The use of integrative and complementary practices for health care has increased in the United States during the past decade.1-4  One complementary practice that has become more popular is aromatherapy, the use of concentrated essential oils extracted from aromatic plant materials (eg, flowers, herbs, leaves, bark, wood, roots, seeds, and peels) to treat illness as well as enhance psychological and physical well-being.2,5,6  The term aromatherapy was initially used by the French chemist Gattefossé in 1936; however, the use of distilled plant materials can be traced back to medieval Persia.6,7  In Notes on Nursing, Florence Nightingale described the use of aromatherapy to promote health and healing during the Crimean War.

Although relatively new to the United States, aromatherapy is used by nurses all over the world10  and has been...

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