Medical Herbalism: Clinical Articles and Case Studies

Search entire site by keyword(s)
Free electronic MH newsletter
Information on Distance Learning in Herbalism
Back to articles index page
Back to

Aromatherapy - Essential oil research

by Paul Bergner

Medical Herbalism 01-31-95 6(4): 12

Mint gel

A gel containing 30% of the essential oil of Mentha arvensis was found to be more effective than the conventional treatment with a gel of 10% hydroxyethylsalicylate for treating acute and sub-acute sports injuries to the joints. Treatment lasted from ten to twenty days. Reports of severe pain fell from 64% to 19% of the mint group, and from 62% to 37% of the salicylate group. 78% of the mint group reported that the therapy was good or very good, compared to 34% of the salicylate group. Assessment by the supervising physician revealed similar trends. No patients in the mint group stopped treatment because of lack of efficacy, whereas 12% of the salicylate group did so. The oil of Mentha arvensis (corn mint) is similar to that of Mentha piperita (peppermint), but with a much higher level of menthol (70-80% vs 38-48%).

Aromatherapy with lavender

The relaxant properties of lavender (Lavendula off.) was demonstrated in a trial of aromatherapy using the essential oil placed on surgical masks. The trial measured both alertness (reaction times) and vigilance (the ability to sustain attention over a long period of time). Lavender oil had no effect on alertness, but reduced vigilance by about 20%.

From the 24th International Symposium on Essential Oils. Berlin. July 1993. Reported in Medi Herb Monitor, No.7, Dec. 1993 Ed: Kerry Bone.
Copyright 2001 Paul Bergner    12