LiveingWell Health News Letter


"Aromatherapy, a misnomer or reality essences Oils" The practice of using essential oils taken from plants, flowers, roots, seeds etc. for healing in called Aromatherapy. French chemist Ren~ Maurice Gattefoss~ coined the term in the 1920s.

As a matter of fact Robert Todd Carroll's The SkepticsDictionary says the term Aromatherapy is misleading. The observation is on the fact that aromas of oils do not directly bring cure or healing, they are used to identify the oils, to determine adulteration, to stir the memory. In fact, therapeutic value is in the "essence" of the oil - its chemical properties. Besides, aroma is not used in every cure or in other words vapors are used in some cases of aromatherapy only. Generally in aromatherapy, oil is rubbed onto the skin or ingested in tea or other liquid or even cooking is done using herbs.

Over at, Stephen Barrett, M.D., has looked into the dubious claims of most aromatherapy providers. Among the companies he has looked into is Aroma Vera, Inc., of Los Angeles, which claims that "essential oils have the power to purify the air we breathe while they relax, stimulate, soothe or sharpen our senses . . . a wonderful antidote to the air pollution and 'scentsory' imbalance of modern life." It also claims that inhaling the scents "balances the biological background," "revitalizes the cells," and produces a "strong energizing effect on the sympathetic nervous system."

Joint Adventure, of Rogers, Arkansas, states that essential oils can be used for "many different purposes from athlete's foot to enlightenment and almost every point between!" One more practitioner is in Dr. Barrett's growing dossier. This practitioner claims that the technique "addresses the nervous system and the energy fields of the body. It soothes the body, cleans the body, clears the body, and tones the body." The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood, states there are about 300 essential oils that constitute an extremely effective medical system.

In the Skeptics Dictionary, Carroll concludes: "I would not reject aromatherapy out of hand, however. When I have a cold and a stuffy nose, I'll use Vicks VapoRub, a mixture of camphor, menthol and eucalyptus oil. Strictly speaking, I suppose I am a practicing aromatherapist. However, when I look at what people who call themselves aromatherapists claim, I have to conclude that aromatherapy is a mostly a pseudoscientific alternative medical therapy. It is a mixture of folklore, trial and error, anecdote, testimonial, New Age spiritualism and fantasy. What aromatherapy lacks is a knack for sniffing out non-sense."

I find that Carroll is right in his findings. I bought a Marjoram scent from Aromas Naturales, a company based in Spain and with ISO 9001 certification. To tests its claim on eliminating snoring, I had my dad use it at night. It had a 40-day guarantee. Guess what? At first I was very skeptical about it, but in the end I did not return it. In fact, I bought another jar for myself.

Bottomline is it hasn~t totally eliminated snoring as far I know from what my family members tell me~but it sure has eliminated a major portion of it. And my mom attests to that. She sleeps better now in my dad~s room.

Rilsto Mathe is the owner and webmaster of Aromatherapy Group Inc. which is the premier resource for aromatherapy information. For questions or comments about this article go to :


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Herbal Toothpaste

Cinnamon or fennel-flavored toothpastes are available in most health food stores. Both cinnamon and fennel

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