Aromatherapy: The holistic approach to Relieve Stress

Stephy Gandhi

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Aromatherapy or essential oil therapy is the traditional and good alternative of allopathy medicines for holistic healing of health and mood. The word Aromatherapy was coined by French chemist and the treatment have been used for thousands of years.

The essential oils are made from the parts of the trees like bark, root, peels or also from flowers or herbs. The cells which give the fragrance to its plant known as essence and when the essence is extracted from the plant is called essential oil. Not all plant product contains essential oil. True essential oils are made with special process by taking care of not destroying its chemistry. Lemon, chamomile, cedarwood, lavender are the regularly used essential oil in aromatherapy.

The International Standard Organisation defined an essential oil as a “product obtained from distillation raw material, either by distillation with water or steam or from the epicarp of citrus fruits by a mechanical process, or by distillation”

The essential oils contain potent medicinal properties such as antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, insecticidal, antioxidant, etc. But the most important thing to remember is the natural compounds are also the chemicals so better to take the aromatherapy under the guidance of health professionals.

How Aromatherapy treats stress?

 In Aromatherapy, we use the fragrance of essential oil to calm our body and the treatment works by activating the limbic system where our emotions are processed.

When we inhale the fragrant air of essential oils, it activates the olfactory receptors in the nose. The receptors transport the information to the limbic system and may also have some impact on the hypothalamus which releases serotonin hormones that makes us feel good and relax.

Benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is not about curing the illnesses but it is the conventional treatment of various health conditions. Scientific evidence suggests aromatherapy is beneficial in managing the following health issues:

Sleep disorders

Stress, anxiety, depression

Headache and migraines

Protect against viral, bacterial and fungal infections

Digestive issues

Enhance immunity

Treat side effects of Chemotherapy

Nausea, vomiting


Menstrual complaints

Menopausal problems

Ease discomforts of Labour



Erectile Dysfunction

Tooth ache can also be treated by clove oil but it should be applied topically only

Skin infection like Psoriasis can also be managed by aromatherapy but needed to take the advice of health professional

The effects of common essential oil


It is used to treat minor cuts and burns. Just drop a little amount of oil on the cuts and will stop bleeding. It can be used for relaxation and relieving headaches. It also can heal the dry skin, dermatitis, Nausea, vomiting, etc.


This is used for hair problems, sharpen memory, enhancing circulation and brain health.To use Rosemary oil, just use it topically or inhale it by diluting with some oil as Rosemary oil is the concentrated oil.

Lemon oil

used for improving mood and treating depression. Also treat dental issues, digestive problems, Nausea, Skin Problems, etc.


for treatment of Eczema, Skin Problems, Nervous system, Rheumatism, etc.


This is used during cold or flu but some people are allergic to it so care should be taken.

How to use Aromatherapy?

By following two ways aromatherapy is given:


Inhalation of Essential oil is done by diffusers, steam bath, inhalers, spray etc through which it enters into the nose where it activates olfactory receptors which give sense to the brain and then it affects the limbic system. The limbic system is linked with heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, stress, emotions, and hormone balance and thus it treats the body holistically.

Topical Application

Massage oils, taking bath and skin care products are absorbed through the skin. Massaging the oil stimulates the blood circulation and increases absorption. The essential oils never to be applied directly to the skin. Always dilute it with some carrier oil like sweet almond or olive oil.

Risks associated with treatment

Every essential oil has its own chemistry and particular medicinal use, therefore, it is required to consult the aromatherapist to discuss its route of application, dose before switching the treatment.

Not all essential oils give benefit to everyone like an example person with High BP should not be given stimulants such as lavender oil. An individual suffering from Asthma, Hay fever, psoriasis, Epilepsy should be more cautious while taking the treatment.

Aromatherapy is not recommended for Pregnant or Nursing mothers as it may affect the fetus during pregnancy and peppermint oil should be avoided during breastfeeding as it might get expressed in breast milk.

The essential oil derived from citrus fruits may give sunburn effects. Even concentrated products are poisonous so it may damage the liver, kidney and nervous system. The maximum concentration of 5 percent is recommended.

Aromatherapy has also some mild side effects such as Nausea, vomiting, headache etc but they do not appear last long.

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