Preliminary integrative guidelines for aromatherapy: a tool for healthcare providers
King, Ruth Elizabeth
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Aromatherapy has a long history of use for medicinal purposes. In recent years, aromatherapy has increased in popularity among the general public yet many healthcare providers are unsure of its efficacy and safety. Although there are many resources for the general public and trained aromatherapists, currently no clinical guideline or evidence-based aromatherapy resource exists for the busy healthcare provider. The purpose of this project was to explore the state of the evidence available for the ten most commonly used essential oils and synthesize this evidence into integrative summaries in order to improve general healthcare providers' knowledge of this topic. The top 10 most commonly purchased essential oils were first identified as lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary, patchouli, lemon, rose, frankincense, and roman chamomile. Peer-reviewed journals were searched for the most current research available on human research on each oil. The student summarized the evidence in each study, conducted an initial evaluation of the evidence, and created an evidence table. This data was then converted to evidence profiles for each use that was studied for each oil, where data was pooled when appropriate and an overall quality of evidence was assessed for each use. This information was then transferred into a one-page integrative summary for each oil, which not only contains a short summary of human research available on the use(s) of the oil, but also safety considerations, how the oil was used historically, suggested mechanisms of action, any other pertinent data on the oil, and the student's overall impression. These integrative summaries may be used as an evidence-based reference tool for healthcare providers, and this project may be used as a model to build upon as new research emerges.