How Many Models of Aromatherapy?

How Many Models of Aromatherapy?

Over the course of recent history, three models, or systems, of aromatherapy have dominated the landscape—the British model, the French model, and to a lesser extent the German model.

One could argue that a fourth unrecognized model exists—the American model that incorporates aspects of all three. Each of these models has contributed to the current knowledge and clinical use of essential oils in different ways.


French Model

The French model emerged in the early 1900s when French chemists and physicians began experimenting with and investigating the therapeutic value of essential oils. This model advocates the neat—without diluting in carrier oil—topical application and oral administration of essential oils.

A deep understanding of pharmacology, toxicology, and physiology is used to determine the therapeutic application of essential oils.


British model

The therapeutic application of essential oils was introduced to England during the 1950s by Marguerite Maury, who encouraged the heavy dilution of essential oils before applying them to the body and discouraged oral administration because she was not a medical doctor.

The British model uses small amounts of essential oils mixed in abundant amounts of carrier oil before topical administration as part of an aromatherapy massage. One of the key contributions of this model to essential oil therapy is a greater knowledge of the safety of essential oils, and possible drug interactions and health contraindications.

German Model

The German model mainly consists of using essential oils for inhalation purposes. However, Germans greatly advanced the knowledge of distillation procedures during the sixteenth century.

Studies suggest that even this simple model largely relying on the inhalation of essential oils can have profound psycho-physiological effects.


American Model

The American model recognized this fact that each model has its strengths and offers something useful for the essential oil practitioner and layperson alike.

This model integrates the best of all models and enriches them with scientific evidence. It combines ancient traditions, established protocols, consensus of user testimonials, and scientific evidence to determine therapeutic and safe uses and protocols for countless health conditions.


So, American model also called evidence-based essential oil therapy. There are three essential oils used here:

(1) Evidence-based essential oil therapy is a balanced approach to the therapeutic use of essential oils and suggests a range of dilution—from neat to highly diluted—for topical application.

By suggesting a dilution range, each person is able to customize his or her essential oil usage according to his or her current state of health, body physiology, propensity towards sensitivity, and level of comfort.

(2) Evidence-based essential oil therapy also supports the oral administration of essential oils, and suggests standardized dosages based on body weight and age.

A significant amount of evidence exists to suggest that ingesting reasonable amounts of essential oils is not only safe but offers wide-ranging benefits to human health. In general, only extreme doses are problematic.

(3) Another aspect of the evidence-based model of essential oil therapy is its use of science to determine contraindications and drug interactions.

Many essential oils could interact with drugs if taken concurrently, and so it is important to be knowledgeable of these interactions. Indeed, the medical literature and clinical case reports verify that interactions do occur. In addition, some medical conditions require more cautious use of essential oils, and this too is shared as part of this model.



The evidence-based practitioners of essential oil therapy recognize that essential oils are a big part of a complete integrative approach to human health. This practical approach incorporates all available medical methodologies, with an emphasis on the least invasive remedy that is still effective.

They prudently involve their Western physician or modern medical practitioner in their health decisions, inform him or her of their activities, and seek permission to incorporate natural remedies. According to the theoretical development of essential oils, I think the American model will be the trend in the future.

So, many people are more cautious when using essential oils, especially for certain people. If you don't know how to use essential oils, consult a medical organization or an aromatherapist, such as a homasy oil engineer, to provide a more appropriate suggestion for the use of essential oils.


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