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The essentiality behind essential oils

Essential Oils

As the semester winds down, stress and anxiety amp up. Essential oils may become your new best friend.

The school year is in full swing and so are all the stressors that come with it. Long nights, stress, sickness, early mornings and headaches. Although most people turn to their holy trinity of CAA (coffee, Advil and Adderall), there is a better and healthier alternative to turn to. 

“I started using essential oils about a year ago,” University of Kansas junior, Abbi Schroeder says. “My mom sparked my interest and at the time I was getting really bad sinus infections. I found that peppermint and eucalyptus was able to clear my sinus and head pressure. I’ve incorporated them into my daily routine and it helps so much.” 

Essential oils are a staple in many households, but a lot of people don’t know which oils are best for them or what they do,” aromatherapist Andrea Scalisi says. “Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to treat illness and enhance spiritual awareness. They’re a wonderful tool for empowering us to take control of our wellness in a natural and holistic way.”

University senior Erica Schoeman also found essential oils were imperative to her health and wellness. “I started using oils like peppermint to help with my intense headaches and lavender to help relax me after a long day,” Schoeman says. “I’ve found that both really help me feel like I’m doing something good for my body without the need to take medicine all the time.”

Which Oils Should You Use?

Whether it be stress, illness or anxiety, essential oils are something small to start incorporating into a routine for overall health benefits. “Our culture has become very impatient, and we’re used to popping a pill to make our symptoms go away quickly,” Scalisi says. “Essential oils invite us to slow down, and heal the root of our problems so we can really be well, instead of just covering up our symptoms.”

Stress/Anxiety Relief: Oils like orange, lime and patchouli are your best friend. “The citrus oils like orange and lime are really uplifting and are natural antidepressants,” Scalisi says. Additionally, Patchouli is said to be calming and grounding and as a result is great for nerves. “These oils are all reasonably priced, too – great for college life!” Scalisi says. “These can be inhaled directly, or a few drops of each can be added to a diffuser.”

Energy: Orange, grapefruit and lemon are all very uplifting. Spicy oils like cinnamon and ginger are also said to be motivating. 

Relaxation: Lavender is the best choice for relaxation. Andrea Scalisi recommends mixing it with water and spritzing your bedding, or using it in the diffuser. Another option is to add a drop to some unscented lotion and massage it onto your skin.

Pain/Headache: For tension headaches, peppermint is your best bet. “It’s important to dilute it because it’s very strong and too much will make a headache worse. A little goes a long way,” Scalisi says. Rosemary is another great alternative for headaches too and it’s also great for memory!

“It makes a good study buddy” Scalisi says. She recommends diffusing the oil, or placing a drop or two on a cotton ball to keep it at your desk.

Where Can You Buy Them?

As college students, it’s difficult to find any healing properties without breaking the budget. Buying essential oils isn’t as expensive as you’d think, but there are some important things to know when you’re shopping for your batch of oils.

“When buying essential oils, you have to look for the words “therapeutic grade,” “pure” and “organic.” Don’t buy your essential oils from the grocery store! Yes, they’ll be cheap, but that’s because they're adulterated with synthetic chemicals.” Scalisi says. The oils listed above you can get between 10-20 dollars.

“I recommend Aromatics International,” Scalisi says, “they’re an up and coming company that only offers certified organic, therapeutic grade oils. You can read the descriptions, and reach out to them with questions and they’ll get right back to you.”

The next time you start feeling unlike yourself, look into essential oils as the next step for healthy and holistic living. The results just might surprise you.

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