Stress and aromatherapy



Yesterday I was asked to talk more about 5 different types of stress and how aromatherapy (the use of essential oils) may help alleviate it.

The stress, that we experience, can be divided into 5 types:


is caused by, for example, bright lights over the desk or noise from the equipment in the office or factory, or too cramped office space. The oils for this type are: cedarwood, coriander, basil, cypress, chamomile. If we look at the herbs themselves, which give us those essential oils, it窶冱 easy to see a bit of a link between the medicinal qualities of the herbs and the goal we want to achieve using them for stress. When speaking of environmental stress the first thing that comes to mind is sensory overload, detoxification. Coriander and basil, for instance, are great detoxifiers, which can be grown in your garden and used in cooking on the daily basis!


is caused by inner chemical imbalance 窶 too much caffeine or alcoholic drinks, too many pain-killers or antibiotics, inhaling air-pollutants (smoke, fumes, even chemical fragrances, such as automated air-sprays in public spaces). Some of the essential oils for this type are: lavender, petitgraine, lemon, rosemary, clary sage.



is caused by pushing your body to the limits 窶 overworking in the gym, preparing for a marathon, etc. Rosemary, lavender, chamomile, fennel may be suitable here.



may be caused by trying to achieve, taking exams, unemployment, financial worries. Good essential oils for this type are: sandalwood, cardamom, grapefruit, patchouli, lavender.



may be caused by relationship problems, grief, inability to give or receive love, etc. Geranium, rose, sandalwood, palmarosa, vetiver are great oils for this type of stress.
These stress types can vary in the degree they affect a person. So here we differentiate between the types of stress (where it came from) and how deeply each type can go into our body (the degree it affects us). Generally, 4 levels/ degrees of stress are identified:


LEVEL 1: starts as tiredness, irritability, headaches, insomnia

LEVEL 2: anxiety or depression develops, muscular pain, chronic aches, persistent infections, guilt, apathy, helplessness

LEVEL 3: all sorts of phobias may develop, despair, increasing guilt and depression, susceptibility to viral and bacterial infections

LEVEL 4: unexplained pains, heart problems, strokes, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, arthritis, auto-immune disorders; the brain and the immune system is further depressed.


Aromatherapy can offer synergistic blends for each type and level of stress. A skilled practitioner would be able to assess a patient and make suitable essential oils blend.

Interestingly, modern medicine considers stress to be a major cause of basically any disease. And I will talk more about stress and its effect on the body in the next blog post.