How Aromatherapy Helps with Addiction Recovery

Essential oils

Aromatherapy is an alternative therapy that can reduce the symptoms and discomforts associated with certain conditions. All over the world, people have used plant materials and aromatic ingredients to boost their mental, physical and spiritual health. Amazingly, just one essential oil can contain hundreds of therapeutic compounds.

For those recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, aromatherapy can be an effective holistic treatment. Let’s learn more about this centuries-old therapy and the best oils to use for recovery.

How Aromatherapy Can Benefit Your Recovery

There are two ways for the oils to enter your body. (There is a third – ingestion – but we do not recommend this for the general public.)

  • Apply to skin. Essential oils can be applied to the skin for various purposes. The compounds in the oils are absorbed into the body to improve flexibility, increase circulation and loosen stiff joints. In recovery, this can help your body relax. Evidence suggests that oils may help move toxins out of the body as well.

  • Inhaled. Another way for essential oils to enter the body is through inhalation. By breathing in the oils, the olfactory system and limbic systems are interacted with. This connection with the “emotional brain” is why smells often trigger emotions. In recovery, aromatherapy can impact your mood in a positive way.

Even though essential oils are natural does not automatically make them safe. There are still precautions to take. For example, when applying to skin, it’s recommended to use a carrier oil. This prevents irritation. Always follow the recommendations on the label, and talk to your doctor for approval.

Best Essential Oils for Addiction Recovery

  • Lavender oil is one of the most versatile oils. It promotes calmness and relaxation and is often used at bedtime.

  • Ylang ylang is another essential oil that contributes to feelings of peace and relaxation.

  • Lemon oil is refreshing and can boost your mood. Diffusing lemon in the mornings can jumpstart your day.

  • Rosemary comes in handy when you need a mental boost. It’s also believed to help with feelings of depression.

  • Peppermint oil is helpful for people with migraines, nausea and other mild discomforts. These symptoms are common in withdrawal.

  • Clary sage promotes sleep and reduces anxiety.

Do you think that aromatherapy could complement your addiction recovery plan? Talk to your doctor about the safest and most effective ways to implement essential oils into your life.