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Our Campaign

The UK’s healthcare system is one of the best in the world but resources are constantly overstrained by budget cuts. The demands put on staff mean fewer people want to work in this stressful environment. Our campaign is for aromatherapy to become statutory regulated and included within the NHS’s provision, where it can support and improve the care available, thus reducing the pressure on staff and public spending on pharmaceutical interventions and related health costs. Essential oils have the potential to prevent conditions developing or worsening and to assist in both recovery and rehabilitation which could also free up GPs’ and nurses’ valuable time. Aromatherapy when applied to back pain, for example, has the potential to save significant costs spent on ineffective medication with frequently cited negative side effects and is notably evidenced for helping with the symptoms of dementia.

According to The Foundation of Integrated Medicine, CAM (NHS – Complementary and Alternative Medicine) is now available through 10% of doctors' surgeries with some alternative remedies available on prescription. However, there is still a cost attached to accessing these treatments, which we believe should be freely available, and still some way to go until it is recognised as mainstream. 

Interesting Fact: Did you know the IFA is the sole aromatherapy register that patients and the public are referred to by the NHS and PSA (Professional Standards Authority) which includes the Care Quality Commission?

The objective evidence base that supports aromatherapy comprises of clinical trials, case histories, clinical audits and also patient reported outcome data. The amount of such research and the media profile of some studies has led to a high level of public confidence in the efficacy of aromatherapy. Encouragingly, a recent survey conducted by the Department of Health found that more than two thirds of doctors believe CAM therapies should also be freely available on the NHS. In 2018 the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated Healthcare (PGIH) published a report calling for CAM therapies to rescue the NHS from financial crisis – although, with the outbreak of COVID-19 it is not surprising that this hasn’t yet come to fruition. During the pandemic, however, the IFA did work with the Government Department of Health and Social Care for our registrants to be classified as ‘Healthcare workers’ rather than being classified under ‘Beauty’. This enabled them to continue to work during one of the worst healthcare challenges of a century as ‘essential workers’ and were given priority to receive the vaccine. This was also a promising move forward.

Our four-pronged strategy to continue to validate our profession: -


The amount of research into the therapeutic benefits of essential oils has increased considerably both in the UK and Internationally. The IFA are the only clinical aromatherapy professional body and charity to fund essential oil research. In the past we have successfully conducted essential oil trials into endometriosis and rheumatoid arthritis for pain management and the alleviation of symptoms with positive results. More recently, prompted by the detrimental impact the pandemic has had on mental health, we are currently undertaking ground-breaking research into the therapeutic effects of traditionally distilled oils and CO2 extracted essential oils on stress. This pioneering study, funded by the IFA and conducted by Northumbria University, will pave the way for people to access and use essential oils to combat stress. One part of the study will also lead onto establishing whether CO2 oils have the same effect as traditionally distilled essential oils. We are proud to once more be at the forefront of scientific essential oil research which affects will impact the industry for many years to come.

Elevate Standards

The IFA has the highest standard of training in aromatherapy: our courses thorough and in-depth with all our schools closely monitored, and exams rigorously invigilated. The IFA represent the aromatherapy profession before decision-making bodies and we are a stakeholder in NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) as well as a core member of the IHC (Integrated Healthcare Collaborative). The IFA is actively involved with elevating academic standards, safeguarding the public perception of treatments and influencing policy in the CAM field for the benefit of the industry as a whole. We have worked with various government-led healthcare committees to improve the practice of aromatherapy worldwide, significantly the Aromatherapy Council - UK, AEAJ – Japan, National High-tech Health Industry Aromatic Healthcare Professional Committee - China. 

This, together with expanding our portfolio of courses which are designed to give access to all physical health challenges and social groups – e.g. our Aromacare programme being used in palliative care and special needs groups.

Disseminate Information

The IFA was established primarily to protect the public. We provide current, scientific and empirical information, professional support and training to practitioners and non-practitioners to allow service users to make informed decisions. We raise awareness amongst the press and public through our magazine, (which is registered with the British Library), national Aromatherapy Awareness week, press releases, specialist therapists, guest speakers, interviews and by promoting clinical research trials to validate our work.

In Working Practice: Support those in need

  • We integrate our Aromacare programme into hospices, care homes and special needs schools and train care-leads to improve the provision and quality of care available.
  • We place volunteers into various hospitals with our therapists currently working in oncology departments, as midwives, in ICU units, maternity wards, special care units and with autism groups.
  • We work with condition specific charities where evidenced research demonstrates aromatherapy’s effectiveness as a clinical intervention. We provide our volunteer therapists with the necessary equipment and resources to support those in need. These volunteers work after diagnosis by GPs/ consultants in hospices, hospitals, during clinical interventions or where no mainstream treatment is offered.
  • We fundraise and respond to disaster and crisis situations and support our volunteer therapists to be of assistance e.g natural disasters such as COVID, Tsunami and crisis’s such as 9/11, Crisis -  a Homeless charity, domestic violence, Qiu Zhi Primary Orphanage when there funding run out.

Aromatherapy is available in the following hospitals, many of which IFA members volunteer at:


  • Abingdon Medical Centre
  • Alder Hey Children's Hospital
  • Andaman Surgery


  • Barts Health NHS Trust
  • BHR Hospitals
  • Birmingham Women's and Children's (Maternity Ward)
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust


  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG
  • Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
  • Capefield Sugery
  • Chawton Park Surgery
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
  • Chertsey Helth Centre
  • Chipping North Health Cente
  • Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  • County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust


  • Dockham Surgery
  • Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dr Rauth Partnership


  • East London NHS Foundation Tust
  • East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust
  • East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • East Sussex Hospital
  • Evergreen Surgery


  • Fairfield Medicial Centre
  • Forest Health Care
  • Fountain Centre
  • Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust


  • George Eliot Hospital
  • Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital
  • Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust


  • Hampshire Hospitals
  • Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust
  • Heron NHS
  • Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust


Not at present


  • Kings Family Practice
  • Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Kingston Hospital


  • Leicester's Hospitals
  • Ling House Medical Centre
  • Lingfield Surgery
  • Little Bushey Surgery
  • Liverpool University Hospitals


  • Macmillan
  • Marlowe Park Medical Centre
  • Milton Jeynes University Hospital
  • Moorisde Surgery
  • Mulberry Centre


  • Newbridge Surgery, Wolverhampton
  • Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Newholme Surgery
  • NHS Coventry and Warwickshire CGC
  • NHS Forth Valley
  • NHS Gloucestershire Care Services
  • NHS Grampian
  • NHS Lothia
  • NHS Vale of York CGC
  • NHS Wales
  • North East and North Cumbria NHS
  • Norfolk Community Health and Cre NHS Trust
  • North Middlesex Hospital
  • North Yorkshire CCG
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
  • North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust


  • Oakley Surgery
  • Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
  • Oxted Health Centre


  • Parkwood Family Practice
  • Pavilion Family Doctors
  • Pond Tail Surgery


  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn
  • Queslett Medical Centre


  • RDaSH NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Surrey County Hospital
  • RWT Primary Care


  • Sherwood Forest Hospital (NHS Foundation)
  • South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals
  • St Luke's Christ Church Chelsea
  • Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sherwood Forest Hospitals
  • Sunrise Medical Centre


  • The Ash Surgery Liverpool
  • The Limes Medical Centre
  • The Park Surgery Great Yarmouth
  • The Quays Practice
  • The Red Practice
  • The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
  • The White Practice
  • Tudor Practice Stockland Green


  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Birmingham
  • University Hospitals of Derby and Burton
  • University Hospital Dorset NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of North Midlands
  • University Hospital Southampton
  • University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust


  • Wakefield Recovery College
  • Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Wells Health Centre
  • White House Folkestone
  • Whittington Health NHS Trust
  • Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Wivenhoe Surgery


  • Yellow Practice
  • York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals