Traditional healers have often used essential oils from plants to calm, soothe and boost immunity.

A recent study from mainstream scientists shows the aromas from essential oils actually do work to create physical benefits that can be documented.

Aromatherapy oils are powerful — a simple odor can immediately trigger a powerful memory, place, or person. Scents have power to evoke emotions and memories instantly and can directly impact our bodies through our nervous system and help to reduce stress.


The study, recently published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, found that the essential oils used in aromatherapy for stress relief may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

It has been found that with short-term exposure, the odors have a beneficial effect on heart rate and blood pressure.

The research team, headed by Dr. Kai-Jen Chuang from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, studied 100 young, healthy non-smoking men and women.

These volunteers visited the research center once a week for three weeks where they were exposed to the aromas of essential oils released from an ultrasonic ionizer. Specifically, 100 percent pure bergamot essential oil was vaporized for one hour in a small study room before the research subjects entered.

Bergamot is a yellow, pear-shaped orange best known for its use as a flavoring in Earl Grey tea.

Essential oils of plants contain many different volatile organic compounds, sometimes hundreds.


After two hours, the volunteers’ resting heart rates, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure were taken in the small study room. Essential oils are volatile organic compounds  made up of hundreds of aromatic chemicals and the research team also documented the VOC levels in the room throughout the study period.

During the first hour, the higher the room’s VOC content, the more an employee’s heart rate and blood pressure dropped.

At 45 minutes, average Systolic pressure Systolic pressure had dropped by just over two points and heart rate had decreased by just over two beats per minute. But after an hour, the opposite began to happen, until at two full hours in the room, average systolic blood pressure had risen by just over two points, while heart rate had increased by an average of 1.7 beats per minute.

The essential oil of bergamot infused into the air had a general relaxing effect on people for about an hour.


A recent pilot study examined the effects of clinical aromatherapy for anxiety and depression in the high risk postpartum woman.

Two treatment groups were randomized to either to an inhalation group or an aromatherapy hand m’technique.

Treatment consisted of 15 min sessions, twice a week for four consecutive weeks. An essential oil blend of rose otto and lavandula angustifolia @ 2% dilution was used in all treatments.

The result indicated positive findings with minimal risk for the use of aromatherapy as a complementary therapy in both anxiety and depression scales with the postpartum woman.


Lavender is traditionally known to have a variety of therapeutic properties, ranging from inducing relaxation to treating burns and insect bites. There is growing evidence suggesting that lavender oil may be an effective adjunct in the treatment of several neurological disorders.

The study of Jager et al. suggested that essential oils and their chemical parts are rapidly absorbed through the skin. Lavender oil was applied to the skin of the abdomen.

Linalool and linalyl acetate, the active components of lavender were shown to be rapidly detected in plasma after topical application with massage, reaching peak levels after approximately 19 min.

Several animal experiments showed the anti anxiety and sedative effects of lavender.

Varenya Essentials Serenity blend will keep you calm through the busy holiday season.

Essential oils of rose geranium, lavender and mandarin help to restore a sense of serenity help you to drift into a state of deep relaxation. Wonderful in a diffuser or foot baths.


Linda Anne Kahn

Linda Anne Kahn NCTMB CLT-LANA CMT CHNC Is a Clinical Aromatherapist with over 30 years of experience.

She is an Internationally trained Beauty Therapist, Clinical Aromatherapist, Holistic Health Practitioner and Lymphedema Therapist.

She is the founder and president of Beauty Kliniek Aromatherapy Day Spa and Lymphatic Therapy Services in San Diego.

She continues her longstanding mission and philosophy of a Holistic approach to treat all facets of a person’s well-being for optimum health.

She stresses the emotional, mental, physical connection to bring about relaxation, health, energy and happiness to help her clients, staff and patients

She can be found at: Lymphedema and Lipedema Nutrition Guide