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Friday, October 22, 2010

[AlternativeAnswers] Aromatherapy: is it about the chemistry or the perception?

 

Hello,

I'm new to this group, and I have some basic questions.

Are the effects of aromatherapy based on chemistry or on perception?

In other words:

If the value of aromas is due to the chemicals involved, then...
- related chemicals might also help even if they smell different;
- they can still help people who have a poor sense of smell;
- the effects are likely to be relatively uniform over a large group of people.

But if the value of aromas is due to subjective perception and response, then...
- related chemicals that smell different will have different effects;
- unrelated chemicals that smell similar will have similar effects;
- people with a poor sense of smell will not be helped much by aromatherapy;
- the effects are likely to be subjective and relatively unpredictable over a large group of people.

This is a serious, if ignorant, question.

All serious repliles will be appreciated.

Ted Shoemaker

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