Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Great Aromatherapy Scam

Today at Newsweek.com they ask, “Does Aromatherapy Work?” No. And I don’t get why anyone believes it does (probably for the same reason people pick lottery tickets based on ribbons in fortune cookies).

According to
the Newsweek report, an Ohio State University report, “lemon and lavender oil had no physiological effect on study subjects, despite lemon's reputation as a stimulant and lavender's as a sleep aid.” Researchers did everything from taping cotton balls soaked in so-called “essential” oils under study participant’s noses to having them put their feet in cold water. But they found none of the oils “affected pain responses, heart rate or blood pressure.”

If you’re in the aromatherapy industry, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. Most of your customers are probably reading up on the latest Britney Spears news, for one. So they will probably never be aware of the Ohio State research. Second, forget what science tells people about what’s actually happening, people are more concerned with how they feel. One study participant told Newsweek they would continue to buy aromatherapy products. "I know when I smell something like lavender I feel more relaxed," she said.

In the end, I suppose, that’s all that really counts.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aromatherapy is useful in stress management, especially when combined with massage - try it sometime and chill out.....

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.