Aromatherapy Education
An invaluable investment in your life, health, and career.

Approved Standards for Professional Aromatherapy Education

NAHA Level One – Foundations Aromatherapy 30 hours


  • Introduction to the history of Aromatherapy
  • Profiles of 20 Essential Oils
  • Production and Quality of Essential Oils
  • Basic Physiology - to include: methods of absorption, general overview of olfaction, the limbic system, the lymphatic system, the immune system, and the skin
  • How essential oils interact on physical and emotional levels
  • Basic essential oil chemistry with contraindications of certain essential oils
  • How to create/design an effective blend
  • Diluents such as vegetable oils and other carrier bases 
  • Methods of application (inhalation, diffusion, topical, optional: internal)
  • Safety issues (including dermal, respiratory, internal)

Required Essential Oils for Level One

  • Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
  • Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • Lemon (Citrus x limon)
  • Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
  • Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
  • Rose (Rosa damascena)
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
  • Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)

In addition to the above 12 essential oils listed, 8 more may be chosen by the teacher/instructor. Students should be made aware of the endangered or threatened status of such essential oils such as: Agarwood (Aquilaria sp.), Frankincense (Boswellia carteri), Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) and Sandalwood (Santalum album).

1. Required elements for student graduation based upon approved standards in aromatherapy education:
1.1 Student must complete a minimum of 5 case studies.
1.2 Student must sit and pass examination offered by school.

NAHA Level Two: Professional Aromatherapy Certification

1. Required Standards of Education/Training
1.1 Schools and Educators wishing to comply with NAHA’s Standards of Aromatherapy Training must provide a minimum of two hundred (200) hours of training and practical tuition in the fields of aromatherapy and essential oil studies and anatomy and physiology.
1.2 According to the standards approved and adopted by the Council, Aromatherapy and Essential oil studies should comprise of the following core curriculum requirements:

  • History and Modern Development
  • The basics of botany (specifically taxonomy)
  • Properties of essential oils within a holistic and clinical framework
  • Methods of extraction
  • Organic chemistry
  • Diluents such as vegetable oils and other carrier bases
  • Blending techniques
  • Methods of application (inhalation, diffusion, topical, optional: internal)
  • Safety and Aromatherapy (including dermal, respiratory and internal use)
  • Consultation and client education program design
  • The basics of business development
  • Legal and ethical issues (include a copy of the NAHA Code of Ethics for students)

The following systems to be covered in depth:

  • The Respiratory System
  • The Olfactory System
  • The Integumentary System
  • The Circulatory System
  • The Reproductive System
  • The Musculoskeletal System
  • The Lymphatic/Immune System
  • The Endocrine and Nervous System
  • The Urinary System
  • The Digestive System

Graduating students should be knowledgeable in the structure and function of all the major systems of the human body, together with the clinical science of at least five (5) common ailments of each system. Students entering an aromatherapy program with a degree in health related fields (e.g., nurses, massage therapists, doctors) may test out or be exempt from the anatomy and physiology section only in relation to that part of the training which goes over the structure and function of each system. Pre-existing health professionals are still required to complete training in the application of essential oils to each system and the effect of essential oils on a variety of common ailments.

Any exemption of the anatomy and physiology portion of training should only be allowed when the request for exemption is fully supported by relevant documentation.

2. Required elements for student graduation based upon approved standards in aromatherapy education
2.1.1 Student must complete a 5-10 page research paper (pertaining to an aromatherapy topic).
2.1.2 Student must complete a minimum of 10 case studies.
2.1.3 Student must sit and pass examination offered by school.
2.1.4 Student must study a minimum of 25-30 essential oil profiles in addition to required Level I essential oils 

NAHA Level Three: Clinical Aromatherapy Certification

NAHA's goals are to be progressive with our education standards. As aromatherapy continues to evolve, we hope to set standards that are supportive to this growth and evolution of aromatherapy.

The NAHA board is currently working on Level 3 Standards. Watch for an update in the spring of 2017.

Case Study Writing Guidelines 

1) Identify the client’s chief complaints.

2) Summarize the client’s background, relevant facts, and any key factors leading to the current complaints.

3) Formulate a thesis statement.

4) List your aromatherapy recommendations for the client.

5) Demonstrate that you have researched your recommendations for the client and/or explain your reasoning for choosing specific essential oils and any other recommendations.

6) Explain any constraints and recommend alternatives (e.g., alternatives to oils that are out of budget, allergies, sensitivities, personal preferences of the client).

7) After following your client for a minimum of 3 months, summarize your client’s outcome. Include details on compliance, any improvements, set-backs or challenges that your client experienced.

8) Summarize your action plan for the future.

Research Paper Writing Guidelines

1) 5-10 pages typed and double spaced.

2) 12 point Times New Roman, Ariel, Bookman or Courier Font.

3) Data and evidence must be quality and of logical reasoning.

4) Choose an aromatherapy related topic.

5) Research information about your topic.

6) State your thesis.

7) Organize your research notes.

8) Create an outline.

9) Include references at the end of your paper (note that plagiarism is a serious offense and will be grounds for failure). Good information on citing references in scientific research papers can be found here:

10) Type your rough draft.

11) Optional: Ask a fellow student or colleague to proof read your rough draft for you.

12) Type your final draft and submit it to your instructor.

13) Optional: Once your final draft has been accepted by your instructor, submit a copy to NAHA for possible publication in the NAHA journal.

14) Aromatherapy trade journals, herbal associations, and research links:

15) Safety guidelines:

Anatomy and Physiology training programs:

Many NAHA Approved Schools as well as most Universities and Colleges offer live and on line Anatomy & Physiology classes.


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