Aromatherapy has been used as a practice for soothing aches, pains, and illnesses for thousands of years. Despite that, this plant-based practice only gained steam within the last century, and there’s no sign of it slowing down now – essential oils and skincare products built on aromatherapeutic scents are now more popular than ever.
While it can work wonders – from soothing our stresses to putting us to sleep to battling unsightly cases of nausea – knowing your scents and the purposes they serve takes a little bit of research. Lucky for you, we’ve done the legwork. Below, we’ve put together a comprehensive aromatherapy guide to 8 of our favorite scents. Follow it closely to choose the best remedy for your next ache, pain, or illness:
Rose: It may smell lovely, light, and fragrant, but rose packs a powerful aromatherapeutic punch that helps to soothes multiple physical and emotional issues. Rose essential oil can also used as an antiseptic and to promote feelings of joy and happiness. When to use: To combat depression and anxiety; helps to improve circulation, respiratory issues, and heart conditions. To try: Rose + Palo Santo Mist by Woodlot ($19)
Lavender: Perhaps the most popular aromatherapy scent, lavender is widely known for its relaxing and healing properties. It aids with stress relief and is often used to promote restful sleep and relaxation. When to use: To reduce stress and encourage feelings of calmness and patience; as a healing aid against migraines and common illnesses like cold and flu. To try: Sleep Face & Body Mist by Vitruvi ($24)
Lemon: Lemon is a favorite scent when it comes to home cleaning products. Aside from its cleansing properties, this aromatherapy favorite is also known to improve concentration as well as physical ailments like acne and arthritis.When to use: To aid digestion, improve concentration, decrease physical ailments like acne and arthritis. To try: Everyone Aromatherapy Blend Pure Essential Oil Focus by EO Products ($11.99)
Peppermint: You may be familiar with the soothing effects of peppermint (there’s a reason restaurants offer you a mint after dinner, after all), but did you know that peppermint is also known for its invigorating, uplifting, and cooling properties? Try peppermint oil as a stimulant next time you need an energizing afternoon pick-me-up. When to use: Soothes digestive issues and other stomach problems; contains stimulants and energizing properties to increase concentration during times of mental or physical fatigue; also used as a mood lifter. To try: Peppermint Vitalizing Massage & Body Oil ($48)
Chamomile:You are getting very, very sleepy – or at least we are, thinking about the effects of our nightly mug of chamomile tea. Aside from its relaxing properties, chamomile is a gentle oil that can also be used on babies, in particular to help with teething problems. When to use: As a relaxation aid and remedy for mild aches and pains; can also be used for prevention of painful and irregular periods. To try: Repair Balm ($18)
Cedarwood:Rich, earthy cedarwood has a particularly warm, homey smell. Aside from its positive vibes and even better smell, cedarwood is an anti-inflammatory with relaxing, sedative properties. When to use: Works well as a general health tonic that stimulates metabolism and tones the organ systems; also used as a diuretic that can help cure obesity and high blood pressure as well as nausea and fatigue; known to elevate irritation from coughs and colds. To try: Balsam Cedarwood Body Cleanser ($20)
Jasmine: Called the “King of Oils” by some, jasmine offers a large variety of benefits for both the mind and body. It’s sweet, floral, warm, and well regarded for its multiple benefits and uses. When to use: Soothes, calms, and revitalizes; helps to combat depression and bring out feelings of love and warmth. Also used to ease muscle aches and pains and irritations associated with cough and colds. To try: Jasmine + Citrus Frankincense Candle by Little Barn Apothecary ($24)
Tea Tree: Despite its warm, delicious smell, tea tree is mainly known for its physical and cosmetic properties and is often used in skincare products (we’re looking at you, toner) and to soothe an oil scalp. When to use: To soothe a sunburn, heal cuts and scratches, alleviate excess oil secretion on the skin and scalp, and more. To try: Tea Tree Essential Oil ($16)
p.s. Don't forget one of the best ways to maintain emotional health this season: self care!