Back to school and aromatherapy


Article by Alexia Buttigieg

And now summer is over and everyone is back to winter routine:  the students, or those who have kids or else those who work in the education sector. In a way it seems like almost everyone is affected by this event. It might become hectic and create excessive tension in the students, the parents or the teachers. Essential oils can play an important role at the beginning of the scholastic year.

Firstly, I would like to share with you why I do not approve of vaporising essential oils in a class of pupils, no matter their age. Recently some DIY bloggers where promoting the idea of having essential oilsdiffusers in schools. While it would in theory be great, unfortunately this is not possible. Having a class of 15 to more individuals in one room and choosing one essential oils that fits all is impossible. No not even the lavender which we think is safe for all. Although essential oils are natural substances, people can still get allergic reactions to them. If used incorrectly they can harm  the wellbeing of an individual, so before attempting any DIY please be cautious mostly where kids are concerned.

Having said that, at home we all know our family members and we can choose the correct oils for the family. Essential oils are best absorbed through the body by inhalation either by using electric diffusers or diffuser reed sticks, which help the microscopic natural chemicals to go through our system. Below are a few essential oils that can help in some situations that usually are accompanied by school stress;

If a vaporiser is used please follow the instructions of supplier on amount of drops to be put in water.

Vaporisers should not be used for more than 3 hours at a stretch.

If reed diffusers are used, do not use more than 5 drops in 10 ml of alcohol. Please ask for advice when blending 2 or more essential oils.reed-diffuser

Improving and supporting the immune system: Thyme, Ravensara, Helichrysum, Oregano, Rosemary, Myrrh, Lemongrass, Lavender,  Chamomile, Melissa, Lemon, Cinnamon, Clove,  Melalueca, Vetiver.

Stimulating Essential Oils: Rosemary, Ginger, Peppermint, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Pine, Nutmeg, Pepper. Note that Peppermint and Eucalyptus should not be used on small kids.

To help relieve anxiety: Jasmine, Benzoin resinoid, Bergamot, Rose, Cedarwood, Rosewood,  Lemon, Lime, Patchouli, Geranium, Bergamot, Lavender, Neroli, Ylang ylang.

For bed wetting as of anxiety: Cypress essential oil.

Poor concentration: Clary Sage, Cardamom, Rosemary, Peppermint, Basil, Lemon, Frankincense.

Lack of confidence or low self esteem: Jasmine essential oil ( Do not use jasmine if there is any pregnant woman in the household)

Tension headaches: Chamomile (German, Roman), Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint, Rosewood, Rosemary, Balsam fir, Valerian, Clove, Eucalyptus, Basil.

Hyperactitvity: Valerian, Lavender, Cedarwood, Roman Chamomile, Vetiver, Peppermint.

Panic attacks: Lavender, Rosewood, Sweet Marjoram.

Head lice: In this case the oils should not be inhaled but mixed in a medium of apple cider vinegar and water. This can be used as a preventative measure, but if lice are already present an  anti lice shampoo is to be used as well, together  with a fine toothed comb. 6 drops of thyme to 15 ml of organic apple cider vinegar to 500ml of filtered water. Mix and apply to hair after shampoo. Use comb to brush. Thyme or Rosemary essential oils are recommended. Can be used as preventative measure every time the hair is washed.  Choose either one essential oil or other. Please do not use neat tea tree oil on a child scalp, there is no study supporting the theory and there is a risk of causing  allergic reactions. If tea tree oil is used as a general antiseptic this must be mixed by using a few drops in an unscented conditioner.

Using essential oils in a relaxing evening routine can also help in inducing better rest and calmer sleeps. If used in a bath remember to mix essential oils in full fat milk or in a spoon of honey since oils are not water soluble. Adding salts to the bath like dead sea salts or Epsom salts can add benefits.

Finishing the bath while massaging yourself or the kids with a light absorbing oil like poppy seed oil and adding a few drops of desired essential oil to enhance the relaxing ritual.

I must add that to the essential oils, one must ensure that students are having the right amount of sleep, are also having a nutritive diet, that there is some exercise involved. In addition, we must  also keep a dialogue to understand if there are any issues that are bothering them in the school environment.

This information is provided with best intentions and from best sources but one must keep in mind not to take essential oils very lightly. Please do seek professional advice if in doubt, not all information on the internet comes from a reliable source and one must be careful most when there are DIY recipes created to promote a certain company or product. Please do drop an email and Iwill be very happy to help if you have any questions, or ask any qualified aromatherapist before venturing in an aromatherapy blend with more than 2 essential oils.

Wishing you all a cosy autumn and aromatic smelling homes.


Aromatherapy workbook by Marcel Lavabre

Essential oils integrative medical guide: buiding immunity, increasing longevity, and enhancing mental performance with Therapeutic grade essential oils by D. Gary young,ND, essential science publishing.

The practice of Aromatherapy by Jean Valnet, M.D 1990

Alexia Buttigieg is a holistic therapist who is passionate about everything that can help people feel better in a more natural approach, from massage to self-therapy to essential oils and reflexology. She believes that stress cannot be avoided but nature has given us all we need to reduce it, and live a more balanced existence. She started her career as a Beauty therapist and has achieved diplomas in Esteticienne and Physiatrics, where she was able to understand the anatomy and physiology of the human body. She furthered her studies by achieving diplomas in Reflexology (including palliative care) and Aromatherapy. Other certificate courses include tui na, facial analysis and ayurvedic stone massage.  In these past years she has ventured into natural cosmetics and read for a diploma and an advanced diploma in organic skincare formulation, which harmonises her passions for Aromatherapy and organic skincare treatments. Alexia still feels like her first role is being a mother to her daughter and prioritises family and their well-being. She may be contacted at

About Dr Antonella Grima

Dr. Antonella Grima M.D. M.Sc. Pg.Dip. is the founder of the Health and Nutrition Centre in Luqa, Malta. She is a Medical Doctor specialised in Public Health as well as a Registered Nutritionist. Read More >

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