Aromatherapy for anxiety?

25 Apr

Could there be something to aromatherapy? There is some evidence to suggest that it might be valuable in the treatment of anxiety. Here is the abstract from a meta-analysis:

“We reviewed studies from 1990 to 2010 on using aromatherapy for people with anxiety or anxiety symptoms and examined their clinical effects.
METHODS:
The review was conducted on available electronic databases to extract journal articles that evaluated the anxiolytic effects of aromatherapy for people with anxiety symptoms.
RESULTS:
The results were based on 16 randomized controlled trials examining the anxiolytic effects of aromatherapy among people with anxiety symptoms. Most of the studies indicated positive effects to quell anxiety. No adverse events were reported.
CONCLUSIONS:
It is recommended that aromatherapy could be applied as a complementary therapy for people with anxiety symptoms. Further studies with better quality on methodology should be conducted to identify its clinical effects and the underlying biologic mechanisms.”

Note the caveat at the end, we need better studies.

Here is Dr. Greger on the topic:

 

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