Scents for the soul

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BODY, MIND & SOUL - By ELLEN WHYTE

CU­RI­OUS about aro­mather­apy but not sure of the sci­ence? Check out three sci­en­tific stud­ies for some tips.

Laven­der for sleep

In Jan­uary 2014, Johns Hop­kins Hos­pi­tal re­searchers took 50 pa­tients who com­plained of not sleep­ing well and placed 3ml of 100% pure laven­der oil in a glass jar in place at the bed­side of half of th­ese.

The other half were not given the oil. Af­ter mon­i­tor­ing vi­tal signs from 10pm un­til 6am and com­par­ing the groups, re­sults showed that those with the laven­der oil slept slightly but not sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter than the con­trol group. Con­clu­sion: burn­ing laven­der oil may help a lit­tle bit but don’t ex­pect mir­a­cles.

Pep­per­mint or gin­ger es­sen­tial oils for nau­sea

In 2002, re­searchers in Tereng­ganu re­viewed dozens of stud­ies to eval­u­ate the ev­i­dence for the ben­e­fits of in­hal­ing es­sen­tial oils to com­bat nau­sea and vom­it­ing. They found five in­volv­ing a to­tal of 328 peo­ple that showed in­hal­ing pep­per­mint or gin­ger es­sen­tial oils vapour re­duces the in­ci­dence and sever­ity of nau­sea and vom­it­ing as well as pro­vid­ing other feel-good fac­tors.

How­ever, as the re­searchers noted some tech­ni­cal prob­lems with some stud­ies, the ev­i­dence isn’t rock solid. Con­clu­sion: try it but you can’t be cer­tain of the re­sults.

Le­mon balm for calm

In 2002, re­searchers in the UK tested the ef­fects of le­mon balm on 72 peo­ple suf­fer­ing from prob­lem­atic lev­els of ag­i­ta­tion due to se­vere de­men­tia.

Re­searchers ap­plied a lo­tion to the pa­tients’ faces and arms twice a day and mon­i­tored re­sults. Half the pa­tients were given the le­mon balm and the other half a placebo sun­flower oil – and no­body knew which was which un­til af­ter the trial.

Re­sults af­ter the month-long trial showed a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove- ment for the le­mon balm group. Con­clu­sion: le­mon balm does help soothe ner­vous­ness and ag­i­ta­tion.

Note: Be sure to buy an es­sen­tial oil prod­uct spe­cially de­signed for the skin as some es­sen­tial oils can be dan­ger­ous if used in­cor­rectly.

Laven­der oil can help you sleep.

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