The role of aromatherapy in nursing care

Nurs Clin North Am. 2001 Mar;36(1):57-72.


Aromatherapy is the fastest growing of all complementary therapies among nurses in the United States. Although aromatherapy has been used by the public for recreation for thousands of years and by nurses throughout the world during the last 15 years, it is only in the last few years that aromatherapy has become recognized by US State Boards of Nursing as a legitimate part of holistic nursing. Aromatherapy is now set to become one of the most popular tools that nurses can use to enhance their nursing care and simultaneously empower themselves. This article explores the potential role of aromatherapy in nursing, highlights four essential oils, and suggests practical ways that nurses can begin using this gentle therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aromatherapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Hospitalized
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Holistic Nursing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Pain Management
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy
  • Smell / physiology


  • Oils, Volatile