Relieve stress with these aromatherapy scents

Bring the spa home

Feeling anxious? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Aromatherapy may be just the thing for you — it’s the calm and relaxation of a spa visit, but from the comfort of home.

Aromatherapy is the holistic practice of inhaling certain scents to help relieve stress. Studies have shown that aromatherapy does have performance enhancing capabilities and is great for the brain. Certain oils activate the hippocampus and the amygdala which are parts of the brain associated with memory and emotions.

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While peppermint, vanilla, and lavender are the most popular scents used in aromatherapy treatments, there are other lesser known scents that have similar effects:


Rosemary oil can reduce cortisol levels, which will help to relieve stress. It’s a great scent to use in the middle of the day for a quick pick me up. Rosemary can also:

  • Improve brain function
  • Relieve pain
  • Increase circulation
  • Act as an anti-depressant
  • Decrease spasms
  • Reduce joint inflammation


Ylang-YLang is a yellow, star-shaped flower that grows in the tropics. This powerful flower has been found to:

  • Boost mood
  • Reduce depression
  • Alleviate anxiety
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decrease heart rate
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Frankincense isn’t just for Christmas. It has positive cognitive effects, including increased alertness and improved memory. This is the perfect oil to help clear your brain before a test or a big presentation at work. Positive effects can include:

  • Reduced arthritis
  • Improved gut function
  • Improved asthma


Bergamot is smooth smelling and spicy to taste. It’s best known as the flavor of Earl Gray tea. But it’s also great for the hair, skin and nails. Some of its benefits include:

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Reduces pain and inflammation
  • Helps with food poisoning
  • Reduces stress

If you have a sensitive nose, or get a little queasy around stronger scents, you can still take part in aromatherapy in the form of facial steamers, spritzers, bath bombs, body creams, oils and lotions.