate. I have an honours degree in Biochemistry, experience using Gas Liquid Chromatography, 40 years as an Industrial Chemist and 18 years running my own business selling essential oils. I have therefore ammended this section to be scientifically accurate. I have to say that this whole page does not do justice to aromatherapy, and includes many contributions and comments that are clearly prejudice rather than factual. I started supplying the industry as a sceptic, but changed by view when learning something about it. The phamaceutical industry takes a great interest in the pharmacological properties of plants oils, but is only interest in marketing synthetic versions because it can get a patent on these but not on natural mixtures. Please discuss with me before replacing my scientific contribution with more grafitti. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cjsunbird (talkcontribs) 12:01, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Welcome CJ Sunbird, since you are an expert in this field could I urge you to read Wikipedia's guidance on how to be an efeective expert-editor: Wikipedia:Expert editors. --Salimfadhley (talk) 19:41, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks Salimfadhley. I made a quick revision because I was so appalled by the quality of what was written. I didn't really have time to do the subject justice, but I will follow your advice, read the guidance, and return when I have time to edit properly. I am reticent to call myself an expert, but if I'm not I have certainly learnt from many in recent years. I used Wikipedia a great deal in 2010 when writing profiles of essential oils, and signed up then as an editor to correct many of the pages that I consulted. I guess I'm now feeling it's time to return and continue that work for the more general related pages... Cjsunbird (talk) 21:30, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

'Pets' section[edit]

This isn't worded like an encyclopedia entry, more like an advice leaflet (eg 'Be very careful when using essential oil preparations around household pets' and 'it is always best to contact a licensed aromatherapist before doing so'. Will I upset anyone if I delete it? The Old Trout (talk) 21:27, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Efficacy[edit]

I cut the two first paragraphs of Efficacy (they read as if they weren't written by a native speaker of English and didn't add an awful lot) and replaced with a single introductory sentence. The Old Trout (talk) 20:18, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Nice work; well done! bobrayner (talk) 22:53, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I am proposing to add some information from 6 studies showing that there was a positive correlation relating to a benefit of using aromatherapy over the control. It may not have long term effects but there did seem to be a positive correlation over control Nourelkhatib (talk) 16:02, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Do you have a good source? bobrayner (talk) 18:26, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

there's more research than that[edit]

There's research on the mood and other effects of lavender (relaxant), lemon (stimulant), rosemary (stimulating) and chamomile (not clear). Also research on memory and smells, in one case that smells can being back more detailed and positive memories of the event in which the smell was present.

Can't be bothered to edit the main article etc.. I always get told off.

Here's some citations: "The lavender group showed increased beta power, suggesting increased drowsiness, they had less depressed mood (POMS) and reported feeling more relaxed and performed the math computations faster and more accurately following aromatherapy." "The rosemary group, on the other hand, showed decreased frontal alpha and beta power, suggesting increased alertness. They also had lower state anxiety scores, reported feeling more relaxed and alert and they were only faster, not more accurate, at completing the math computations"


" Relaxation has been shown to alter perceptions of pain. " " at least 1 state board of nursing has recognized the therapeutic value of aromatherapy and voted to accept it as part of holistic nursing care." no results in this article, boo.


"Improvements were shown in six out of eight subjects’ Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) Scale results. " no details of substances used in the abstract

"Twenty-two subjects were asked to visualize positive and negative phrases following exposure to either chamomile oil or placebo. Chamomile oil significantly increased the latency for all images, and shifted mood ratings and frequency judgements in a more positive direction, suggesting a possible mode of action for such oils."


"self-report and unobtrusive mood measures provided robust evidence that lemon oil reliably enhances positive mood compared to water and lavender regardless of expectancies or previous use of aromatherapy. Moreover, norepinephrine levels following the cold pressor remained elevated when subjects smelled lemon, compared to water or lavender. "


"Types of memories where almost always emotionally charged rather than affectivly neutral." 'smell and memory', this one's totally free to read.


I've also got this to read:


and this looks good but you have to pay for it and there are no results in the abstract, again:


"In early childhood it has been observed that all variety of objects are tasted and smelled, and usually no avertive response to odorous substances is apparent. Quite often a child may derive pleasing olfactory sensations from things which later in life, as an adult, are perceived as unpleasant. "


one of the articles says that memories remembered when asked to view good and bad things in the presents of a nice smell where both more details and more positive. That's the bit I'm interested in really, so I can't be bothered to read any more. I may do a scan to find out exactly what smells where used.


this is also related in a way: "Humans Smell Fear, and It's Contagious"

google or google scholar for citations, apparently it was unconstructive with them in so I took them out. pretty much quoted everything anyhow so it should be easy to find — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.174.248.132 (talk) 17:13, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Question[edit]

The definition says: "Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials, known as essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering a person's mind, mood, cognitive function or health". Does this, then mean that clove oil (for example) is a part of both, medicine and alternative medicine? I thought when something becomes part of medicine, it's not a part of alternative medicine any longer? Or can it be a part of both? --91.152.235.120 (talk) 13:57, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

In general, the alternative to "alternative medicine" is "evidence based medicine" or more simply just "medicine". It is possible that evidence exists for specific applications of an aromatic oil, however this in no way justifies non-evidence claims for the substance or other substances in the same category. --Salimfadhley (talk) 21:24, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Proposed Edit of Introduction[edit]

I would like to add the following to the introduction section of this article:

"Aromatherapy is considered effective because it has pharmacological, physiological, and psychological effects on the body" [1]

I believe this should be included because the intro emphasizes that aromatherapy does not have much valid evidence. However, the article mentions specific studies conducted that actually yielded positive results. My proposed statement explains why exactly it has "therapeutic potential".--Ghas24 (talk) 01:33, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Reference[edit]

  1. ^ Keville, Kathi. "Aromatherapy Information". How Stuff Works. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 

complementary or alternative[edit]

It struck me when editing this the need to distinguish between complementary therapy and alternative therapy. The former is often given ALONGSIDE treatment (for example, a massage before an operation to reduce anxiety). The latter is more associated with something INSTEAD of standard (often scientifically proven) treatment. This is an important distinction but there is no page about complementary therapy. Jack Nunn 01:08, 21 January 2015 (UTC)jacknunn — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jacknunn (talkcontribs)