“Addictions” and Essential Oils: Dealing with the Underlying Factors






In part I of this series, I discussed the concept of biochemical individuality and the many factors involved in maximizing optimal brain health and assisting someone out of destructive patterns. I also provided an overview on how essential oils can be a truly integrative approach to rebalancing the body, mind, and emotions. In part II, I dived into some details on the science with studies that describe how essential oils may specifically modulate addictive tendencies. Human studies and essential oils found helpful for specific addiction support were also reviewed.

In this blog, I provide you with two real world examples of two of my brave clients. They highlight how personalized care and addressing the root cause of why someone was choosing non-nurturing behavior can lead to more optimized health. (Names have been changed to protect the brave and wonderful.)







Two Brave Clients Face Their Unwanted Behaviors… And Find Success


Annie’s Courageous Story

One of my clients, Annie, came to me because she was unsuccessfully “coping” with anxious feelings. She was concerned, because lately she noticed she was drinking more than she wanted to. Annie also found that she wasn’t engaging as much as she’d like to be with her two small children. Annie felt she was using alcohol to soothe uncomfortable feelings, but didn’t know how to stop. She had been prescribed antidepressants and they had only made her more “jittery.” Therefore, her open-minded primary care doctor suggested that Annie try some natural “herbal things.” Annie then sought me through a referral from a friend.

Annie and I had an instant connection and she courageously opened up to me about her past history, which contained some trauma. We discussed how her exposure to her mom’s excess prenatal stress hormones, in combination with her genetics, made her more vulnerable to stress. I was then able to relate to her how some of her symptoms were linked to prenatal and adverse childhood events which contributed to a more sensitive and “nervous predisposition.”

Along with a comprehensive health plan, I suggested yoga, relaxation, and several resources to deal with her emotions constructively. Annie rarely reached out for support or took downtime for herself. I explained to her that self-care and supportive relationships were important components in healing.

In order to support Annie’s mind, body, and emotions through her changes, I suggested an essential oil blend that included ylang ylang, lavender, and lemon to be applied twice a day. We discovered that Annie’s estrogen and serotonin levels needed support as well; therefore, along with nutrition and herbals, we added another oil blend containing clary sage and neroli.

When Annie nourished her body, gained awareness, and was given alternatives, she was able to stop drinking in an unhealthy way. She was able to honor her emotions without needing to suppress them!

She is now living a happier, calmer life! This is reward enough, but there was a bonus…she gave me flowers from her garden!


My View on Annie’s Protocol

Prescribing an antidepressant to cover the emotional turmoil of Annie’s “addiction” would have missed the mark. Here is an example of a wonderful someone using a substance to sooth hypersensitivity to stress hormones and excess cortisol. If given a mood balancing medication that also increased norepinephrine, it could have made symptoms worse! Rather, we looked at the root cause, addressed the imbalances, and gave her new tools to help her navigate her emotions in a more constructive way.


Bill’s Bravery Revealed

Bill came to me because he had noticed he was feeling more stressed and “found everyone irritating.” He was unable to stop himself from snapping at his wife and children for little things that he used to let slide. Bill felt that a lot of the aggravation was due to increased demands at work.

Bill also reported that at night he was needing more alcohol to shut off his “run-away” mind and sleep. Bill was a “studied” patient. He was aware of the food-mood connection, and stated that he knew that years of eating processed foods, along with overworking, may be related to his symptoms!

Bill had initially been given a benzodiazepine by his primary care doctor, which he did not want to take. He wanted a “more natural approach” and his doctor was open to working with this.

Bill and I got to work! We addressed his diet and found a food plan that worked for his individualized needs. We made sure he was balancing his blood sugar with proper nutrients at night. We also discovered and addressed Bill’s underlying imbalanced microbiome. These belly bugs were contributing to a disturbed gut-brain axis and anxious mind. I explained that these little critters that line our insides produce most of our neurotransmitters and influence our mood states in several ways. (1, 2, 3)

We included essential oils that assisted digestion and helped support balanced blood sugar. I knew that by inhaling these oils, Bill’s mood would also benefit.


My Take on Bill’s Story

As you can see, both Annie and Bill had the same symptoms of an anxious mind and alcohol use; however, the underlying factors and resultant protocols for support were very different.

As I wrote in my blog on this subject previously,  all of these factors are important considerations:  “exposure prenatally to mom’s stress hormones and early life experiences have an impact on how one’s brain develops and the resultant effect on response to stressors. Furthermore, microbiome imprint and one’s genetic ability to excrete stress hormones (such as a methylation or COMT SNP) also influence someone’s reactionary patterns… someone who has some mood or anxiety issues may [also] find a genetic analysis helpful if they aren’t getting anywhere with lifestyle modifications. They may need specific nutrients to help clear these catecholamines as well as regular exercise and………… may not do so great on coffee…”

I am so happy to report that Bill is doing great and he no longer has the risk experiencing major side effects from a medicine that may have addressed his symptoms, but not the underlying cause.


What are your thoughts on addressing the root cause of unwanted behaviors?

Have you had success with essential oils?

Share your thoughts below!


April’s Top Reads Access Here!

As you know, throughout every month, I keep an eye out for articles I find noteworthy of sharing with my readers. Feel free to (a) skim for an overview or (b) dive into the details and research more into your favorite topics.

You can find the full list here.



Stephens MAC, Wand G. Stress and the HPA Axis: Role of Glucocorticoids in Alcohol Dependence. Alcohol Research?: Current Reviews. 2012;34(4):468-483.

de Timary P, Stärkel P, Delzenne NM3 Leclercq S.A role for the peripheral immune system in the development of alcohol use disorders? Neuropharmacology. 2017 Apr 8. pii: S0028-3908(17)30154-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2017.04.013.


Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information. (Affiliation link.)

This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. Proper medical management of emergency situations in mental disease should always be implemented first. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.