Aromatherapy uses essential oils derived from plants to enhance psychological and/or physical well-being. In the cancer care setting, it is often used to help reduce emotional distress and improve quality of life. Certain oils play a role in managing skin infections, inflammation, and lesions caused by the disease or its treatment. Aromatherapy in this setting must be adapted for patients' individual needs and vulnerabilities and there are important safety considerations. This chapter focuses on essential oils used in aromatherapy as well as their modes of action (pysiological and psychological), definition and history of aromatherapy, aromatherapy massage, research on the benefits of essential oils, adaptations in the use of essential oils for the cancer care setting, and the antimicrobial effects of essential oils. This chapter also examines the use of essential oils in managing other conditions, including reduced skin integrity, fungating wounds, and anxiety and panic attacks.
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