Monday, July 29, 2019


Some of aromatherapy’s alleged therapeutic values include improved psychological and physical wellbeing. Purveyors of the essential oils used for aromatherapy vow that they treat depression and anxiety, as well as acne, arthritis pain, and even cerebral palsy. All this and all natural? Sounds great. But where’s the evidence?
I remember as a child being told in an American Girl Doll life tip book of some sort, to rub orange scented lotion on my hands while studying math. Then, when a quiz or test arrived, reapply it right before, and ace said quiz or test, all because the smell of the lotion would remind my brain of the material I had studied amidst the same scent. Though I can’t remember the specifics, there were other recommended lotions which had matching school subjects. It made sense to me at the time, and even today it doesn’t seem too strange.

What is strange is that the essential oils global market is set to be worth 27 billion dollars by 2022 (Global News Wire). All without evidence to support its most profitable assertions.

There are some studies which show promising links between smell and memory, but they are not a healing tool. There is no proof that they can treat illness or cure disease like these selling them claim.
 Infectious disease doctor and science-based medicine blogger, Mark Crislip states: “The immune system, if you are otherwise healthy, cannot be boosted, and doing those things you learned in Kindergarten health (reasonable diet, exercise and sleep), will provide the immune system all the boosting or support it needs … Rather than being weak, it is far more common today that our immune system is overactive.
Kleinman, Alexis. “Inside Essential Oils Marketing - a Billion-Dollar Wellness Business with Plenty of Critics.” Mic, 7 May 2019,
Cho, Mi-Yeon, et al. “Effects of Aromatherapy on the Anxiety, Vital Signs, and Sleep Quality of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Patients in Intensive Care Units.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2013,

1 comment:

  1. I, too, believe that some of the claims made about Aromatherapy are ambitious. I've also heard about the link between smell and memory. Hence why certain smells remind us of moms home cooking, or could even remind us of an old job we once had. I am interested to see studies done on the correlation of smells and memories. Maybe of images, or even mathematical equations.