What’s that smell?

Insight into the uses of aromatherapy

Evidence is building relating positive health outcomes and improved overall well-being with the use of aromatherapy.  Most research focuses on cancer, pain management and management of mental illness including anxiety or depression. Aromatherapy is a growing therapeutic technique which targets the senses and stimulates the brain in a manner which aids in positive health-related outcomes.  For maximum effectiveness, however, you need to be educated on the use and interactions of essential oils.  Oils should be selected for their use as appose to their aesthetic appeal.  Additionally, pure oils should be used in place of those with artificial scents and added fillers.  Essential oils recommended in healthcare practice should be fully analyzed and researched by the recommending care provider to enhance safety and efficacy of the practice but this post is less about their implementation in clinical care and more a general overview of some specific oils and potential uses.  Below, find a breakdown of some of the uses of basic scents provided by artnaturals and Dr. Axe’s Essential Oils Guide, as well as my personal reflection on their scents.

  • Eukalyptus – known for antiseptic qualities, invigorating and purifying; The slightly medicinal scent (sort of like a cough drop) of this oil opens up the nose and the lungs.
  • Tea Tree – used often for skin conditions including acne or sores, anti-fungal, can stimulate the immune system; To me, this oil smells very earthy which provides a very grounded scent.
  • Frankincense – earthy for a spiritual environment, builds immunity and reduces inflammation; I often use this scent when diving into my Bible for a study.  I always use this oil in combination with others as it compliments the other scents well, particularly the fruity scents.
  • Sweet Orange – eliminate bad odor; This scent is commonly used in cleaning products and therefore gives me a positive mood as I associate it with tidiness and decreased anxiety.  I often use it when studying as it provides me with a sort of motivation in a sense.  It is such a fresh scent which makes me think of summer and sweetness.
  • Lemongrass – reduce body aches and pains, improves lymph drainage; This, very similar to sweet orange, is often used in cleaning products and I use it when studying as I mentioned above.  The scent is fresh as I mentioned above with just a slight sour tinge to stimulate the mind and body.
  • Peppermint – cooling and calming, relax overworked muscles, supports digestion and aids nausea, improves focus and boosts energy; This oil is absolutely exceptional for migraines and mental stimulation.  I use this when studying to stimulate mental acuity or directly massage it onto my temples when I have a headache.  The slight burning/cooling sensation is so refreshing and revitalizing.
  • Rosemary – boost mental activity including improving brain function and memory, aids in hair growth and strength; Yet another oil I often use for studying as it stimulates the mind.  It has a very warm and pleasing smell.
  • Lavender (my fave) – calming and may provide soothing skin benefits including healing cuts and burns; I use this scent daily to help me relax and unwind.  It is such a beautiful scent incomparable to any other.

artnaturalsThese oils can be used alone or mixed to be multifunctional.  A few of my favorite combinations include Rosemary + Lavender, Peppermint + Lavender + Lemongrass, Lemongrass + Sweet Orange + Frankinscence.  Play around with it and see what you like!

Check out this kit under $40 and perfect for beginners!  And best yet, all scents featured in this post are present in this kit.

Finally, since I am a dork when it comes to nursing and holistic medicine, here are a few articles which I found interesting while doing some research for this post so you can dork out with me if you’d like…

  1. Aromatherapy and nursing: historical and theoretical conception
  2. Use of aromatherapy to promote a therapeutic nurse environment.
Note: Aromatherapy should not be used in place of medical treatment but 
instead in conjunction with other therapies.  Consult your doctor before 
using aromatherapy for any physical medical condition/ailment as well 
as during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

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