Aromatherapy: Treatment for stress?

Mally Nichols, Reporter

College students deal with a lot of stress throughout their academic careers. They experience ups and downs, anxiety and depression, and much more. 

Students, especially now, are feeling isolated and they are struggling with the toll of the COVID-19 virus. There are plenty of different ways to cope with stress and other ailments, but have you ever tried aromatherapy?

Now, before getting into all the fun details, it’s important to start off with a solid foundation. So what is aromatherapy exactly, and how does it work?

Aromatherapy is an alternative healing method used to treat a variety of medical conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression. Certain types of aromatherapy can even be used as a sleep aid. 

The type of aromatherapy results typically depends on two different factors: the type of essential oil used to treat, and the application method. There are many kinds of essential oils and they can each be used individually or in combinations to serve different purposes.

Photo courtesy of Anshu A.

Before introducing the types of essential oils, let’s first discuss what they are. Essential oils come from all kinds of plants. They typically come from different parts of flowers, herbs, and trees, meaning there are many kinds of oils that come from many places.

There are plenty of different oils to choose from, but here are five of the most popular essential oils in use today and their benefits:


Lavender essential oil is typically used to create a relaxing atmosphere that can treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It can also treat acne, work as an anti-inflammatory agent, and repel certain insects like mosquitoes.


Peppermint essential oil can be utilized for nausea relief, reducing migraine headaches, energizing, can treat muscular aches and pains, and is also effective for repelling certain insects.


Lemon essential oil is used most often to aid the immune system, provide an uplifting atmosphere, and can even be used as an antimicrobial agent. This is why a lot of the cleaning sprays at grocery stores are lemon-scented.


Orange essential oil can be used to treat acne, improve mood, reduce stress, aid anxiety, and depression, and can even be used as an antioxidant.


Eucalyptus essential oil can be used for a variety of different things including as a treatment aid for cold and flu season, a decongestant, and can provide a boost of energy to those who need it.


The next thing to consider when trying aromatherapy is the application method. Essential oils can be used in a variety of different ways. They can be inhaled, used on the skin, diffused, or even just added to a bath. 

Inhalation is the most popular method when trying aromatherapy since it is the easiest. Some application methods may work better for one person more than others, so be sure to try several different ones before settling on a go-to. 

Keep in mind that some essential oils can cause side effects. Orange essential oils, for example, if applied directly before sun exposure, can cause skin irritation similar to a sunburn. Remember to research the oil you’re using before application and practice aromatherapy safely.


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