All Parts Of A Peer-Reviewed Journal Have Been Peer-Reviewed Debunking the Debunkers – The True Medicinal Value of Aromatherapy

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Debunking the Debunkers – The True Medicinal Value of Aromatherapy

Is aromatherapy being wrongly blamed?

A search for the term “aromatherapy” brings up several pages claiming that aromatherapy is some kind of scam. that essential oil manufacturers and retailers make “dubious” claims about the effectiveness of essential oils. It seems these people haven’t done their homework or compared the validity of scientific research to that produced by conventional medicine, which actually could easily be considered “questionable” using the same criteria. Well, there aren’t actually any criteria used, just a few vague ones that make aromatherapy seem like a soft science that should be dismissed like anything that comes under the heading of “New Age”.

How do we even begin to agree that some aromatherapy is actually “soft science”? That some people feel more relaxed when they inhale lavender, for example, and others don’t? Aromatherapists will disagree on this point – they will still be on the defensive when the medical applications of essential oils are pushed to the soft side of “aroma” therapy. Science backs up many of aromatherapy’s claims with valid data, even the “soft science” of the practice. Here’s a look at the science behind aromatherapy, the holes in popular debunkers’ arguments, and why aromatherapy has a place in today’s medical practice.

Aromatherapy image problem

We see that the problem with aromatherapy imagery is this: most people hear the word and think it really has to do with “the smell of things” rather than “smell”. This is a small but very important difference. Aromatherapy is really a complete branch of medicine that uses chemically volatile (easily vaporized) components of plants to treat various ailments. It’s not just about the effects of these plant chemicals on people who smell them. Virtually all professional aromatherapists will tell you that the great healing promise of aromatherapy lies not in their pleasant aromas, but in their ability to successfully treat a wide range of infectious diseases (such as MRSA, the “superbug”), acting as chemotherapy. agents, anti-inflammatory agents, wound healing agents and other “hard” medical applications.

Search for real data on the effectiveness of essential oils

A quick look at the research available on Pub Med, a database of thousands of peer-reviewed life science and medical journals freely available online, will reveal thousands of citations to research using essential oils. Yes, in fact, there are studies that failed to provide conclusive evidence that hand massages with lavender cream did not make people feel better than hand massages with unscented lotion. But there are studies that show people sleep better after inhaling lavender. And there is a study showing that immune system stressors were unaffected after inhaling linalool (an isolated component of lavender), but there are also 15 studies (at last count) showing positive significant results if one searches for “lavender” and “anxiolytic “. (technical term for stress reduction). The effects of “acetaminophen” and “pain” can be just as strong; There is almost no “minoxidil” and “hair”.

A baseless view of the skeptics

So even aromatherapists concede that there are mixed results. While naysayers use this data to say that “aromatherapy doesn’t work,” a reasonable statement seems to be, “Everyone is different. Some respond and some don’t. Maybe they respond to a different flavor, or maybe. Not at all”. From Robert Carroll of skepdic.com: “…we have to conclude that aromatherapy is basically a pseudoscientific alternative medical therapy. It is a mixture of folklore, trial and error, anecdote, testimony, New Age spiritualism and fantasy. Steven Barrett, MD of Quackwatch doesn’t really focus on essential oils, but just sounds displeased with the whole idea.

Sure, there may be unsubstantiated claims, but let’s play fair. How many deadly drugs have been taken off the market after rigorous scientific studies paid for by the drug manufacturer claimed they were “safe and effective”? One chart shows deaths attributable to “properly prescribed and used drugs” between alcohol and alcohol-derived drugs – just above “preventable medical” accidents and all traffic deaths listed above. How many have died using essential oils? can you draw a circle What about the letter that comes between “n” and “p”?

The latest in aroma-medicine research

On the Cutting Edge of Aroma-Medicine: The big news is that essential oils, yes, the same ones used in aromatherapy (that’s an idea we’re trying to understand!), are very effective antibiotics and antivirals. Again, I invite you to search for “essential oil” and “Mrsa” – this is the golden staphylococcus bacteria “superbug” that has become resistant to commonly available antibiotics (MR in the name means “methicillin resistant”). You will find studies showing the effectiveness of tea tree essential oil in clinical applications and positive results using several other oils in the laboratory. And so far it is believed that these oils have no negative effects in effective doses.

Essential oils have been identified as cancer fighters

Then there are numerous studies showing the effectiveness of essential oils in killing cancer. A recent study in the journal Chemo-Biological Interactions reported that linalool, a common essential oil component, completely eliminated a liver cancer cell line at very, very low concentrations. Try “essential oil” and “cancer” in Pub Med and you’ll get results like “Sankmei oil, derived from Boswellia carteri, induces tumor cell-specific cytotoxicity” (maybe it’s “new age spiritualism” terminology I don’t know yet). Another result is “Antitumor activity of Cymbopogon flexuosus essential oil (lemon essential oil)” with the conclusion: “Our results indicate that the oil has promising anticancer activity and causes the loss of tumor cell viability by activating the apoptotic process as identified by electron microscopy.” The list goes on, of course (there are actually 388 results for this search today).

Then why all the criticism?

Why is this criticism of aromatherapy so popular, at least in the eyes of Google? Why some people like horror movies and car crashes — I’m not really sure. In many people’s minds, this may be related to a closer connection between “aromatherapy” and “Glade Plug-in Air Freshener (TM)” than there is between “aromatherapy” “incense” and “tumor cell specific cytotoxicity.” One reality is that there is a lot more money for the Glad Plug-In concept. Because essential oils cannot be patented as a medicine, the amount of money actually generated by big business is negligible.

Changing the popular perception of aromatherapy

So it’s up to the small natural health companies, individual practitioners, and wonderful educational and research institutions doing the technical work to get the word out. And, especially, rocking the boat a bit when the so-called authorities make really dubious claims about the dubious nature of aromatherapy. Plant medicine has been revitalizing people for thousands of years — essential oils are simply highly active molecules produced by plants, and aromatherapy is a so-called. Because it deals with the therapeutic use of these aromatic molecules. Aroma therapy. Remove the word!

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