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AROMA THERAPY

    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.


    Some essential oils such as tea tree have demonstrated anti-microbial effects, but there is still a lack of clinical evidence demonstrating efficacy against bacterial, fungal, or viral infections. Evidence for the efficacy of aromatherapy in treating medical conditions remains poor, with a particular lack of studies employing rigorous methodology, but some evidence exists that essential oils may have therapeutic potential. 


    Aromatherapy is the treatment or prevention of disease by use of essential oils. Other stated uses include pain and anxiety reduction, enhancement of energy and short-term memory, relaxation, hair loss prevention, and reduction of eczema-induced itching. 


    Two basic mechanisms are offered to explain the purported effects. One is the influence of aroma on the brain, especially the limbic system through the olfactory system. The other is the direct pharmacological effects of the essential oils. While precise knowledge of the synergy between the body and aromatic oils is often claimed by aromatherapists, the efficacy of aromatherapy remains unproven. However, some preliminary clinical studies of aromatherapy in combination with other techniques show positive effects. Aromatherapy does not cure conditions, but it is suggested that it helps the body to find a natural way to cure itself and improve immune response. 


    In the English-speaking world, practitioners tend to emphasize the use of oils in massage. Aromatherapy tends to be regarded as a complementary modality at best and a pseudoscientific fraud at worst.

 

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