Research in homeopathic medicine has been on the mind of many mainstream consumers in recent years, and people doing more research into homeopathic remedies for sickness and relaxation have found that essential oils appeal to both needs.
The essential oils can help with many common physical discomforts, like headaches and stomach aches. They can also induce calmness or focus in the user. For many students, the use of aromatherapy is beneficial during times when they need to be focused.
“My favorite is peppermint if I’m studying,” senior Lizzy McHan said.
McHan has been using essential oils for almost eight years. She said she started using them her freshman year of high school.
“My mom first read about them in a magazine and introduced me to them to help with my headaches,” McHan said. “I used them when I had dry sockets when I got my wisdom teeth out and they worked amazingly.”
The use of essential oils for daily discomforts can also give users many benefits.
“I use them some medicinally,” senior Berkley McDonald said. “I wouldn’t say I use them to cure any illnesses, but I use peppermint for headaches, lavender for stomach aches or cramps, and eucalyptus for allergies.”
Essential oils can be diluted for air purification. Many people will use the oils for perfume or put drops on their facial products for acne and inflammation.
The combination of different oils is used primarily for aromatherapy purposes, and the unique mix of essential oils can be tailored to each individual. For instance, McHan said she uses peppermint oil for focus, while McDonald would use the same oil to help ease headaches.
“I will take a blend that other people have researched, and I will use their mix to make another blend,” Dr. Amy Qualls, associate professor of English, said. “I want to make blends that smell pleasing but also have the homeopathic benefits.”
Qualls distills and blends her own essential oils from herbs and plants from her garden. She started researching methods to make oils after spending time looking into the process of making quality oils.
“I have always enjoyed growing plants and taking things from the garden and using them,” Qualls said. “Essential oils have always been something that I’m drawn to because I don’t like synthetic smell.”
Qualls began using oils in lotions and cleaning products to add a smell that she enjoyed, before beginning to grow and make her own oils.
“I use essential oils for personal use and cleaning,” Qualls said. “I match blends on my mood or what I think people are most needing.”
The research on medicinal uses for essential oils is continuing to increase, as well as the daily uses for personal comfort. Junior Bonnie Ritchie said she uses essential oils both to relax and wind down, as well as to ease headaches.
“I’ve kind of trained my brain to react to the different scents,” Ritchie said. “If I use scents like lavender, I will calm down and fall asleep. If I use peppermint, my headaches will go away. I think using essential oils is a matter of whether or not you want them to work.”