Consumer Reports: Aromatherapy

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The large patio heaters are big, about eight feet tall and they weigh about 80 pounds, so they can be a chore to move. Consumers Reports says if you want one, it's best to get one with wheels. And consider whether you'd be better off with a tabletop heater. They're a lot smaller and lighter.

Aromatherapy is a word you're seeing everywhere these days. It's on everything from candles to lotions and oils. Now you're even seeing it on dishwashing liquids!

It may surprise you that the use of scents to influence mood is getting some scientific backing. Consumer Reports On Health takes a look to see trying an aromatherapy treatment or product might help in these trying times.

Aromatherapy has long been a staple of new-age spas and stores.
Here at this spa it's an accepted method of relieving tension and boosting mood.

Consumer Reports On Health recently checked out the science behind the scents.

"There have been some reliable studies showing that certain aromas such as lavender, lemon balm, orange blossom, can help do things such as reduce anxiety and agitation, improve mood, enhance well-being, possibly even reduce people's perceptions of pain."

Consumer Reports Jamie Kopf says while further research is necessary, there are a few fragrances that have already passed scientific tests.

To reduce anxiety, Roman chamomile, lavender or lemon balm might work. If you're looking to brighten your mood, almond extract, lavender, orange blossom or vanilla may help. And if you're tired and need to feel revived, the smell of rosemary may give you a boost.

The are many aromatherapy products you can use at home.

"You could add a couple drops of essential oil to your bath water."

You can also use a diffuser to heat essential oils and spread the scent throughout a room. Scented candles and bath products are other ways to experiment.

And in these stressful times, anything that might offer some relief is definitely welcome.

If you're interested in trying aromatherapy, Consumer Reports does have some cautions. It's not for everyone. You should avoid aromatherapy if you have a respiratory condition, a seizure disorder or are pregnant or nursing.

View more Consumer Reports stories here.

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