4/5 claims agree, your methodology needs updating


Michelle Niedziela
Scientific Director of HCD Research, Flemington, USA

If you browse the shelves of your local pharmacy or natural grocery store, you’re likely to spot small bottles of fragrant oils, such as lavender and peppermint, extracted from plants. In addition, maybe one of your friends or a family member has taken on a new side gig with a MLM (multi-level marketing) company is offering you bottles like these to help cure you. Known as essential oils, these are the tools for the practice of aromatherapy. Promoters say it can help with all sorts of health issues: aid sleep, relieve migraines and nausea, improve emotional well-being, and more. And consumers are buying into it. Sales of essential oils are going up every year. But… does aromatherapy work? Currently there is no proof that the practice can cure any illness. For many of the “softer” claims, like its role as a sleep aid or pain reducer, have had little, if any clinical testing, and the scientific research that has been conducted has generally yielded conflicting results.

Essential oils are the scented liquid taken from certain plants using steam or pressure, extracted from plants in natural ways. They contain the natural chemicals that give the plant its “essence ...