Is there really anything to aromatherapy? Has anyone scientifically studied aromatherapy? The answer is yes: there have been studies on aromatherapy, with exciting conclusions. Many people use aromatherapy to create a sense of calm or to change their mood. It’s possible to stimulate specific physical reactions by using scents. Smell is a powerful sense; it goes directly to the emotional center of your brain, creating very distinct reactions. This is why we have such strong reactions to smells, especially if they are linked to experiences we’ve had. One of the scientifically proven aromatherapy health benefits is the effect of the smell of lavender on the body. Lavender slows your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure. You can request for lavender essential oil to be added to your massage oil, which is something professional massage therapists often do. Many geriactric units are starting to use lavender to calm and soothe dementia patients. Another option is geranium esential oil, since that also slows heart rate and lowers blood pressure. Another interesting aromatherapy find is that peppermint is quite a potent scent. It has been determined that peppermint enhances your ability to focus, increasing your alertness and mental clarity. One particular study allowed kids to chew gum while answering questions on a test, and discovered that when kids chew peppermint gum, they score better. Another fun aromatherapy scent is grapefruit esssential oil, which is said to work as an appetite suppressant. A fun study on age perception and scent determined that men thought women who wore grapefruit essential oils were younger than when those same women were evaluated while wearing other scents. However, not all aromatherapy is equal. Your body won’t have the same response to a synthetic product as an essential oil. And grade of the essential oil matters; always choose a high grade essential oil for maximum effectiveness. You can buy the expensive high grade essential oil and then use just a teensy bit in a base oil like almond oil or in a lotion.