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have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
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this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 4/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7973
Clinical Use of Aromatherapy
What is Aromatherapy?
The use of an essential oil for health and
What is an essential oil?
Essential oils (EOs) are found in the flowers,
leaves, bark, wood, roots, seeds and peels of
aromatic plants. EO is a liquid product that
is extracted from an aromatic plant.
How are EOs used at UW Health?
There are 6 EOs available to patients who
would like to try aromatherapy
ξ Peppermint Mentha piperita
ξ Ginger Zingiber officinale
ξ Red Mandarin Citrus reticulata
ξ Frankincense Boswelllia serrata
ξ Lavender Lavandula angustifolia
ξ Rose Rosa damescena
These EOs are offered during hospital stays.
Please do not use EOs brought from home.
These EOs can be used to:
ξ Decrease nausea and vomiting after
ξ Decrease pain
ξ Promote sleep
ξ Promote wellbeing
How will aromatherapy be given?
Your nurse will ask you about what you
hope to receive from aromatherapy. This
will help your nurse to choose EO options
with you. Your nurse will offer you samples
of the EO options until you find an aroma
There are two options for you to receive
aromatherapy by inhalation.
ξ Your nurse places 1-3 drops of the
EO on a cotton ball, places it in a cup
and asks you to breathe deeply for 5-
10 minutes with the cotton ball near
ξ Your nurse places 1 drop of the EO
on each of the top corners of your
bedsheet, or 1 drop on your
For some patients using a non-scented lotion
with or without EO for a hand relaxation
technique called the ‘M’ technique© is an
Diffusers will not be used to give EOs in the
How do I know if Aromatherapy is
right for me?
Sometimes EOs are not a good choice for
patients. Below is a list of reasons not to
choose to use EOs:
ξ If you are pregnant or think you may
ξ If you have a history of using EOs
and had breathing problems while
ξ If you have asthma or other
ξ If you have migraine headaches.
ξ Peppermint will not be used with
children 3 years old or younger.
Talk with your nurse if you have any
questions about aromatherapy.