Monday, March 24, 2008

Aromatherapy Is Not Just in Your Head

I belong to a Botanical Perfumery newsgroup that includes a lot of aromatherapy practitioners as well. Someone posted an angry bit about the L.A. Times who used a press release directly from the synthetic fragrance industry to write a large article saying that aromatherapy is just a marketing ploy and that the effects reported are just in people's heads. This is just infuriating because most of us wouldn't even be in this industry if we didn't have first hand experience with the healing benefits of the ingredients we use most.

One member of the group, Harry Roth Ph.D., wrote to the L.A. Times directly and posted his letter online. This is what he had to say to the L.A. Times:

Please try not to be such a shill of the fragrance industry. I refer to your article today alleging that the effects of lavender are bogus, this assertion coming directly from a mouthpiece of the fragrance industry onto your pages. You should have at least checked PubMed for recent peer-reviewed journal articles on the efficicacy of lavender in stress reduction instead of scarfing down fragrance industry pap. Here are a few articles from JUST 2007-2008--that's right, ONE YEAR. There are many, many more:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18317288?ordinalpos=4&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Nurses working in intensive care were less stressed when they used lavender

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18201946?ordinalpos=11&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
The scent of lavender lowers blood pressure in mice

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18053656?ordinalpos=17&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Lavender bath oil reduces stress and crying and enhances sleep in very young infants.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17894152?ordinalpos=23&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Treatment with lavender aromatherapy in the post-anesthesia care unit reduces opioid requirements of morbidly obese patients undergoing laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17689755?ordinalpos=29&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Relaxation effects of lavender aromatherapy improve coronary flow velocity reserve in healthy men evaluated by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17654092?ordinalpos=33&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Positive effects of aromatherapy massage on blood pressure and lipid profile in Korean climacteric women.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17482442?ordinalpos=45&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Anxiolytic effects of lavender oil inhalation on open-field behaviour in rats. Shows lavender also sedating at higher doses.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17388768?ordinalpos=50&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Positive effects of lavender aromatherapy acupressure on hemiplegic shoulder pain and motor power in stroke patients

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17361051?ordinalpos=53&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Lavender relaxes women having electrocardiogram in Japan

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17342790?ordinalpos=54&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Lavender calms agitated behavior in people with Alzheimer's

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17291597?ordinalpos=56&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
Lavender decreases the stress hormone cortisol

Have an informed day.

Sincerely,

Harold A. Roth, Ph.D.

I use Lavender in my Doing New Things with Confidence and Renewed Faith and Optimism flower essence aromatherapy oils specifically because of its calming, mood-balancing effects.

Thank you, Harry Roth for refusing to stand by quietly while people with a lot to gain from
spreading misinformation in order to destroy public confidence in alternatives to their products run free!

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