Title

The roles of essential oils in the modulation of immune function and inflammation: survey of aromatherapy educators

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Standen, MD & Myers, SP 2004, 'The roles of essential oils in the modulation of immune function and inflammation: survey of aromatherapy educators', International Journal of Aromatherapy, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 150-161.

International Journal of Aromatherapy home page available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09624562 Publisher's version of article available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijat.2004.09.004

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

The discipline of aromatherapy appears to be based on a history of traditional use and anecdotal reports: there is unfortunately little scientific evidence for many of the claims made in aromatherapy. This is notable in the case of immune function, an area of common and clinically significant dysfunction. Starting with the commonly accepted views in the field of aromatherapy may provide further information on how investigations into the possible effects of essential oils on the immune system in humans may be directed. The aim of this study was to ascertain from the aromatherapy profession in Australia which essential oils are commonly recognised as having immune modulating properties, and how they may be utilised. Aromatherapy educators, as experts in their field, were chosen to respond in the form of a structured telephone survey. Almost half of the eleven respondents named tea tree as a prominent immune stimulating oil, while seven rated German chamomile as anti-inflammatory. Aside from that, there seemed to be limited consensus, and views of the aromatherapy educators did not always reflect the findings of the few published scientific studies. This lack of agreement and the paucity of studies outline the need for more research in this area.