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Contemp Nurse. 2008 Aug;30(1):69-75.

Aromatherapy in nursing and mental health care.

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  • 1School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia, Perth WA, Australia.


There is well documented evidence for the increasing and widespread use of complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of symptoms of both physical and mental disorders within Western populations. This paper aims to provide a focused review of recent literature on the use of one of these therapies, namely aromatherapy, in nursing and mental health care of people suffering from anxiety and depressive disorders. The evidence base for the efficacy of aromatherapy used to treat these conditions remains poor with a particular paucity of methodologically rigorous studies. However, there are some promising results which suggest that further research is warranted to investigate the potential of essential oils in treating anxiety, depression and symptoms of stress. The experimentally designed inhalation studies are of particular importance as both health professionals and consumers demand more accurate and scientifically based information about the effects and safety of essential oils.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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