Aromatherapy has seen an increase in popularity as a complementary and alternative approach to traditional medicine. In recent decades, researchers are conducting more studies on the effect of aromatherapy on patients. The use of scents to help improve our physical and mental well-being using aromatic plant extracts or essential oil is known as aromatherapy.

Types of scents and their benefits

1. Jasmine

Jasmine can aid with negativity and help brighten up our mood. In addition, jasmine has sedative effects which allow us to have a longer and uninterrupted sleep. When we receive enough rest, our bodies will naturally feel more energised which will help to boost our mental well-being.

2. Peppermint

Peppermint can help improve our physical performance during our workouts. According to an article published on the International Society of Sports Nutrition, peppermint oils resulted in improved athletic performance. The athletes’ lungs were able to use oxygen more effectively and their resting heart rates significantly decreased after ten days of using peppermint essential oil.

Applications of aromatherapy on patients

1. Lavender

Lavender can help with pain relief post-surgery and allows our bodies to relax in a short period of time. In an experiment, patients were treated with lavender oil which was applied to the oxygen face mask after surgery.

It was found that compared to patients who did not receive the lavender oil treatment, the first group of patients required less amounts of morphine to help relieve their pain. Compared to morphine, lavender oil has no harmful side effects which can help improve a patient’s well-being after operation.

2. Treatment for Alzheimer’s

In Japan, patients with Alzheimer’s disease were offered aromatherapy as a form of treatment. Patients were given rosemary and lemon oils in the morning and lavender and orange in the evening. Their tests scores after aromatherapy improved significantly.

They were also able to better understand and make sense of what is going on around them in their daily interactions. There were also no side effects such as insomnia or weight loss from using aromatherapy as compared to the drugs taken for Alzheimer’s.

3. Reduce anxiety

Aromatherapy can lessen preoperative anxiety in patients. Patients were randomly assigned to receive bergamot essential oil as part of their preoperative anxiety management.

It was found that the usage of aromatherapy showed a greater reduction in anxiety levels for patients. This means that aromatherapy could possibly be used to assist healthcare professionals in manage the anxiety levels of their patients during the treatment process.

Most essential oils or scents can be inhaled indirectly through a diffuser or applied to the skin as lotion. The smells stimulate the receptors in the nose which sends signals to the part of the brain that controls emotion and this leads to the benefits mentioned above.

Most healthcare professionals recommend aromatherapy as a supplement to traditional medicine care. Aromatherapy should not completely replace traditional healthcare but should be used to help enhance the traditional way of treatment provided to patients. MIMS

Read more:
Essential oils – an ancient therapy for healing various illnesses
Ginger-derived nanoparticles: natural drug delivery for inflammatory bowel disease
Non-prescription remedies to help you get a restful sleep

Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736918/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20377818
https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-10-15
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/927419/abs/