Why some hospitals are offering essential oils to surgery patients

More hospitals are using essential oils to help surgical patients with pain management, relaxation and nausea, according to an article from Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic.

Four things to know:

1. Essential oils are super-concentrated oils extracted from botanicals that target smell receptors in the nose, triggering calming effects in the nervous system and brain.

2. Research on the use of aromatherapy is still limited. However, smaller studies point to its benefits, and many patients say essential oils help reduce nausea, soothe sore muscles or encourage relaxation.

3. Researchers found patients who undergo aromatherapy after surgery report better pain management and higher overall satisfaction with their care, according to Mayo Clinic.

4. Essential oils can also offer benefits for patients before surgery. A 2017 study published in Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology found lavender aromatherapy reduced preoperative anxiety among patients undergoing general otolaryngology procedures.

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