Aromatherapy reduces need for painkillers after surgery

Patients should be given aromatherapy treatment before surgery.  It halves the risk of post-op painkillers such as opioids, new research has found.

Lavender and peppermint are the best oils to use, say researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, who monitored 350 patients before they had hip replacement surgery.

Aromatherapy helps relax the patient; people who are apprehensive before surgery are 50 percent more likely to need painkillers afterwards.

The researchers either gave the patients a skin patch that slowly released essential oils for up to an hour before surgery or they were given a placebo.  Although anxiety levels were similar in both groups, there was a significant reduction only in those who had been given the aromatherapy.

(Source: Proceedings of the European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Milan, June 4-6, 2022)

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