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Harms of aromatherapy

Started by PickelledEggs, August 05, 2014, 11:37:50 AM

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QuoteAromatherapy, which involves Inhaling the vapors from essential oils, may be beneficial for short periods, but could harm the heart if done for too long, a new study from Taiwan suggests.

In the study, 100 spa workers in Taipei sat in a room and breathed in the vapors of bergamot oil â€" a concentrated, citrusy extract â€" for two hours, while researchers measured their blood pressure and heart rate, as well as the level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. VOCs are substances, including essential oils, which easily evaporate at room temperature.

During the first hour, the workers' blood pressure and heart rates went down. After 45 minutes, the average systolic blood pressure measurement had dropped by 2.10 mmHg, and the heart rate by 2.21 beats per minute. This finding agrees with some previous research showing essential oils relieve stress.

However, after 120 minutes, the researchers saw the opposite effect. Systolic blood pressure not only returned to the baseline level, it had risen by about 2.19 mmHg, and the heart rate was 1.70 beats per minute higher than at baseline. [See 7 Ways to Reduce Job Stress.]

"These findings suggest that overexposure to essential oil might be harmful to cardiovascular health," the researchers wrote in the Nov. 29 issue of the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Previous studies have linked VOCs with an increased risk of asthma, as well as death from cardiovascular disease. Breathing these compounds may increase inflammation in the body, and alter nervous system functioning, which could then affect heart health, the researchers said.

However, further studies are needed to confirm the new results. While elevated blood pressure and heart rate are markers for cardiovascular disease, it's not clear whether small, short-term fluctuations in these measures could lead to heart problems, the researchers said. In addition, because the researchers measured total VOC levels, other compounds in the air besides those from the oil vapor itself could have influenced the results.

The finding "brings to light that more isn’t better all the time," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who was not involved in the study. While the findings are preliminary, it would be concerning if the elevated heart rate and blood pressure seen in the study were chronic, Steinbaum said.


All these alternate therapies are bogus and harmful.  :wall: Solitary
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.


So what? Look at the huge amount of harm done by prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs that are approved by the FDA, often based on research done by the companies who developed the drugs and not by independent researchers. Millions get sick every year from misdiagnoses, drug interactions, and adverse reactions to medicines. Thousands even die from them. I don't know of anyone who has died yet from aromatherapy. Nevertheless, at the first hint of anything bad, everyone jumps all over the alternative therapy, crying that it's harmful and should be banned, while ignoring the far more harmful effects of LEGAL drugs.
"Now we see through a glass dumbly." ~Crow, MST3K #903, "Puma Man"


How did it compare to the control group?   Because from what I'm reading, you could get the same results by sitting in a room and just relaxing a bit.
Winner of WitchSabrinas Best Advice Award 2012

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real
tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato


Quote from: Jason78 on September 08, 2014, 02:14:12 AM
How did it compare to the control group?   Because from what I'm reading, you could get the same results by sitting in a room and just relaxing a bit.
Not sure. The main thing I got from this was that it can be harmful with prolonged exposure, which is what a lot of aromatherapy is. Honestly-- I hate the smell of most of those vaporized oils and most smells just make me annoyed. So aromatherapy would do the opposite of relaxation for me....

I've noticed from having to get a lot of homeopathy done via my mom, (therapeutic touch, acupuncture, energy healing.....) all of those pseudo-science "eastern medicines" work the same amount as meditation, naps, and any other relaxation techniques.


Take your mother to a salt cave.  Well, it's not really a cave.  It's a room constructed to look like a cave and with tons of salt blown onto and glued to the walls and fake stalagmites.  My sister took me to one in Chicago, and it is mostly relaxing, except they play new age music with wave sounds crashing on the beach.  That's fine, except a recorded voice talks about the therapeutic benefits of sitting in the salt, which I found kind of annoying.  As it points out in the video, the franchise is a new concept, but it really works because the benefits of salt were well known among the ancients.  (As we all know, any mysterious sounding thing honored by the ancients has a long track record of proven reliability).


It's true there are dangerous side effects from prescription drugs, even death, but no alternative has cured anything that I know of. I take seven different prescription drugs every day that can each cause death, but if I hadn't taken them there is no doubt what-so-ever, I would not exist now. If someone can show where alternative medicines, like acupuncture and aroma therapy, or ones that cure cancer, as well as all the others, can cure, post it here.   
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.