Essential oils are a lovely way to scent cleaners, air fresheners, or bath products. Not only do these naturally scented items make us happier, some proponents of aromatherapy believe they make us healthier, too.

As a nurse, you of course know that our sense of smell is keen, our strongest sense, in fact. The human nose is capable of smelling one trillion different odors, according to new research from Rockefeller University in New York. (Much more than previouisly believed.)

Plus, smell is the better part of taste; if you hold your nose and take a bite you’ll see how much your olfactory sense adds to your enjoyment of food.

What’s the difference between essential oils and the ordinary fragrances in cosmetics or perfumes? They’re more concentrated for one thing — one tiny drop of pure rose essence is all you get from 30 roses. And they have antiseptic, astringent, or therapeutic effects that ordinary fragrances don’t.

Try your hand at making your own aromatherapy blend. Ease minor bodily pains, or relieve the stresses and strains of life with these easy-to-make aromatherapy spa bath salts. You’ll use lavender essential oil (available in most health food stores), which adapts well to other ingredients and is known for its calming qualities.

Lavender Bath Salts

1 TB sea salt
1 TB Epsom salt
1 TB ground oats
27 drops lavender essential oil

Mix ingredients and add to hot bath.

Caution: Don’t apply undiluted essential oils to your skin; patch-test a new oil on your inner wrist for 12 hours and check for irritation; avoid contact with eye area; don’t set near animals, children, and open flames.

Jebra Turner

Jebra Turner

Jebra Turner is a freelance health and business writer based in Portland, Oregon. She frequently contributes to the Minority Nurse magazine and website. Visit her online at
Jebra Turner

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