Research Limitations of TIEO

The goal of this course is to provide the most current, evidence based information for nurses implementing TIEO in their clinical practice. However, certain research limitations for TIEO exist, and must be mentioned:

  • Studying aromas for clinical effect is challenging in humans. The studies are extremely difficult to double blind, and the emotional and contextual components of the sense of smell can enhance the placebo effect.
  • Since essential oils aren’t eligible for patents, most of the corporate funding that would normally pay for extensive, detailed research is not available.
  • Of the studies that have been done, many have looked only at the single constituents thought to produce certain effects. Examples include menthol in peppermint, or linalool in lavender. Many proponents of essential oil therapy believe that the intact EO must be used, in order for the molecules to work together synergistically. This should result in the enhancement of desirable effects, and the quenching of unwanted ones.
Back to: Therapeutic Inhaled Essential Oils (TIEO) for the Clinical Setting
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