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What Is Aromatherapy And How It Can Help You Emotionally

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

The word “aromatherapy” comes from the Greek terms “aroma” (pleasant odor) and “therapeia” (treatment), and can be interpreted literally as “treatment through pleasant odors”. Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy, to achieve physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance through the use of essential oils. It is currently seen as a therapeutic resource recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and in Brazil, it is one of the complementary therapies offered by the Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS).

According to records, the use of natural products in health treatments has been around for over 2000 years BC. However, the term “aromatherapy” was first published in 1920 by Maurice René de Gattefossé, a French chemist. He observed the healing power of lavender oil on a burn and coined the term  “aromathérapie”.

But how does aromatherapy work? Essential oils, the main product used, are compounds extracted from flowers, fruits, leaves, and roots of aromatic plants. They are concentrated substances and their main characteristic is their strong aroma. The substances that make up the aroma of essential oils release particles that stimulate nerve cells and this stimulus activates areas of the brain of the limbic system, where we have full access to emotions, feelings, beliefs, and memories of a lifetime.

Therefore, when reaching the limbic system, as most of the discomforts we feel in the face of challenges have emotional roots, aromatherapy helps to alleviate these challenges, harmonizing what is in imbalance and having a greater awareness, which allows the transformation of painful and difficult memories.

This therapy provides the balance of emotions, tranquility, and mental clarity helps to reduce stress and anxiety and raises the vibrational pattern of the environment. In a holistic and natural view, essential oils are multidimensional: that is, they treat physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and vibrational aspects.

There are different methods for inhalation: through diffusers, application in accessories, bedding, massages, foot baths, baths, and compresses. It is also possible to find essential oils in the composition of cosmetics. It is worth emphasizing that because pure essential oil is 50 to 100 times more concentrated than in the plant, it is necessary to take some safety measures such as: do not apply undiluted essential oils directly to the skin; do not ingest; do not inhale directly and intensely.

To obtain the expected result, it is necessary to know how to choose the essential oil that presents the desired effects. Check out some of the main oils and their benefits focused on emotional issues:

Orange essential oil

Known as the “oil of joy”, it helps to fight stress and discouragement and encourages positivity and a sense of well-being.

Lemon essential oil

Helps cognitive development, increases concentration, decreases anxiety and stress levels, and helps regulate mood.

Rosemary essential oil

Combats mental fatigue, lack of memory, and difficulty concentrating.

Lavender essential oil

Fights excess stress and anxiety, restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, and respiratory problems. Increases calm and well-being. 

Peppermint essential oil

Excellent for bringing cheer and energy on days of sadness or laziness. It is known for renewing energies.

And remember: always be sure to use essential oils safely. If you’d like to use essential oil but have health-related questions or concerns, speak with your doctor before using the oil.


The article above was edited by Larissa Mariano.

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Giovanna Oliveira

Casper Libero '25

22 years old. Advertising student at Casper Libero. Passionate about books and travelling. Events producer at HC since aug'22.