Subtle Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Grieving
By Joni Keim
It’s natural for us to grieve during times of loss and sorrow. Losing a cherished job or home, the sorrow of a friendship ending, or the death of a loved one can all trigger the grieving process. This leads some of our readers to ask: Which essential oils for grieving will work best?
Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss that can have emotional, mental, and physical consequences. Dr. Kubler-Ross identified the seven stages of grief as: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance. You can use essential oils for grieving to support you during each stage, such as Lavender for shock, Marjoram Sweet for denial, Rose for anger, Bergamot for bargaining, Mandarin or Orange for depression, Marjoram Sweet for testing, and Rose, Lavender, or Marjoram Sweet for acceptance.
Most people feel grief in their heart center. The following essential oils for GRIEVING have been found to be very helpful since they have a particular affinity for the heart center:
Bergamot: Opens the heart center and allows love and joy to radiate. Eases and comforts wounds of the heart, especially grief.
Lavender: Calms, comforts, and stabilizes the heart center. Promotes acceptance.
Marjoram Sweet: Warms the heart center. Helps us to accept emotional loss, change, and reality.
Melissa: Comforts. Eases emotional blocks from grief and shock. Promotes a sense of peace and acceptance.
Neroli: Promotes a sense of peace. Eases grief and sorrow.
Rose: Promotes love, compassion, hope, acceptance, and patience. Comforts and eases heartaches, especially when the heart is wounded by grief. Cools anger.
Subtle aromatherapy allows you to use essential oils with sensitivity and intention in your personal and spiritual growth, which can be particularly helpful during the grieving process. Here are my recommendations for implementing subtle aromatherapy:
Make the essential oil blend you plan to use. A lovely blend of essential oils for grieving that we like to use is 5 drops Rose, 2 drops Mandarin or Orange, 2 drops Bergamot, and 1 drop Lavender. Subtle aromatherapy uses small amounts of essential oils (0.5% to 1%).
To make a mist: Mix the 10-drop blend into 4 ounces of water in a mister bottle. Shake well before use.
To make an anointing oil: Mix 1 drop each of Rose, Mandarin or Orange, Bergamot, and Lavender in 1 tablespoon of jojoba or fractionated coconut oil. Store in a glass roller bottle, small glass bottle, or small jar with caps. Set aside.
- Sit quietly and relax. Breathe slowly and deeply for several breaths. Breathe in all positivity. Breathe out any negativity. While deep breathing, place one of your hands on your heart.
- Clear your mind and acknowledge each essential oil you are going to use and the plant from which it comes.
- Activate your hands by rubbing them back and forth 24 times. Feel the energy in your hands and direct your breath into them for 5 deep, relaxed breaths.
- In your mind, hold the intention of the purpose of using the essential oil blend. In this case, it is grief. Pick up the essential oil blend container and direct your intention to it.
- If using a mist: Mist over your heart, your hands, and top of your head while holding the intention of the blend. You can choose to repeat an affirmation while misting, such as “My heart is healing from my loss.” Or “I am ready to begin healing from my loss.” If using an anointing oil, anoint your heart, your hands, and the top of your head. You can choose to use a visualization such as seeing yourself healing from your loss and on the road to being able to feel joy again.
- Lastly, mist or put a drop of the blend in the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together and cup your hands over your nose, breathing in the aroma (without touching your nose) and holding its intention in your mind.
Make this exercise meaningful for you. Add other actions if you want. Change what doesn’t feel right to you. Take as long as you like.
Recommended Reading: For more information about subtle aromatherapy and the heart center, see our book, Aromatherapy & Subtle Energy Techniques by Joni Keim and Ruah Bull. Additional books I recommend: Turning Suffering Inside Out: A Zen Approach to Living with Physical and Emotional Pain by Darlene Cohen and Awakening from Grief: Finding the Road Back to Joy by John E. Welshons.
Give subtle aromatherapy a try and let us know what you think. If you’ve used essential oils for grieving specifically, would you like to share how they helped you? We love hearing from you privately or publicly on our Facebook page. If you’re new to blending essential oils, make sure to download e3’s free guide, Listen to Your Nose: An Introduction to Aromatherapy.