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September 03, 2017 4 min read

It's time to bring to light those that are rarely considered. Their needs are rarely thought of because they sometimes are viewed as just doing their job.

They sometimes even view others needs as more important than theirs and from what I have learned will also be the first to skip a hot meal, a break from helping others, and sometimes will work endless hours upon their feet…. All to help others. So let's talk about how to support devastation volunteers with essential oils.

I am referring to our first responders and volunteers who are seeing and doing, first hand, the incredible amount of work that needs to be completed during any massive relief effort. These individuals need our help to get through their long days and essential oils CAN help.

The Exhaustion

Right now, there are many exhausted individuals already on the ground performing rescues, offering clothes, food, shelter, and emotional support to those in need. An essential oil blend that is uplifting and awakening might be particularly helpful in this instance.

United Aromatherapy Effort, Inc. Image with permissions

The Emotional Trauma

Then there are those that are seeing the things that none of us want to think about...loss of life. Witnessing this can be a particularly traumatic experience and while essential oils are not the only answer in this case, they can help. For these individuals, a blend that is uplifting but supportive of emotional trauma would be beneficial.

The Nausea

Sometimes, the overwhelming aromas they encounter can lead to severe nausea. These unsavory aromas can come from the environment, individuals they are helping, and other things they may encounter during a long day of volunteering.

The Insects

Often in relief efforts related to flooding, the amount of water can attract an infinite amount of nasty bugs in addition to making it more humid. With the worry of the Nile Virus and others transmittable diseases by mosquitos and other not biting insects, it is important not to underestimate the need for repellants.

  • Tumeric (Curcuma longa)1
  • Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)1
  • Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus)1*Highly sensitizing, See Essential Oil Safety for more information.2
  • Catnip (Nepeta cataria)1*Highly sensitizing, See Essential Oil Safety for more information.2
  • Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus)1*Highly sensitizing, See Essential Oil Safety for more information.2
  • Clove Bud(Eugenia caryophyllata)1*Highly sensitizing, See Essential Oil Safety for more information.2
  • Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)1 *Highly sensitizing, See Essential Oil Safety for more information.2

If you are interested in helping in the United Aromatherapy Effort, Inc to get these essential oils or other supplies into the hands of those who are on the ground and doing volunteer work in areas of devastation currently, join the United Aromatherapy Effort, Inc Facebook group here. We would love to have your help for all of our long term efforts involving aromatherapy.

How to support first responders with essential oils 

1 Tisserand, R. (2017). Mosquito Repellents Recommended by Robert Tisserand. Retrieved September 03, 2017, from

2 Tisserand, R., & Young, R. (2013). Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals (2nd ed.). Churchill Livingstone .

3Lee, Y. R., & Shin, H. S. (2017). Effectiveness of Ginger Essential Oil on Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting in Abdominal Surgery Patients. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 23(3), 196-200. doi:10.1089/acm.2015.0328

4 Dyer, J., Cleary, L., Ragsdale-Lowe, M., Mcneill, S., & Osland, C. (2014). The use of aromasticks at a cancer centre: A retrospective audit. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 20(4), 203-206. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2013.11.006

5Pasha, H., Behmanesh, F., Mohsenzadeh, F., Hajahmadi, M., & Moghadamnia, A. A. (2012). Study of the Effect of Mint Oil on Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 14(11), 744-7. doi:10.5812/ircmj.3477

6Johnson, J. R., Rivard, R. L., Griffin, K. H., Kolste, A. K., Joswiak, D., Kinney, M. E., & Dusek, J. A. (2016). The effectiveness of nurse-delivered aromatherapy in an acute care setting. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 25, 164-169. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2016.03.006

7 Zeck, R. (2004). The blossoming heart: aromatherapy for healing and transformation. East Ivanhoe, Victoria: Aroma Tours.

8 Mohebitabar, S., Shirazi, M., Bioos, S., Rahimi, R., Malekshahi, F., & Nejatbakhsh, F. (2017). Therapeutic efficacy of rose oil: A comprehensive review of clinical evidence. Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine, 7(3), 206-213. Retrieved September 3, 2017, from

9 Rose, J. (2001). 375 essential oils and hydrosols. Berkeley, CA: Frog. P.127, 114.

10 Price, S., & Price, L. (2012). Aromatherapy for health professionals (4th ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. P. 230, 246, 325.

11 Varney, E., & Buckle, J. (2013). Effect of Inhaled Essential Oils on Mental Exhaustion and Moderate Burnout: A Small Pilot Study. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 19(1), 69-71. doi:10.1089/acm.2012.0089

12 Sheppard-Hanger, S. (2009, December 9). Soldiers Enjoying Aromasticks [Photograph]. United Aromatherapy Effort, Inc.