Scents that Heal: Aromatherapy for What Ails You

Soothe your skin, psyche, and more with easy aromatherapy and oil treatments made from pure plant extracts.

Treat sore muscles 

Apply black spruce oil after exercise to ease muscle tension. The extract from this evergreen is gaining traction as a remedy for soreness and inflammation, explains Scott Johnson, a member of essential-oil company Young Living’s science advisory council.

TRY Young Living’s Relieve It, a mix of spruce, black pepper fruit, hyssop, and peppermint essential oils. $55; youngliving.com


Soak up the vitalizing effects of peppermint oil by adding a few drops to massage oil or an aromatic diffuser, a device that spreads the scents of essential oils. The menthol in peppermint brings on an intense cooling feeling; when applied to the skin, it should be diluted first. Many essential oils pack a punch: Their benefits can be up to 100 times more powerful than those of dried herbs, explains Charlynn Avery, an aromatherapist and a holistic healing expert.

TRY Energize Essential Oil by Aura Cacia, a fusion of lemon, peppermint, rosemary, and sweet orange essential oils. $10; auracacia.com

Relieve stress 

Add a few drops of lavender oil to a hot bath before bed to promote relaxation. When in–haled, the tiny molecules of essential oils from the lavender family have been shown to affect the limbic system, which influences emotions, behavior, breathing, and stress.

TRY Sleep Ease Oil by Mountain Rose Herbs, an essential-oil blend that uses jojoba and grapeseed oils and essential oils of sweet marjoram, hops, valerian, chamomile, and lavender. $15; mountainroseherbs.com

Rejuvenate your skin 

Blend rosehip seed oil into your daily facial cream to help oxygenate and heal skin, and slow signs of aging. Rosehip seed oil is high in unsaturated essential fatty acids, which can help regenerate cell membranes, minimize age spots and wrinkles, reduce scars, and treat sun damage.

TRY Evanhealy’s Rosehip Treatment Facial Serum, a combo of vitamin E, rosehip seed and jojoba oils, and rose geranium, rosewood, and carrot seed essential oils. $26; evanhealy.com

Find focus 

Vetiver oil, derived from the roots of a perennial grass, is grabbing the attention of aroma-therapists. Budding re–search shows that the scent of vetiver may help with concentration and memory. Dab the oil on your temples or the base of your neck when you’re feeling distracted.

TRY Native American Nutritionals’s Attention Assist blend with vetiver, frankincense, lavender, and cedarwood essential oils in a coconut-oil base. $17; nativeamericannutritionals.com

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