Here we look at the claims for aromatherapy.

Version: 2.0 Last updated: April 2023 To be reviewed: November 2025

Treatment details


Alternative therapy



Some potential for harm



No or limited evidence that it is effective



The makers claim

Reduces tinnitus symptoms – different aromatherapy oils have different claims for the mechanism by how this is achieved[1].

What is the treatment?

Essential oils are mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the skin, or added to water, warmed and inhaled.

What are the downsides of this treatment?


Skin or membrane irritation, photosensitivity & other allergic reactions[2].


Has there been research into this treatment?

There have been no papers published on aromatherapy as a treatment for tinnitus[1] [3].

What does the research say?

There is limited evidence to support the use of aromatherapy as an aid to sleep[4] [5] [6] [7] or to reduce anxiety[4] [7].

There is no evidence to support the use of aromatherapy as a treatment for tinnitus.

Aromatherapy may be considered as a way to improve relaxation but current tinnitus management guidelines do not make any recommendation about relaxation strategies to help manage tinnitus[8] [9] [10].

Tinnitus UK


More randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind studies with large sample sizes are needed to confirm the effectiveness of aromatherapy for tinnitus patients. Uniform, validated, tinnitus-specific questionnaires and measurement scales should be used in future studies.

All online references accessed 2 November 2022 unless noted.

1. DiSogra RM. Essential Oils for Hearing Loss, Tinnitus and Vertigo. Audiology Today. July/August 2019.

2. De Groot AC, Schmidt E. Essential Oils, Part 1: Introduction. Dermatitis (2016)
27(2) 39-42

3. Pubmed search by author

4. Mokhtari R, Ajorpaz NM, Abdi K, Golitaleb M. The effects of Rosa damascene aromatherapy on anxiety and sleep quality in burn patients: A randomized clinical trial. Burns. (2022)
Aug 2:S0305-4179(22)00199-1. doi:

5. Mohammadi F, Moradi M, Niazi A, Jamali J. The Impact of Aromatherapy with Citrus Aurantium Essential Oil on Sleep Quality in Pregnant Women with Sleep Disorders: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. International Journal of Community Based Nursing & Midwifery.
(2022) Jul;10(3):160-171. doi: 10.30476/

6. Cheng H, Lin L, Wang S, Zhang Y, Liu T, Yuan Y, Chen Q, Tian L. Aromatherapy with single essential oils can significantly improve the sleep quality of cancer patients: a meta-analysis. BMC Complementary Medicine & Therapies. (2022) Jul 14;22(1):187. doi: 10.1186/

7. Sazawa K, Kawada S, Ogawa Y. Effects of nighttime lavender aromatherapy on mood and physiological indices of stress in healthy young females. The Journal of Physical Therapy Science.
(2022) Jul;34(7):503-508. doi: 10.1589/

8. National Guideline Centre (UK). Tinnitus: assessment and management.
(2020). Mar.

9. Cima RFF, Mazurek B, Haider H. et al. A multidisciplinary European guideline for tinnitus: diagnostics, assessment, and treatment. HNO 67 (2019). 10–42

10. Tunkel DE, Bauer CA, Sun GH, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline: Tinnitus. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. 2014;151(2_suppl): S1-S40.