What Is Aromatherapy?

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Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants (flowers, herbs, or trees) as a complementary health approach. The oils are most often used by inhaling them or applying a diluted form to the skin.


Aromatherapy is sometimes incorporated into massage therapy for various conditions, such as knee pain from osteoarthritis, or pain, anxiety, and other symptoms in people with cancer. Aromatherapy may also be used for insomnia, but we don’t know whether it’s helpful because little rigorous research has been done on this topic.


Special safety note: If you use aromatherapy products, you need to be aware that a Better Homes & Gardens brand aromatherapy spray was recently linked to a disease caused by bacteria that had contaminated the product. If you have this product at home, stop using it and follow these instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to return it to the seller. Don’t pour it down the drain or throw it in the trash.


Find out more about aromatherapy