Health Services Research & Development

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Aromatherapy and Essential Oils: A Map of the Evidence

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Systematic Review - Aromatherapy and Essential Oils: A Map of the Evidence

Prepared by:
Evidence Synthesis Program (ESP) Center
Portland VA Medical Center
Portland, OR
Devan Kansagara, MD, MCR, Director

Recommended citation:
Freeman M, Ayers CK, Peterson C, and Kansagara D. Aromatherapy and Essential Oils: A Map of the Evidence. Washington, DC: Evidence Synthesis Program, Health Services Research and Development Service, Office of Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs. VA ESP Project #05-225; 2019.

Download PDF: Complete Report, Executive Summary, Report, Appendices


This topic was nominated by Dr. Ben Kligler, National Director of the Integrative Health Coordinating Center (IHCC) and Dr. Peter Glassman, Chair of the Medical Advisory Panel, Pharmacy Benefits Management Services at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The purpose of this report is to provide a broad overview of the effectiveness of aromatherapy and essential oils for various health indications. We will summarize the findings of systematic reviews in the form of evidence maps that will be used to guide and support decision-making about these treatment modalities in the VHA. The key question for the evidence map was: What evidence is available that examines the effectiveness of aromatherapy or essential oils for healthrelated indications?