Essential oil jewelry taps into the power of scent, which can have powerful physical and emotional effects. Ever wondered why certain scents can take you back to a certain time in your life?
This is known as “odor-evoked autobiographical memory” and it has a lot to do with how scents are processed by your brain.
This initially happens in the olfactory bulb in your nose and brain, which is strongly connected to the hippocampus and amygdala (two areas of the brain that deal with memories and emotions).
While scent can subconsciously trigger responses, it can also do this deliberately through aromatherapy.
Diffusion, inhalation and topical applications are well known ways to use essential oils but you may be much less aware of the idea of wearing jewelry that contains essential oils.
Essential oil jewelry is an easy and effective way to use the power of scent to heal, rebalance and invigorate the mind and body.
Before we talk more about how essential oil jewelry works, it’s helpful to understand how aromatherapy works and why it can be so successful.
Essential oils are extracted from plant flowers, leaves and stems. It’s not known exactly when essential oils were first used for medicinal and healing but there is evidence that they were used in Ancient China and by the Ancient Egyptians. Myrrh was used in the embalming process and frankincense has been found in some tombs in Ancient Egypt.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans used essential oils for medicinal and therapeutic benefits, and also as cosmetics. Around 400 BC, Hippocrates is said to have claimed that “the way to health is aromatic baths and massages”.
It’s thought that distillation techniques first developed in the Middle East in the 10th century, which paved the way for purer forms of essential oils to become more popular in Europe.
Later on, there is anecdotal evidence that essential oils helped to protect against contraction of the Black Death.
Although plant extracts have been used for many centuries, “aromatherapy” itself is a fairly modern term. It was first coined by a French chemist called Rene-Maurice Gattefosse in 1937, who accidentally discovered the healing power of lavender oil after it successfully helped to treat burns. The modern medicinal benefits of essential oils were also highlighted by French surgeon, Jean Valnet, who used them to heal wounds during World War One.
Necklaces and pendants are a popular choice for essential oil jewelry but you can also choose to wear bracelets or earrings.
The jewelry holds essential oils inside it. With their volatile nature, the oils diffuse quickly in the air and the molecules can be inhaled whenever you choose.
No preparation or application needed! Unlike most diffusers, the oils are not diluted and this means that you can get stronger benefits from inhaling their scent.
From an aesthetic point of view, essential oil jewelry tends to be attractive, elegant and stylish. They look just like “regular” jewelry but with a whole host of hidden benefits that aren’t obvious to other people. They can make a fashion statement, as well as being a secret weapon for health and wellbeing.
Essential oil jewelry can be made from a range of materials, including glass, leather, metals, clay and lava rock.
Essential oils have been used for many years to support health and wellbeing
Essential oil jewelry is a great way to get the benefits of aromatherapy, even when you’re out and about. It’s not always convenient or practical to use a diffuser but you can get similar benefits by inhaling the scents through jewelry instead. When you’re feeling anxious or in need of an energy boost, you can just quickly inhale the scent from your jewelry and start reaping the benefits.
Not sure how you can use essential oil jewelry to improve your health and wellbeing? Here are just a few of the areas that can be improved through essential oils:
Promoting better quality sleep: Inhaling the scents of essential oils throughout the day can help you to sleep better at night. Or you can just keep your essential oil jewelry under your pillow when you go to bed and use the scent to encourage a good night’s sleep. Lavender has been widely researched from a relaxation perspective but bergamot, ylang ylang, cedarwood and vetiver are also good choices in a sleep promoting oil blend.
Reducing stress, anxiety and depression symptoms: Essential oils can be great for reducing stress and anxiety and boosting mood. Bergamot oil has been shown to reduce anxiety in patients awaiting surgery, while rose oil and ylang ylang oil can also be calming and relaxing. The big plus point of using essential oil jewelry is the option to use these type of essential oils whenever you feel stressed, anxious or need to feel more in control of yourself and your emotions.
Improving energy and fighting fatigue: When you need an energy boost that doesn’t involve caffeine or sugar, wearing essential oil jewelry can provide an instant pick-me-up. A few essential oils that can perk you up include lemon, orange, cinnamon and peppermint.
Improving focus and other areas of cognitive performance: The link between scent and memory and emotions is a strong factor in the role that aromatherapy can play in improving cognition. Memory and focus are two areas of cognition that can be enhanced through essential oils, particularly rosemary oil. Wearing essential oil jewelry is a great way to make sure that you can maintain tip top cognition throughout the day. When you feel you need a mental boost, just take a quick sniff of your jewelry and start feeling the benefits.
Relieving headaches: Headaches can be very debilitating, particularly if they’re chronic and severe. Some essential oils have been shown to decrease the severity of headaches and stop them returning as often. Lavender has been shown in studies to reduce pain from migraines, and other oils that can help include peppermint, eucalyptus, clary sage and rosemary.
Relieving pain: If you’re not getting many positive effects from pain relief medications, using certain oils in your essential oil jewelry can be a natural alternative. Lavender is most commonly associated with relaxation but in one study, its effects on pain were comparable to some prescription medication. Bergamot can be effective in reducing neuropathic pain, which can be resistant to traditional pain relief medications.
Improving digestion: Bloating, constipation and an upset stomach can be eased through essential oils. Peppermint, fennel and ginger oils are good choices. Citrus oils also have a good track record in boosting a sluggish metabolism and easing symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Relieving cold, flu and congestion symptoms: Struggling with a cough, cold or blocked sinuses? A sniff of the right essential oil can help to ease symptoms. Eucalyptus oil is a well known decongestant but it’s not the only go-to oil for relieving cold and flu symptoms. Lemon oil helps to support drainage of the lymphatic system, which can decrease the buildup of fluids that contribute to coughs.
With essential oil jewelry, you can blend different oils to suit your needs and wear them on-the-go. You can also create your own unique, “signature” scent that lasts longer than the average perfume and is free from chemicals and other toxins. This is true for high quality essential oils but may be less so for lower quality ones.
There is another benefit to using essential oil jewelry instead of a room diffuser and this relates to a concept known as sensory adaptation. You’ve probably heard of going “nose blind” and this is essentially something that can happen with room diffusion. With most diffusers, the scent of your oils is released on an almost constant basis and this can continue for hours at a time. Your nose can quickly get used to the scent and can then fail to notice it after just a short time.
Because the essential oils are released much more gradually with jewelry, sensory adaptation isn’t an issue.
Dilution is also a factor with diffusion. Essential oils are added to water and spread throughout the room, which dilutes them quite significantly. Add in the fact that you’re only breathing in a small proportion of the air in the room at any given point and it’s easy to see why diffusion isn’t the most effective way to inhale your oils. Essential oil jewelry tends to use fewer drops of oil and can be more cost effective.
Many pieces of essential oil jewelry use pads, which sit inside the locket. You just need to add a drop or two of your chosen essential oil(s) to the pad and put it back inside the jewelry.
Bracelets are often made from beads that are highly absorbent and soak up essential oils. Just add a couple of drops of your preferred oil(s) directly to the beads or if you have roller bottles of oils, you can just “roll” the scent onto the beads.
Once your essential oils are chosen and good to go, you can enjoy the scent wherever you go. With necklaces in particular, you can inhale the scent at fairly regular intervals, especially if the chain isn’t too long and there isn’t a big distance between the necklace and your nose. Whether you have a necklace or a bracelet, you can discreetly bring it towards your nose to inhale and get the benefits.
Not sure which scents to use in your essential oil jewelry? A lot depends on what you're hoping to achieve. If you’re new to aromatherapy or just not sure which essential oils can work well in different situations, some of the popular options include:
Lavender is a great all-round option. It’s a popular essential oil to use when you’re anxious and in need of a calming scent but studies have shown that lavender can relieve pain, which makes it a good choice when you’re struggling physically too. Add a couple of drops of lavender to your essential oil jewelry during stressful periods.
Bergamot is another multi purpose essential oil that is perfect for relaxation and improving your mood. Use it when you’re feeling tense, anxious or low for an emotional boost. As with lavender, it’s also a good choice for pain relief.
Rosemary is stimulating and provides a focus and memory boost. Peppermint also falls into this category. If you need to improve mental clarity and sharpen your thinking powers, these two are must have oils for using in your essential oil jewelry.
Eucalyptus is a smart choice for clearing your sinuses and protecting against colds and coughs. Inhale the scent whenever you suspect germs may be lurking to get the antibacterial and antiviral benefits.
Inhalation is a very safe way to get the benefits of essential oils and using essential oil jewelry is an easy and practical option for doing this. Topical applications of essential oils can cause skin irritation (especially if they’re not diluted properly with carrier oil) and some are also phytotoxic. Citrus oils fall into the category and applying them topically can cause skin problems after sun exposure. For many essential oils, internal use can be dangerous.
Wearing essential oil jewelry allows you to reap the benefits of essential oils without having to worry about these safety. issues.
One of the concerns that you may have with regards to essential oil jewelry involves coming into direct contact with the oils that you’re using. If you’re wearing a type of jewelry that uses diffuser pads, you can avoid this by not handling the pads with your bare hands. You may choose to use rubber gloves to be on the safe side, for example.
If any essential oil gets on the outside parts of your jewelry, wash the item in warm, soapy water before you allow it to come into contact with your skin.
High quality essential oil jewelry should negate a lot of safety concerns as they minimize the chances of your essential oils leaking out of the jewelry and coming into contact with your skin.
A “one piece” jewelry design is recommended for this, as is a design that doesn’t feature an open back. You’ll often find that essential oil jewelry has “die cut” designs in the front of the jewelry to add to its attractiveness but ideally, that won’t extend to the back of the design.
So, what should you be looking for when choosing essential oil jewelry?
It should be comfortable and not too heavy. For necklaces in particular, you want it to stay in place throughout the day but at the same time, you don’t want to be constantly aware of it because of its weight. The chain will ideally be adjustable and robust so that there’s little chance of it snapping.
The materials used to create the jewelry should be high quality and durable. Many people choose jewelry made from stainless steel (the surgical grade variety) for this reason as it’s durable, it’s less likely to tarnish and will stay looking good for longer.
Hypoallergenic materials are another thing to look out for. Stainless steel, gold and silver tick this box. “Hypoallergen” means that you’re less likely to suffer any form of skin reaction from the materials used.
Design wise, necklaces with a closed back minimize the contact between essential oils and your skin or clothes. If the design of the back is more open, there is more potential for leakage.
The clasp should be easy to open so that you’re not forcing it open to insert or remove pads but at the same time, it needs to stay well fastened once it’s closed. Magnets or locks can keep the inner pads in place and ensure that this happens.
All metals will tarnish eventually but with some TLC, you can avoid this for longer.
Storage is a big factor as exposure to air and water will speed up the oxidation process and encourage your jewelry to tarnish more quickly. Keep your jewelry items in a cool, dry place.
If your necklaces are plated, take care when you clean them. Ideally, it’s best if you can try to avoid getting essential oils on the jewelry itself. Most pieces come with an absorbent pad that soaks up oils.
Removing this from the necklace and letting the oils fully soak in before you replace it can help to limit the amount of oil that can get onto your necklace. This should limit tarnishing to the outside of the jewelry.
Wiping your jewelry with a soft cloth can remove dirt and oils. For silver plated jewelry, washing it in a gentle mix of dish soap and warm water can keep it looking shiny and stylish.
Essential oil jewelry helps you to feel healthier, calmer and happier and smell great. Plus, it’s a totally natural way to tick all of these boxes.
They come in a wide range of styles and designs and make it easy to change up the essential oils you use depending on your needs. Look for one that has features that avoid any safety concerns and is made from high quality materials and it should last a long time.
Whether you’re buying essential oil jewelry for yourself or as a gift for someone else, it’s the perfect way to get the benefits of aromatherapy in a practical and convenient form.