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Aromatherapy for Emotional Well-Being


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Aromatherapy for Emotional Well-Being

It is certain that odors have strong psychological effects.  Odors arise from volatile chemicals that interact with olfactory cells in the nose.  They follow a straight path from the olfactory lobes into the heart of the limbic system, the seat of emotions, without previous processing through higher cognitive or rational centers.

Although aromatherapy should not be considered a miracle cure for serious emotional issues, the use of essential oils may assist, sometimes greatly, with particular emotional issues. Additionally, the proper use of essential oils may enhance your emotional outlook and provide support and help balance your emotions during the day. The use of essential oils for emotional well-being is what is often first thought of when someone thinks of the term "aromatherapy."

Essential oils are comprised of naturally occurring chemicals that work in synergy with one another. Because essential oils evaporate quickly (known as being "volatile"), their molecules are easily inhaled. Without providing an intimidating lesson in olfaction (the science of the sense of smell), the inhalation of these naturally occurring synergistic chemicals provide triggers to our brain. These triggers effect our emotions. Inhalation of these wondrous molecules also provides physical benefit which may also work together to aid in our emotional state.

Sweet orange oil is a good example. The smell of orange helps provide emotional balance and bring on a positive outlook. Sweet orange oil is a wonderful oil to use alone or in a blend for those winter blues that often occur in the colder, grayer times of the year. The aroma of sweet orange oil also blends nicely with many oils and has the added advantage of being one of the more inexpensive essential oils. It is also generally regarded to be one of the safer essential oils to use.

Borrowed from Essential Oils for Emotional Well-Being page located within AromaWeb's Oil Profiles area, below is a list of emotional states and the oils that are commonly known to be of help. When using any oil, it's important to follow all safety guidelines and safety issues that pertain to the particular oil.

Not all oils provide the same level of benefit for all persons. Past memories associated with particular aromas can have a positive or negative effect. Rose essential oil, for instance, is known for aiding during times of grief. Your past experiences with the aroma of rose oil, however, may impact its effectiveness for use during times of grief. If you had a loving grandmother who often smelled of rose, for instance, your reaction when smelling rose may differ than if you had an abusive grandmother who typically smelled of rose. If your rose-smelling grandma died, your reaction to the aroma of rose will be impacted by your past associations with the aroma. Do not force yourself to use an oil that elicits negative feelings or that you don't like the aroma of, even if it is one that is listed below.

It is important, therefore, that you treat any list of essential oils used for emotional well-being as a starting point. Within the confines of safety, experiment and utilize those oils that bring about the purpose that you seek.


Bergamot Citrus bergamia, Jasmine Jasminum officinalis, Neroli Citrus aurantium, Orange  Citrus sinensis, Patchouli Pogostemon cablin, Petitgrain Citrus aurantium, Roman Chamomile Anthemis nobilis, Rose Rosa damascena, Vetiver Vetiveria zizanoides, Ylang Ylang Cananga odorata


Bergamot Citrus bergamia, Cedarwood Cedrus atlantica, Clary Sage Salvia sclarea, Frankincense Boswellia carterii, Geranium Pelargonium graveolens, Lavender Lavendula officinalis, Mandarin Citrus reticulata, Neroli Citrus aurantium, Patchouli Pogostemon cablin, Roman Chamomile Anthemis nobilis, Rose Rosa damascena, Sandalwood Santalum album, Vetiver Vetiveria zizanoides


National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

Top 10 Essential Oils:

Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus globulus or Eucalyptus radiata: Helpful in treating respiratory problems, such as coughs, colds, and asthma. Also helps to boost the immune system, and relieve muscle tension.

Ylang Ylang, Cananga odorata: Helps one to relax, and can reduce muscle tension. Good antidepressant.

Geranium, Pelargonium graveolens: Helps to balance hormones in women, good for balancing the skin. Can be both relaxing and uplifting, as well as antidepressant.

Peppermint, Mentha piperita: Useful in treating headaches, muscle aches, digestive disorders such as slow digestion, indigestion, and flatulence.

Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia: Relaxing, and also useful in treating wounds, burns, and skin care.

Lemon, Citrus limon: Very uplifting, yet relaxing. Helpful in treating wounds, infections, and house cleaning and deodorizing.

Clary Sage, Salvia sclarea: Natural pain killer, helpful in treating muscular aches and pains. Very relaxing, and can help with insomnia. Also very helpful in balancing hormones.

Tea Tree, Melaleuca alternifolia: A natural anti fungal oil, good for treating all sorts of fungal infections including vaginal yeast infections, jock itch, athletes foot, and ringworm. Also helps to boost the immune system.

Roman Chamomile, Anthemus nobilis: Very relaxing, and can help with sleeplessness and anxiety. Also good for muscle aches and tension. Useful in treating wounds and infection.

Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis: Very stimulating and uplifting, good to help mental stimulation as well as to stimulate the immune system. Very good for muscle aches and tension. Stimulating to the digestive system.