Medical Aromatherapy "Comfort Care" Pharmacology & Essential Oils

Used as a complement to medical treatment this branch of aromatherapy uses essential oils to promote relief and treatment of medically diagnosed ailments.

Research chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefossé, who coined the term aromatherapy and considered by many to be the founder of modern aromatherapy, was among the first medical aromatherapists.

Gattefossé researched essential oils for their antiseptic properties in his laboratory and, when serving as a medic during World War II, he used them therapeutically with patients while undergoing surgery to ward off infections. Thus, modern day medical aromatherapy was born.

Today, medical aromatherapy is primarily practiced in France where it first originated in parallel to the development of pharmacology. 

In the U.S. “medical aromatherapy” is practiced as a “comfort care” measure in hospitals. As a comfort care measure essential oils do not require a prescription from an attending physician.

A healthcare revolution is happening all across the U.S. as hospitals are being transformed into Integrative medical centers. I’ve assisted with certification and training of nurses and staff in the use of essential oils and caring touch that’s being added to the menu of services offered at integrative hospitals. I can truly say its nothing short of amazing to see the complete paradigm shift that’s occurring now in medical centers. Medicine as we’ve known it is undergoing profound and radical change.

Aromatherapy is one of the most popular alternative therapies being used by inpatients to calm them before surgery, or to help them with the nausea that often occurs after surgery. Essential oils are also used to help with sleep or to aid in labor, birth and delivery of a newborn baby, among other things.

The Mayo Clinic recently published an article about the benefits of aromatherapy in its Healthy Living online publication for consumer education, citing the numerous benefits that studies have shown for essential oils, i.e. relief from anxiety and depression, improve quality of life, improve sleep and reduce pain. 

Aromatherapy is not regulated by the FDA which approves drugs intended to treat illnesses and injuries. Thus, you’ll see alternative health and nutritional products like vitamins, herbs and essential oils having a disclaimer that their products have not been evaluated by the Federal Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Essential oils are approved by the FDA as food flavoring agents and for cosmetic use. Cosmetic use is defined as “intended to cleanse the body and make the person more attractive”.

Pharmacological actions and essential oils (partial list)
Click on an essential oil for more info and any safety cautions.

Anxiety, agitation, stress, challenging behaviors

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii)
Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens and roseum)

End of Life Agitation

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)


Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata)
Spearmint (Mentha x spicata)
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens and roseum)
Clary Sage (Salvia sclerea)
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)


Ylang Ylang III (Cananga odorata)
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomila)
Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara)
Lemon (Citrus limonum)
Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
Juniper berry (Juniperus communis)
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Melissa aka Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Red Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

Mental Exhaustion

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Helichrysum (Helichrysum angustifolium)

Memory Loss

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
Lemon (Citrus limonum)

Pain Management

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomila)
Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

AUTHOR AUTOGRAPHED COPY - Get essential oil recipes for making your own "comfort care" remedies in my newest award-winning book. Limited Supply of Author Autographed Copies now available HERE, The Essential Oils Complete Reference Guide: Over 250 Recipes for Natural Wholesome Aromatherapy.

READ my next article in this series, Aromatherapy Foods: Lemon Bar Recipe.

READ my first article in this series, Aromatherapy Dominates Global Market - Healthcare Revolution!

†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All statements on this website are intended for informational purposes only.

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