Aromatherapy Essay Research Paper AromatherapyAromatherapy is a

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Aromatherapy Essay, Research Paper Aromatherapy Aromatherapy is a ?branch? of herbal medicine that centers on using fragrant substances, particularly oily plant extracts, to alter mood or improve individuals? health or appearance. The alleged benefits of aromatherapy range from stress relief to enhancement of immunity and the unlocking of ?emotions from past experiences.? But skeptics cite a lack of credible supportive studies published in reputable scientific or medical journals. Scents of Well-Being? ?Aromatherapy? is a buzzword used by the cosmetics, fragrance, and alternative-medicine industries. Although the method has ancient roots, proponents did not call it ?aromatherapy? before the 1930s. This expression derives from the French word aromatherapie, coined by Rene

Maurice Gattefosse, a chemist whose book of the same name was published in 1928. After a lab explosion Gattefosse conveniently plunged his badly burned hand into a vat of lavender oil. He noticed how well it healed, and thus began the development of modern aromatherapy, which French homeopaths Dr. and Mme. Maury revived in the 1960s. Proponents of aromatherapy maintain that the tools of the trade–wood-resin distillates and flower, leaf, stalk, root, grass, and fruit extracts–contain antibiotics, antiseptics, hormones, and vitamins. Some proponents have characterized essential oils–i.e., oils that are volatile, aromatic, and flammable–as the soul or spirit of plants. Indeed, one of the aromatherapy?s premises is that essential oils have a ?spiritual dimension? and can

restore ?balance? and ?harmony? to one?s body and to one?s life. One of its principles, the ?doctrine of signatures,? holds that a plant?s visible and olfactory characteristics reveal its ?secret? qualities. For example, because the configuration of the violet suggests shyness, proponents hold that the scent of violets engenders calmness and modesty. Aromatherapy en-compasses topical applications of essential oils, bathing in water to which essential oils have been added, sniffing essential oils, and even ingesting them. Products marketed under the ?aromatherapy? umbrella are legion, including shaving gels, aftershaves, facial cleansers, bath salts, bath soaps, shower gels, shampoos, hair conditioners, ?body masks,? moisturizers, sunscreen preparations, lipsticks, deodorants,

candles, lamps, diffusers, pottery, massage oils, massage devices, and jewelry. ?the most common aromatherapy field is aesthetic, the sense of well-being derived from enjoying perfumes, scented candles, baths, and other fragrances,? stated Jane Buckle, R.N.,M.A., who claims the world?s first master?s degree in clinical aromatherapy, from Middlesex University in London. At the opposite end of the spectrum, says Buckle, ?is medical aromatherapy, also know as aromatic medicine. Practitioners of medical aromatherapy include massage therapists, naturopaths, nurses, and a smattering of medical doctors.? The alleged beneficial effects of aromatherapy are numerous. Supporters claim, for example, that essential oils from lavender or peppermint clears ?negative energy?; that essential oil

from bergamot normalizes emotions; that essential oils from roses or sandalwood increases confidence; that essential oils from eucalyptus alleviates sorrow; and that patchouli creates a desire for peace. Essential oils can have side effects, however, and even proponents warn about risks. Essential oils from cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger can burn the skin; ingestion of essential oils from pennyroyal can cause miscarriage. Rapheal d?Angelo, M.D., is a Colorado family practitioner who began incorporating aromatherapy into his practice over two years ago. D?Angelo uses eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil adjunctively in treating respiratory disease. He alludes to ?studies indicating these oils not only have soothing properties, but reduce mucous production, as well as possessing