May is mental health awareness month and here at The Gift of Scent, we have been personally affected by the impact of mental health challenges on ourselves, as well as family and friends.

And though we are not doctors, or associated with any medical fields, we are people acting in concert to create positive fragrance experiences with scents from plants that have been reported to lead to better well-being.  

Since 1949, the Mental Health America Association has dedicated the month of May to campaign on mental health awareness. This year, MHA renewed its 2020 mission to provide Tools 2 Thrive, providing practical tools “that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency regardless of their personal situation.” The site features rich resources and tip sheets for assessing and improving mental health. 

Here at the Gift of Scent, we think of aromatherapy as a helpful tool in lifting spirits.  

And one way to lift spirits is aromatherapy with essential oils. EO’s are beneficial inhalants for the physical and psychological effects that occur when their oil molecules stimulate the brain.  

Learn more about how essential oils can influence mental health:

Though EO usage is an under-studied and an unregulated field even today, centuries of oral tradition tell us essential oils may have curative effects. Several medical and therapy-based groups, study, or at least monitor, (even if they cannot endorse the studies) how essential oils are used in treating patients.   

Whether extracted, compressed, or distilled, the concentrated compounds of fragrance-bearing plants are collected to make essential oil for use in flavoring in toothpaste, candy, food; as scent in bath salts, scrubs, skin soothers, exfoliants, and candles; as a disinfectant and antibacterial in household cleaners and wound care.  

To reap their benefits, EO’s can be inhaled from a water-warming or waterless diffuser running in a room, massaged onto the skin, dabbed onto pulse points, aerated in the shower, added to a bath, or used in a compress. Check out these diffuser possibilities at The Gift of Scent

We are obliged to mention, there is no market acceptance for ingesting essential oils. EO’s are also not recommended for use in children, during pregnancy and nursing, or people with certain medical conditions such as epilepsy.  

We strongly encourage conducting a little of your own research through experimentation for what works for you, which essential oil scents you enjoy, and how you feel after application or diffusion.  

And as part of a regimen, whether that includes a support group, connecting with a trusted friend, practicing gratitude, just moving, deep breathing, or journaling.

At the same time, we are not suggesting that any of these ideas replace any portion of medical advice, but rather we encourage them as additional approaches to reaching your own peace of mind, body, and spirit.  

Things we all need, no matter the month.   

Jean VanGrey for