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Can Essential Oil Really Combat Stress? Let’s Break it Down

Everyone has heard of the magic of aromatherapy. It seems to pop up every time you look at wellness blogs or search up alternative medicine. Psychologists have begun to suggest the use of essential oil as a coping strategy after research has proven it helpful for treating stress. As alternative medicine begins to become a mainstream practice, we can only suspect that the popularity of essential oils will skyrocket.

In my experience of using essential oils for over two years, I strongly support the use of essential oil. I’ve even convinced some of my friends to buy essential oil diffusers after going on and on about the numerous benefits. Not only does it make your room smell good, but it also helps change your life.

The essential oils may not work for everyone and not all essential oils are the same, so it may take some find to find an oil that works for you. Essential oil uses scents to trigger memories and we are unique in how scent affects our bodies. When you breathe in essential oil, the vapors are absorbed in brain tissue and is breathed into the lungs. This creates a reaction of the body to the oils.

My Pick of Essential Oils for Stress:

As a quick disclaimer, putting essential oil on the skin without diluting it can cause burns and not all essential oils should be ingested. I am only suggesting oils that can be used in an essential oil diffuser or on the skin when diluted with a carrier oil.

My favorite essential oil brand is Nature's Truth because of the quality and price point. These essential oils are pure oils, plant-based and non-GMO. It is sold for around $6.99 at Target and Walmart.

Lavender: Lavender is a common oil that is often used to help combat stress. It is known for helping to calm the nervous system and changing brain waves. Lavender has been used in many studies to treat patients with anxiety and depression, so there is an overwhelming amount of research to support the use of this oil.  Everyone seems to love the smell of lavender.

Lemon: Lemon has been used as a sedative in animals. It has also been used to relieve nausea and anxiety in a UK cancer center. Lemon reduces the level of corticosterone, which is the stress hormone. Lemon is a nice scent to blend with other essential oils, to create your own custom scent to help combat your stress. I personally do not like the smell of this scent alone.

Lemongrass: Lemongrass is a citrus-like scent that actually comes from an herb. It helps reduce tension and anxiety when inhaling three to six drops. It can help get you into a relaxed state and is very calming. This is a more delicate smell if you have a sensitive nose.

Peppermint: Peppermint is a great essential oil for memory and alertness. When I'm stressed and overwhelmed with homework, I put a few drops in my essential oil diffuser. I personally find peppermint to be a very soothing scent that instantly gets me in the head zone to focus. It helps to give mental clarity and ease nerves. This is an amazing option if you want an essential oil to help with meditation or when you still have work to do.

Ariana is the Editor In Chief for Her Campus Lasell. She is a senior at Lasell double majoring in Business Management and Marketing. When she's not editing for HC Lasell, she's binge-watching Netflix or buried in a good book.
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