You have most likely heard about the growing trend of aromatherapy in the past few years.  Aromatherapy uses essential oils to treat a variety of different ailments. 

What are essential oils exactly?  Are they oils that are essential for survival?  Not quite. 

They are actually oils that are extracted from plants.  These oils give plants their fragrance, or “essence”. 

The theory behind aromatherapy is that when these fragrances are inhaled, they can have positive effects on the mind and body.

Bottle of "mental clarity" oil

If you have heard of essential oils, you’ve almost certainly wondered if they actually work.  Unfortunately, only preliminary studies have been conducted for now. 

Most of these studies were limited by small sample sizes or other factors. 

As such, the amount of concrete evidence establishing a link between essential oils and any type of ailment is limited.  The majority of the studies have looked at a potential link between essential oils and stress or anxiety

Also, essential oils do not need approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because no specific medical claims are being made.   

With that being said, the studies that are out there have established essential oils as a possible aid in treating stress and anxiety

At the very least, they will fill your home with pleasant aromas. 

Keep in mind that essential oils can be mixed together.  Oftentimes, mixing oils together can lead to different positive effects, not to mention some very unique scents.

Here are a few examples of essential oils that could help treat stress:


Studies have indicated that lavender reduces symptoms associated with anxiety, which often results from stress. 

Also, lavender has been suggested as a great way to treat insomnia and improve sleep quality.  Lack of sleep and low-quality sleep is a known cause of stress. 

Lavender has been proven to have calming effects on the body. 

Although further research is needed to prove the medical uses of lavender, the results of current studies indicate positive results.


Bottle of "calming" oil

Bergamot oil comes from the rind of bergamot oranges.  It is regarded for its calming and mood-boosting effects

A 2014 study showed that when hospice patients were given a hand massage with an essential oil blend, their pain and stress were reduced. 

However, bergamot only accounted for one-third of the blend, so it is unclear if it was the main contributing factor. 

According to a 2011 study conducted in Taiwan, inhalation of bergamot oil was demonstrated to reduce physical symptoms of stress even more so than lavender. 

This is a good sign that bergamot oil can help manage stress.

Clary Sage 

As with any essential oil, research on clary sage oil is limited.  One clinical trial conducted in 2013 suggested that clary sage oil may reduce stress in certain female patients. 

Also, a study done on rats in 2010 indicated that clary sage oil could be useful in dealing with anxiety.

The Positives Outweigh the Negatives

Even though essential oils have not yet been proven to treat disease, they can still be beneficial when managing stress.  The aromas of the oils promote relaxation and calmness, which will reduce stress. 

There are many different blends of oils that contain the essential oils mentioned above and many more blends that contain other essential oils.  Experiment with as many as it takes until you find one that relieves your stress.

Whitney Hovind, Operations Coordinator

Whitney Hovind, Operations Coordinator

Whitney has worked for Hartig Drug for almost two years. During those two years, Whitney has developed a strong passion for Home Decor and more often than not, products from the stores end up in her home.

She lives in Dubuque, Iowa, and enjoys traveling to new places, spending time with her family, attending concerts, and decorating her home.