June 15, 2003 |
I lie face down on a massage table. Below, accessible to my nose through the table's face hole, is a cloth saturated in aromatic oil. The smell is overwhelming. Acupuncture needles protrude from, among other places, the top of my head. Piano music plays. I'm sweating slightly and have a mild case of the spins. I'm in this generic-looking Westside medical office to relieve the throbbing pain in my lower back.
September 30, 2001 |
Can a whiff of the right fragrance keep you energized during a tedious drive, rejuvenate you after a long flight, coax sleep when you need it and ease travel-related stress? Advocates of aromatherapy--which uses fragrances derived from essential oils or extracts of flowers, fruits and other natural substances for a desired effect--claim it can, even though scientific research has produced mixed findings.
February 5, 2000 |
Tina Rocca-Lundstrom dips her head toward the candle dubbed Meditation and takes a sniff. The label says it contains patchouli and ylang-ylang, pure essential oils. True enough, but Rocca-Lundstrom, with her trained chemist's nose, also picks up a hint of synthetic perfume. "None of this is real," she said. "None of it." Controversy is intruding into the mellow, lavender-scented world of aromatherapy, the quasi-science of smells that purportedly enhance health, mood and brain function.
June 24, 1998 |
Aromatherapists advise using only natural essential oils, not the synthetic or diluted variety. One way to determine the purity of an oil is to place a drop on a piece of paper. If it leaves a mark after it dries, it is a synthetic oil. Price is also an indication. Pure rose and jasmine oils usually sell for more than $50 per one-quarter ounce. For more information about aromatherapy, here's a sampling of sources: * National Assn.
June 24, 1998 |
Although barely detectable by the average nose, fragrance fills the air of most shopping malls. Retailers want consumers to stay a little longer and buy a little more. Some real-estate agents supply home sellers with cinnamon rolls to pop into the oven moments before an open house. Smell sells. And it does more.
HOME & GARDEN
November 11, 1995 |
* Essential oils: Derived exclusively from the leaves, blooms and stems of herbs and flowers, essential oils are the purest form of the very essence of herbs and are not diluted with any other additives. * Poultice: A spread made from dried herbs spread on an affected area to soothe, treat or help disinfect. * Infusions: Herbs steeped like teas, incorporating leaves, stems and flowers. Consumed orally, they are often enhanced with honey or lemon and can be consumed hot or cold.