Reliable Sources on Essential Oil Research


Since 1950, over 120,000 scientific research articles have been published on essential oils and their chemical constituents. But only recently have scientists realized the potential applications of essential oils to healthcare. Consequently, the last two decades have witnessed an explosion in essential oil research. Three quarters of all of the studies ever published on essential oils were published after the year 2000. 

Despite this explosion of scientific research, essential oils have not yet become integrated into clinical healthcare. This is partly because much of the research, while promising, is still experimental, and essential oils for now are considered alternative and complementary solutions. Also, the essential oil industry is limited in how it explains the benefits of essential oils since they are not registered as drugs.

Because of these limitations, many essential oil users and healthcare practitioners have shown increasing interest in doing personal research to help them understand the properties of essential oils.† Unfortunately, there are many sources on the web containing information that is either misleading, false, or at best ill-supported by scientific findings. At doTERRA, we encourage the use of scientific research to validate the proper use of essential oils. We have put together a list of reliable sources that you can use to educate yourself on the biological activity of essential oils.††

  1. PubMed1
    PubMed is a free search tool that you can use to browse the MEDLINE database, an enormous compilation of research maintained by the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institute of Health (NIH). PubMed is the library of choice for most physicians and scientists looking to find research on any topic in healthcare. Two drawbacks to using PubMed are that some research articles aren’t included in the MEDLINE database, and often searches for essential oil research can be cluttered by unrelated research studies. Many of the studies in this database are only accessible with a paid subscription to the publishing company.
  2. Google Scholar2
    Google Scholar is also a free search tool, and you can use it to find any research article on the internet. Many of the studies that appear in a Google Scholar search are only accessible with a paid subscription to the publishing company. Like PubMed, one potential drawback is the cluttering your results with articles not pertinent to your search.
  3. AromaticScience3

    AromaticScience is a free database devoted specifically to essential oil research publications. The library includes a search functionality, article abstracts, and links to the full text. Often the full text is only accessible with a paid subscription to the publisher. Newly published essential oil research studies are posted to AromaticScience on a daily basis.†††

Information from experimental research should never be used in place of or contradictory to indications from your healthcare provider.

†† These sources are intended for personal use and should not be used to promote or sell doTERRA products.

††† AromaticScience is affiliated with doTERRA, but is not intended to promote any particular brand of essential oils.


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