Aromatherapy Stinks – kind of – and Other News

by DavalosMcCormack on March 4, 2008

Aromatherapy is one of the most delightfully pleasant ways ever contrived of curing illness and promoting healing. It uses scent to achieve a wide range of health benefits, everything from elevating mood to boosting the immune system. There’s just one problem. It doesn’t work. At least according to a new study in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. And try saying that after three beers!

The researchers carried out one of the most comprehensive investigations to date on two of the most popular aromatherapy treatments, lemon and lavender.

Here’s the good news, lemon did seem to help in enhancing a person’s mood. The bad news is that lavender didn’t seem to have any effect, and neither of them had any noticeable impact on the patient’s immune systems, or with easing pain or stress, or helping wounds heal any faster.

Still, the room smells nice afterwards and that’s always a good thing!

Why It’s Easy to Get Hooked on a Hookah

Smoking from a hookah or waterpipe seems like a fun alternative to smoking a cigarette, particularly if you’re in a Lebanese restaurant and you’ve had a few glasses of wine. I mean, how bad can it be, it’s filtered through water right! Well, a new study says it’s bad, really bad, worse even than tobacco.

This latest study is published in the March issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter. Quite what hookahs have to do with mental health I don’t know, but there you are. Anyway the researchers found that hookah smokers inhale more often and for longer periods than people who smoke cigarettes. So much more and longer in fact that the researchers estimate that the hookah user inhales the equivalent of 100 cigarettes or more during a single session.

100 cigarettes! That’s right. All those delicious carcinogens washing into your lungs and blood stream, increasing your risk of heart disease, lung cancer and respiratory problems. Suddenly doesn’t seem like quite as much fun does it?

Teaching Teens How Not to be Tipplers

The first part of this next piece of health news is going to seem really lame, but stick with it, the end result is worth it.

So, a 3 year study of middle-school students by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College looking at teens, advertising and alcohol use found that – shock, horror – teens who can recognize and resist the efforts of alcohol ads to make them start drinking, are less likely to drink than teens who don’t recognize and can’t resist those ads.

See what I mean about lame. They found that if kids recognize they’re being hoodwinked they are less likely to buy the product that is trying to hoodwink them. Duh!

But it is important in one sense, it shows that it’s important to teach children media awareness skills so they have a greater understanding of how advertising works, what it is trying to do, and most importantly how they can resist its siren song persuasive efforts. The better young people, in fact the better people of any age, understand what they are seeing and reading and hearing, and the influence those mediums are trying to exert on them, the better equipped they are to be able to resist them.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: