I always thought the ‘therapy’ in ‘aromatherapy’ was something nobody took seriously, sort of like ‘low-fat’ in ‘low-fat potato chip’ or ‘recycle’ in the Microsoft desktop’s ‘recycle bin’ (only in my nicey-nice hometown of Seattle would anyone get away with coining such a platitude).
But apparently the ‘therapy’ part of aromatherapy is real enough for the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. The institute, which we have covered before, has sponsored a trial of aromatherapy—and the results are out!
Big news: aromatherapy doesn’t work. The best thing lemon did was lift the mood and lavender didn’t even do that. Surely there are other, more interesting and potentially effective alternative therapies to study. I’m not sure what. But at least they are not studying that substance of apparently limited effectiveness, prozac.