Aromatherapy for the Health of It

Aromatherapy Diffuser by Laurie  Buchanan

Aromatherapy Diffuser by Laurie Buchanan

Responding to stress is natural, but staying in a constant state of stress eventually produces negative health effects. Cortisol—also known as the death or stress hormone—is part of our body’s natural response to stress. Yet when it’s released at high levels and/or not allowed to ease up, it decreases immunity, bone density, and the overall quality of life.

Because aromatherapy triggers the relaxation response, it’s an effective self-health method that can diminish, if not eliminate, stress from taking root in the body. This response can balance cortisol levels, decrease heart rate and blood pressure, improve digestion, and normalize blood sugar levels.

Totally portable, essential oils are easy to use. You can inhale a single essential oil, or create a synergy—a blend of oils.

At HolEssence we use diffusers that waft our Signature Scent—a proprietary blend of lavender, ylang-ylang, and rosemary—throughout the yoga studio, office, and treatment room. Inhaling the aroma is immediately calming, yet uplifting. Many people who walk in say, “Ahhhhhh, it smells like heaven in here.”

Most people tolerate essential oils well, but care must be taken that the fragrance isn’t overpowering. Essential oils you may want to consider in your self-health program include:

Chamomile is calming, soothing, and relaxing. It has a sweet, herbal, and fruity aroma.

Ylang Ylang is anti-depressive and relaxing. This evergreen tree has intensely fragrant flowers, followed by green fruits—a little goes a long way.

Eucalyptus is balancing and stimulating. Its aroma is a mix of camphor and the forest.

Geranium is comforting and healing. It has a sweet, floral, and earthy aroma.

Lavender is well known for its calming and therapeutic effects. It’s floral, sweet, woodsy, and herbal smelling.

Rose is warm and deeply floral—a little goes a long way.

Rosemary is refreshing and stimulating. Its fragrance is refreshing, woodsy, and herbal.

Sandalwood is very relaxing. It has a woodsy, sweet, and exotic scent.

Marjoram is used to deal with anxiety and insomnia. Its fragrance is warm and spicy.

Jasmine is soothing and relaxing. It has a warm, floral scent.

Neroli is relaxing—it has sedative properties. Its fragrance is floral and refreshing—a little goes a long way.

Note: as with anything used for medicinal purposes, check to ensure that the essential oils you use don’t have any negative interactions with current health issues and/or medication. The purpose of this post is not to for you to stop your current healthcare regimen. Rather, to bring awareness that Aromatherapy is a wonderful complementary self-health treatment that can help to create a healthier you.


33 thoughts on “Aromatherapy for the Health of It

  1. Well that answers my question I have been meaning to ask for months. Wether you used what oils you use and do you have preference, as well as what brand to you find more effective?

    I have collected and use oils for sometime now, I have not used a diffuser. Because I use them on my body usually.

    I can only imagine what your office etc smells like. Of course I have gotten a sense of that through the packets I have received from you!!!

    Great post !

    I am Love, Jeff

    • Jeff – There are many good brands of essential oils out there. I’m a fan of Aura Cacia, a mid-sized company that doesn’t mass produce their oils. When you use oils directly on your skin, do you use them “neat” (as-is, without a carrier oil), or in a diluted form (mixed with a carrier oil)? The reason I ask is that some essential oils (not all) can “burn” the skin if applied “neat.”

      • Jeff – That’s excellent (peppermint and cinnamon are two that immediately come to mind that can have a “burning” effect for some people if used “neat” — without a carrier oil).

  2. Good morning, Laurie. I’ve been immerse in book revision and my aromatherapy oils have been most helpful. I dab Living Oils “joy” on my nose and over my heart when I am getting dressed and keep my little roller bottle of Blisoma “cham-o-mint” at my desk. Both have keep me happy, energized and balanced during this process. Thanks for the reminder about the other oils! I always appreicate you informative posts. Sheila

    • Sheila – It’s so good to see you here. I know you’re busy as a bee getting your next book ready for publication, and I’m very excited for you. I have a roller bottle of lavender that I swear by. I use it on my wrists between clients. Ahhhhhhhhh

  3. I love aroma therapy oils and especially my lavender pillow that can be warmed in the microwave and then placed on a needy spot.

    I also use a bit of peppermint cream on my wrists when I pay the bills – it is energizing, calming, and makes me feel positive.

    Nice sharing and good ideas…I liked knowing what each of the oils was for – sometimes for me it is just guess work

    • Patricia – Peppermint is also good for staying energized, staving off headaches, and settling a nauseous stomach. I never thought about it for paying bills–you smart cookie, you!

  4. Thanks for the great info, Laurie. An area of interest, but an area I know very little about! I do enjoy candles in my office (sunny space) and kitchen especially. Those are rooms where I need inspiration and good energy, in particular! Have a poetic week. With heart, Daisy

    • Daisy – I’m happy for your visit today, thank you. I, too, enjoy candles and always have one burning when I write. I think of a flame as a “sacred contract” (so to speak) and never blow one out. Rather, I extinguish the flame by placing a big glass Mason jar over the top (that also keeps that smoke-smell at bay).

  5. Laurie I love the smell of most natural things… dirt, seaweed, flowers and essential oils with a light touch so as not to take away from what is already there.

    Your post reminds me the smell after a fresh rain on a hot August afternoon when the hay is drying in the fields. Thinking summer. Yum! My nose is excited.

    • Terrill – You hit the nail squarely on the head with, “…and essential oils with a light touch so as not to take away from what is already there.” You’ve heard the say, “Less is more.” This is oh-so-true when it comes to working with essential oils.

      I love the sense-filled word picture you painted!

  6. Hi Laurie

    i like the way you characterise stress.
    I agree that oils can mitigate some of the effects of stress.
    I think what is needed is action by individuals to address the root causes of stress in our society.

    We need to act to remove the root causes of stress.
    This means seriously questioning the assumptions beneath current economic and political systems, and the development of systems that support all individuals in secure cooperative and diverse societies.
    It means creating technologies that are decentralised, the deliver abundance to all (which have no economic value, because money only measures that which is scarce, abundance has no economic value).

    These are deep issues for minds that have accepted the myth of money without question.

    • Ted – The sentence that really jumped out and resonated with me is:

      “It means creating technologies that are decentralised, the deliver abundance to all (which have no economic value, because money only measures that which is scarce, abundance has no economic value).”

      That’s positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing–the four ingredients that are required for something to be for the Highest and Best Good.

  7. A lesson in fragrance! Thank you, Laurie. And I very much appreciate Ted’s root lesson above 🙂 I took my car in to get some paint damage repaired and the workshop was connected to the office. The only thing I could smell was the paint. If I can smell the paint, that means there are molecules in the air that those workers were all inhaling all day long. You would think that knowing how harmful paint fumes are, the company would have the offices detached from the workshop.

    I am definitely going to have to take some of your lovely fragrances into my office. I don’t have a high stress job but it can be a little aggravating at times.

    • Barbara – I sure hope the people working with the paint were wearing respirators! Good heavens, that’s an illness just waiting to happen! If you’re going to take an essential oil to your office, lavender is among the most subtle and relaxing. However, I love grapefruit — it has a clean and invigorating smell that seems to help with clarity as well.

  8. I would like to discover an essential oil that smells like hot cinnamon rolls, that is a comfort scent that I can truly admire. I work with many types of herbs on a day to day basis, mints and thymes of every scent and flavors, scented geraniums are one of my favorites. I have to admit that patchouli is the one that I would especially like to grow for the fragrance alone.

    • Sandi – The smell of cinnamon essential oil reminds me of Christmas. I rarely use patchouli by itself (an itty-bitty amount goes a very, very long way). For my nose, that’s a really good one to blend with either bergamot, clary sage, geranium, lavender, and/or myrrh.

  9. Pingback: Another week’s worth of posts | Ted Howard NZ's Blog

  10. Good morning, Laurie–a day late to class. Thank you for sharing about essential oils. I didn’t know too much about them except Kiah likes to use them and our yoga teacher, Shanel, puts a blend on our temples before meditation and it smells sooo good and relaxing.

    • Kathy – You’re never late. Whenever you arrive is the exact perfect time. Now you’ve got me curious, I wonder what blend Shanel uses? I’ll betcha a dollar to a donut it has either lavender and/or chamomile if she’s putting it on your temples just before meditation. Ahhhhhhhhhh

  11. Of course Laurie, this is the time of the year when all the sneazing, sniffling, rubbing the eyes, and nasal congestion is common, so there’s aperiod where I wouldn’t be able to avail myself of the attributes of this property. But you’ve well delineated it’s health benefits, and who doesn’t suffer stress. I got a dose of the latter over the weekend when I turned in my own Honda Odyssey after three years and leased another. I allowed myself to fall victim to severe price gouging and only now am feeling the stress after teh fact! I appreciate these great suggestions here!

    • Sam – I can well imagine that being a teacher you’re around a concentrated amount of germs with all of the students. My friend Karen drives a Honda Odyssey and absolutely loves it! For you to have traded yours in for another one tells me that you love yours too. Maybe that takes a bit of the sting out of the price gouging, plus they’re really, really safe! 🙂

  12. Thanks for this valuable information, Laurie. Every time I’ve thought about getting into aromatherapy I get overwhelmed by the choices of scents available! But I remember how wonderful the room where I received Reiki treatments smelled and how relaxing and peaceful it was to be there… You given me a better idea about what scents I could start out with – thank you!

  13. Hi Laurie,

    I just have the same diffuser at home :).
    I love Ylang-Ylang, sandelwood and cinnamon. The combination of them works very good.

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