Can Aromatherapy Be Used to Replace Medicine?

Ashley Donahue, Social Media Editor

As researchers learn more and more about our bodies, scientists are creating new medicines to fix our issues, but there are a lot of people who are exploring natural ways to replace medicine, such as essential oils. 

Essential oils are “complex mixtures of aromatic compounds extracted from plant material.” Examples of plant materials that essential oils are made of are: lavender, chamomile, and peppermint. 

They are not classified as a drug, and they were not created to cure any illness or infection. 

“Using essential oils should never be used in place of any medication without proper supervision by a physician,” said licensed massage therapist Michele Mack. 

Because of the curing qualities that some essential oils have, people often mistake them as substitutes for medicines. This is, however, not the case. 

So, the answer is no, essential oils should not be used as a medicine substitute. Aside from this, aromatherapy is a safe practice when done properly. 

Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to relieve anxiety, fight off infections, ease medication side effects, and improve sleep.

Not sure where to get started? How about a boost to your energy throughout the day. A few essential oils are bergamot, ginger root, and grapefruit. All three of these oils are known to boost the energy of their users. 

Aromatherapy can be practiced in many ways. According to Healthline, recommended methods would be direct inhalation, indirect inhalation, and massaging. 

Direct inhalation of essential oils involves hot water and an inhaler of some sort. The explanation is more or less in the name. 

Indirect inhalation is usually practiced with a diffuser or, less commonly, by dabbing the oil on a cotton ball and inhaling that way.

Massaging can be done professionally or by your own hands. This method involves working the oils into your skin, just as you would do with a lotion. 

With massaging, it’s necessary to use a different type of oil as a dilluter, such as coconut oil, before massaging with the essential oils. This is needed to prevent skin irritation, diluting can also help enhance the scent of the oil. 

Essential oils can also be implemented into self-care routines through putting a few drops into bath water, baking with them, or drinking a cup of tea infused with them. 

No matter which way the user chooses to use essential oils, the main goal of aromatherapy is to better their overall well-being.