Finding an alternative — essential oils offer a natural approach to solving health/mental issues

By By Ava Reed
John Adams Middle School
AVA REED | John Adams Middle School
Pieces of rosemary are shown with a bottle of rosemary oil.

The end of the school year is exciting, but stressful. Between taking final exams, finding summer jobs or choosing colleges, most students are under some kind of pressure.

This anxiety can cause kids to feel nervous. Their skin might break out. They might not sleep as well. They may not have much energy the next day.

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed. But, there’s a natural way to manage some of these issues.

Essential oils are found in certain plant leaves, roots, stems, flowers or rinds. The oil is the purest fluid inside the plant. These oils are absorbed by the body through the skin, inhaled through the nose, or swallowed as pills.

Essential oils are planet-friendly, because they are grown on farms that do not use chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers to increase growth.

Stacy Kay is a Charleston-area team leader of Young Living, an online company that sells essential oils. Kay says that oils assist with lifestyle changes, but they’re also easier on the environment since they don’t contain harmful ingredients.

“At first, even my own daughter was skeptical about using essential oils,” Kay said. “She didn’t think they would work, and she didn’t like how some of them smelled. But, after a while, she started to come around to the idea of using oils instead of other products that were quick fixes, but not as good for us.”

Amy Williams of Charleston used to suffer from panic attacks. She was introduced to essential oils as a way of controlling anxiety.

Williams said she found the oils to be so helpful in her personal life that she became a distributor of Young Living products.

“Essential oils offer great physical and emotional benefits,” Williams said. “They can be used to improve mood and to decrease stress.”

Kay explained that oils have been used for years to encourage wellness. For example, if a teenager is suffering from a mild case of acne, a drop of tea tree oil can reduce redness. If a student is suffering from test anxiety, smelling a couple of drops of lavender may help to relieve tension. Inhaling a drop of peppermint oil can also have a calming effect on the mind. A drop of citrus oil may help weaken headache pain.

However, not all essential oils are the same.

“When choosing an oil, you need to pay attention to labels,” Williams said. “You also want to make sure that the oils are 100 percent natural and not fragrance oils that are found in room sprays and candles.”

Essential oils are highly concentrated. This means that you only need to place a few drops of oil into a diffuser for inhalation, or you only need one or two drops of oil mixed with a diluting oil (such as coconut or vegetable oil) when placing it on your skin.

Essential oils can be used as alternative remedies to common problems. Since these oils are all natural, they are considered safe for younger people when used correctly according to labels and reference guides.

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