Glossary of Terms

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Therapeutic Inhaled Essential Oil (TIEO) Therapy: The skilled and controlled use of inhaled essential oil vapor for physical and emotional health and well being.

Aromatherapy: use of essential oils or other scents to achieve therapeutic bene ts. This term is often used interchangeably with ‘essential oil therapy’, however some experts feel it does not accurately de ne the exclusive use of pure essential oils.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM): encompasses health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medicine. CAM focuses on the whole person and includes physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. CAM includes mind-body medicine (such as meditation, acupuncture and yoga), manipulative and body-based practices (such as massage therapy and spinal manipulation), and natural products (such as herbs and essential oils).

Integrative Medicine: Integrative medicine combines, or integrates, the best of conventional medical care with the best of evidence-based CAM.

Essential Oil: a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds found in the secretory cells of plants.

Volatility: is the tendency for a substance, generally a liquid, to vaporize. A volatile liquid readily evaporates under normal temperature and atmospheric conditions.

Aromatic: a quality of a substance or plant, allowing it to emit a pleasant and distinctive smell.

Essential Oil Distillation: Process whereby raw plant material, consisting of the owers, leaves, wood, bark, roots, seeds, or peel is placed in a distillation device, such as a still, over water. As the water is heated, the steam passes through the plant material, vaporizing the volatile compounds. The vapors ow through a coil, where they condense back to liquid, which is then collected in the receiving vessel.

Cold Pressing: an extraction method mostly with citrus, whereby the rind is pricked, and /or pressed to extract the essential oils.

Olfactory Receptors: are smell receptors capable of binding odor molecules, located inside the nasal cavity.

Olfactory Cortex: The olfactory cortex is located on the medial aspect of the temporal lobe. This is the most primitive part of the cerebrum and connects directly to the limbic system (emotional system), which is why smells often directly trigger emotions as well as memories.

Scent Bias: occurs when someone’s experiences or attitudes in uence how they evaluate a smell as positive or negative.

Conditioned Aversion: When the mind develops a strong resistance towards something, such as a taste or smell, after associating it with feeling sick.

Essential Oil Blending: is the working together of two or more essential oils that result in an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects. More powerful therapeutic results are often obtained when essential oils are blended together than when used individually.

Environmental Sensitivities: is a chronic medical condition characterized by symptoms that the affected person attributes to low-level chemical exposures to commonly used chemicals. Symptoms can include dizziness, headaches, and in ammation of the airways and GI tract. Clinical trials have shown that patients with this syndrome can react as often and as strongly to placebos as they do
to chemical stimuli; the existence and severity of symptoms is related to perception that a chemical stimulus is present.

Independent Nursing Interventions: are patient care actions sanctioned by
professional nurse practice acts. They include interventions falling within the scope of nursing knowledge and skills, and can be performed or delegated without obtaining a physician’s permission, or order.

Personal Inhaler or Passive Diffusor: interchangeable terms for a device which allows the aromatic vapor of essential oils to passively diffuse into the immediate surroundings after the cover is removed. In a clinical setting, the safest practice is to use a device designed to prevent any skin or mucous membrane contact with undiluted essential oils.

Ambient Concentration: in reference to essential oil vapor, it is the amount of vapor in the immediate surroundings.

FDA GRAS Designation: “GRAS” is an acronym for the phrase Generally Recognized As Safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a food additive, that has been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use.

Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil: At this time, no governmental agency “grades” or “certi es” essential oils as “therapeutic grade,” “medicinal grade,” or “aromatherapy grade” in the U.S. There is no formally approved grading standard used consistently throughout the essential oil industry.

Back to: Therapeutic Inhaled Essential Oils (TIEO) for the Clinical Setting


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