Therapeutic Claims For The Application Of Essential Oils

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There are a wide range of properties ascribed to each essential oil in aromatherapy books, without any scientific proof of effectiveness (Vickers, 1996; Lis-Balchin, 2006). The following are a few examples.

Diabetes can be treated by eucalyptus, geranium, and juniper (Tisserand, 1977); clary sage, eucalyptus, geranium, juniper, lemon, pine, red thyme, sweet thyme, vetiver, and ylang ylang (Price,

1993); eucalyptus, geranium, juniper, and onion (Valnet, 1982); and eucalyptus, geranium, cypress, lavender, hyssop, and ginger (Worwood, 1991).

Allergies can be treated by immortelle, chamomile, balm, and rose (Fischer-Rizzi, 1990); lemon balm, chamomile (German and Roman), helichrysum, true lavender, and spikenard (Lawless, 1992); and chamomile, jasmine, neroli, and rose (Price, 1983).

No botanical names are, however, given in the lists, even when there are several possible species. No indication is provided as to why these particular essential oils are used and how they are supposed to affect the condition. Taking the case of diabetes, where there is a lack of the hormone insulin, it is impossible to say how massage with any given essential oil could cure the condition, without giving the hormone itself in juvenile-type diabetes or some blood glucose-decreasing drugs in late-onset diabetes. Unfortunately, constant repetition of a given statement often lends it credence—at least to the layperson, who does not require scientific evidence of its validity.

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