The Effects of Aromatherapy on Teenage Anxiety and Depression

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Teenagers stress. Academics, relationships, and home lives play a huge part in stress–and often depression–in adolescents. While only “30 percent of students were at risk of suicide”, there is an estimated “60 to 70 percent of teenagers are affected negatively by stress” (Boyce 1)(Barrows 1). Every person copes with stress differently, some better than others. While some teenagers turn to religion, others regrettably turn to illegal substances such as marijuana, cigarettes, alcohol, and some even misuse stimulants. Aromatherapy, in contrast, can be used frequently (though in moderation) without noted side effects. Aromatherapy, as defined by Wikipedia, is “a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials, known as…show more content…
In 1995 a study was performed on cancer patients to determine the effects of Roman chamomile in a massage. Among 51 of the patients tested, the quality of life had improved, and they showed less signs of anxiety. At Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science, another study was conducted, this time on rats, testing the effects of chamomile. Those who inhaled the vapor of the oil had lower ACTH levels–the higher the levels, the more stressed the animals were. “The Kavala Centre- International Yoga School says that lavender can be used to ease tension, tiredness and feelings of depression,” states Dr. David Schlundt on his website “Aromatherapy and Stress Reduction” for Vanderbilt College (1). These findings prove that lavender and chamomile could have beneficial effects on teenagers as opposed to the detrimental alternatives. A study done in China, however, stated that lavender may only help in the short term. They took middle-aged women with insomnia from Taiwan and split them into two groups. One group received lavender inhalation twice a week for twelve weeks, while the control group did not obtain any intervention, only a class on how to achieve better sleep. The former group displayed better sleep patterns, while the latter demonstrated no change. The researchers concluded that lavender aromatherapy was beneficial for the moment, but not for the long run. Nevertheless, this study has deficiencies. Only choosing one race limits the effects, as well as
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