Introduction to the Aromatherapy Database


The Aromatherapy Database is a unique resource for exploring and understanding the bioactivity of essential oils and their components via published scientific research.


The objective of the Aromatherapy Database is to not only simplify the process of searching for information but also to simplify the understanding of the information once found.

  • To search public bibliographic databases on the internet is so time-consuming because there are just so many papers that are not concerned with the bioactivity of essential oils. We have already done that work for you and made sure that every database entry is relevant.
  • Not every journal is included in public databases. We have access to the major scientific databases of the world that are not available to the general public and so can gather our information from many sources.
  • Articles are now published in Open Access journals, where you can download the full paper for free. However, across all disciplines, only 13% of articles are published in Open Access journals (a 2017 study by the Max Planck Society).
  • For those articles not downloadable for free, you will have to pay for the download, usually from £20-£40 per article. We have the full paper on file for every reference included in our Database.

Why is this latter point so important? For the most part, you will only have access to the abstract of the article and as the name suggests, this is only a brief summary of the information contained within the research. It can often give a misleading or inaccurate representation of the research and cannot be relied upon. A simple example is of an abstract refering to an essential oil, but the Materials and Methods section of the full paper also detailing the use of a water or alcoholic extract of the plant.

So how can the Aromatherapy Database help you in this regard?

  • If the reference relates to an Open Access journal then we will save you the effort and send you the full paper via email in PDF format.
  • For the majority of papers, we cannot send the full text to you due to copyright law. We do, however, hold the full papers on file and this is what makes the Aromatherapy Database so unique.
  • You can ask us any question(s) that you need about a particular paper and we will read the full text and provide an answer. This is the next best thing to having the full paper in front of you and at a fraction of the cost.
  • You can ask us as many questions as you like about as many papers as you like. Should anything need clarification then just contact us.

There are also a few other benefits of the Aromatherapy Database that may be of interest to you...

  • Already built into the system is a chemical component database. An underlined component in the abstract is a hyperlink to a pop-up box containing additional information about the component, including a structural drawing. This can be printed. If we don't have a particular component on file, you can ask us to add it.
  • A new feature just starting is the inclusion of hyperlinks in the abstract texts that link to explanations of scientific / medical words, phrases and techniques. These pop-ups will help you in understanding how the research was done and what the conclusions were. If a hyperlink is not present about something that you are interested in, just ask and it will be added.
  • If you have heard of a paper that we do not have in our Database then we will do our best to locate it and add the paper to our collection.
  • If there is an unusual or new essential oil that is not currently covered in our Database, then we will search our resources for you and include any references that we may find in our Database.
  • There is a blog within the website where we will highlight a few of the latest papers published every month.

The only thing we will not do is search our own Database and provide you with the results. You have to do some of the work!

Everything that has been detailed above is included in an annual subscription of £75 (about US$97).