AromatherapyHigh Blood PressureProf. Ernst

Review of aromatherapy to treat high blood pressure

Prof. Ernst reviewed the evidence and finds that more is needed.

First, the details.

  • 5 studies were included.
    • Only 1 study randomly assigned patients to a treatment group.

And, the results.

  • The randomized study compared the effects of aromatherapy to placebo and showed a significant reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
    • In addition, pulse, subjective stress, anxiety, and blood levels of cortisol were significantly different with aromatherapy compared to placebo or a control group.
  • The other studies also reported favorable effects of aromatherapy.
  • All of the studies had a high risk of bias.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “The existing trial evidence does not show convincingly that aromatherapy is effective for hypertension.”

Researchers must show greater discipline and design better studies that can withstand external scrutiny.

8/12/10 18:47 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.