Aromatherapy and Grief

Many aromatic species are associated with death, grief and funerals. Given the potential for smell to influence the emotions, this is perhaps not surprising. I will list a few of the species that I have used in my Aromatherapy Practice here in Cambridge for grief.

Mostly this has been using Massage but I have also made up custom skin creams with oils that can be useful in Grief.

Cypress was associated with Hades, God of the Underworld by the ancient Greeks and throughout the Mediterranean region it is planted in Graveyards as a symbol of grief and source of solace. It has an action that can help us cope with difficult change both of an inner and outer nature.

Myrrh is perhaps the best known aromatic associated with death through the story of it being brought by the wise men to the infant Jesus. Like Frankincense it is gently calming in it’s action and it has a particular value in uniting the physical and spiritual worlds.

Rose is an oil I see as important through it’s ability to heal emotional wounds. These are often reopened by loss, especially if that loss is unexpected or of one who is very close to us.

Rosemary is for Remembrance. In the past it was burned as an incense at funerals, it helps us remember our own true path as well as helping us remember loved ones.

Sandalwood, like Myrrh has been used in embalming the dead. It also helps us accept reality as it is.

Spikenard was used by Mary Magdalene to anoint Jesus before the last supper. It works to replace despondency  and resentment with acceptance and compassion.

Thyme is another oil used by the Egyptians in the embalming process. It is an oil for restoring morale at the deepest level.

When suffering from grief whether due to the break up of a relationship, death of someone close or any other stimulus, we are unlikely to think of using essential oils for ourselves, still less of booking an Aromatherapy Massage so if you know someone who could benefit from this it would make an ideal present either by buying them a treatment or by supporting them to book via or

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