Addiction recovery: Aromatherapy

By Martha Jette
For Bangari Content Gallery

Martha Jette



Anyone who has been addicted to cigarettes, alcohol or drugs knows the difficulty with overcoming the habit. Although aromatherapy is not a treatment for addiction, it can assist in your recovery. Former smokers experience a number of new sensations when they try to quit, including agitation, nervousness, insomnia, a desire to replace the habit with eating and even irrational thinking or behavior. Those who quit drinking or taking drugs generally experience all of these symptoms as well as physical pains, blurred vision and hallucinations.

Aromatherapy is a process of chemistry that uses plants found in nature to create healing oils that can be used as a complementary therapy. Throughout history, healing oils, such as olive oil have been sued to treat illness and promote well-being. The world’s first recorded chemist was Tapputi, a perfume maker mentioned in a Cuneiform tablet dating back to the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamia.

In the 9th century, A.D., Arabian chemist, Al-Kindi (Alkindus) wrote Book of the Chemistry of Perfume and Distillations that contained more than 100 recipes for fragrant oils, salves and aromatic waters that can be used as alternatives to costly drugs.

Then a Persian physician, scientist and teacher, Avicenna (Hussain ibn Abdullah ibn Hassan ibn Ali ibn Sina), born around 980 A.D. in Greater Khorasan, discovered how to extract oils from flowers by distillation, a procedure still used today. He also wrote about 450 treatises, 40 of which were on medicine.

His most famous are The Book of Healing and  The Canon of Medicine.
Natural oils contain their own chemicals such as alcohol, phenols, the properties of which are similar to alcohol and  ketones that must always be used correctly to avoid toxicity. Recent studies have shown that aromatherapy can help alleviate a variety of problems. For the person withdrawing from an addiction, these fragrant compounds affect the mind and have proved helpful in easing stress, anxiety and psychosomatic disorders.

A study on mice that were wired on caffeine found that lavender, sandalwood and other oils that were sprayed into their cages had a definite calming effect. In fact, the oils were even detected in their bloodstreams an hour later. That’s because essential oils are inhaled, which trigger the brain’s limbic region, focusing on emotional and physical actions.

A study at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York found that 63 percent of patients undergoing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reported that after being exposed to vanilla, they felt less anxiety over their treatments. Other studies have shown that lavender oil massaged into the skin of patients in intensive care helped them feel better.

There are three basic ways to use essential oils:

1.   Undiluted in an oil or candle lamp.
2.   Massaged on the skin
3.   Put in bath water

For more on how to use these effectively visit  The Ananada Apothecary.

Further Reading:

Aromatherapy for Common Ailments
Aromatherapy Recipes
The Truth About Addictions
Four Tips for Smoking Cessation



One response to “Addiction recovery: Aromatherapy

  1. Pingback: Herbal Remedies for Drug Addiction | Bangari Content Gallery

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