Scents for the soul
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.