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Essential oils come from plant parts such as flowers, fruits, leaves, bark, and peels. Removing the water from the fluid leaves behind a concentrated oil.
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to create smells that affect a part of the brain called the limbic system.
Stimulating this part of the brain may trigger emotions or memories. This causes the body to release chemicals. These factors may work together to reduce stress and/or relax the body.
Aromatherapy is an integrative therapy used alongside other medical treatments. Health care providers can use aromatherapy to help manage symptoms such as anxiety, stress, nausea, vomiting, pain, and sleep problems, and to provide comfort.
The use of essential oils is not a substitute for medical treatment. There has not yet been enough testing to show how well these therapies work.
Some essential oils interact with medications, so check with your health care provider or pharmacist before using them.
Most essential oils are safe when used properly, but there are some risks including:
You should not use essential oils for:
If your child uses essential oils too often, they could become more sensitive, or the oil will not work as well as it did when they first started.
Reviewed: March 2022