One of the best ways to determine the efficacy of essential oils is to use them. Put them to the test in your life and experience the results first hand. However, that is not the only way. Research is being done constantly to better understand essential oils and determine how they can contribute to wellness.
My favorite sources for solid, scientific research are Aromatic Science and doTERRA's Science Blog. This may sound incredibly geeky, but I could get lost for hours reading all the essential oil research that is out there. It is fascinating to me!
This website is intended to help individuals educate themselves about essential oils and is geared to those that really want to dive straight into the science. You can access hundreds of published research papers. Each entry includes an Abstract (summary of the paper) and a Citation which includes authors names and where it was published. If you would like to read the entire text of the article, use the "Click here for Full Text Access" button that appears below the Citation. Many of the articles are available for free, but, as is typical with published academic studies, others must be purchased.
Aromatic Science has made it super easy to find the information you are looking for. You can search by Body System, Essential Oil, or Constituent Type. The latter being the chemical components that give essential oils their effectiveness. Want to read for yourself the research that is being done on Lavender, Helichrysum, or other essential oils? This is where it's at!
You can also simply use a keyword to search their library. For example, I entered the word "smell" in the Search field, and the site returned several interesting results. Among them are "Physiological Effects in Aromatherapy" published in the Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology in 2004 and the "Emotionally Responsive Wearable Technology and Stress Detection for Affective Disorders" published in Psychiatra Danubina in 2017. This is such a great source for research being done all over the world.
The Science Blog is another source of solid scientific research regarding essential oils and other wellness topics. This is geared more towards the reader that prefers not to read directly from research papers. (Blog posts are fully sourced so you can find the studies cited if you want to take a deeper look at the topic.)
Blog posts are broken down into the following categories: Research News, Safety & Physiology, Weight Loss & Wellness, and Science for Kids. Here are just a few examples of the excellent posts that are available to you on the blog:
- You Can't Out-Train a Bad Diet
- Detoxification and Cleansing
- Childbirth and Essential Oils
- Essential Oil Metabolism
- Sandalwood May Support Healthy Cell Renewal
- Clove Oil and Gut Health
If you have children in your life, you will love the Science for Kids section. It is full of videos, downloadable activity pages, and experiments just for kids. They will have fun while they are learning about science and wellness. Nutrition Overview is a great place to start.
It is so important to do your research so you can feel confident about the products that you are using for your body and home. These two sources are a great place to look. What have you learned by looking at essential oil research? We'd love to hear from you!