My grandmother’s cancer diagnosis came too late for her, by the time they figured out her chronic cough was a tumor it was already the size of a tennis ball. This woman who was a brilliant quilter, an expert in Spanish colonial art, and my introduction to the margarita, was also a smoker. I can’t recall a single memory of her that doesn’t involve an ash tray or a cigarette.

When e-cigarettes first hit the market my nose immediately flared to attention. The chemical cocktail felt like an assault to my nostrils. It wasn’t long before research began to pour in about their ill effects on health, linking these vape pens to heart disease and diabetes, irreversible lung disease, metal poisoning, and of course the carcinogenic factor of ingredients like formaldehyde.

An alternative to e-cigs

Vaping is marketed as an alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes but the health risks aren’t pointing me to believe e-cigs are safer. And most adult users aren’t being fooled by the notion that vaping is without risk. What if there was an even safer alternative for nicotine users?

Meet my aromatic friend, the Personal Inhaler, aka “Aromastick.” Made of three pieces of plastic with a cotton wick insert the Personal Inhaler is one of my biggest tools in my aromatherapy practice.

After taking a health history I sit down and draft out a formula to go in the Aromastick. Careful to account for potential drug and health condition interactions I choose the essential oils we will use in an Aromatic Treatment Plan.

For most addiction-centered treatment plans I use the following formula:

  1. Calm the mind – stress aggravates cravings so we anchor a blend to achieve inner calm and enhance an overall sense of wellness.
  2. Find the sweet spot – sweet smelling aromatics are selected to bring a bit of playfulness and joy to the blend while also reminding the user of the sweeter things in life. Clients give me great feedback about the mouth-feel of sweet aromatics too!
  3. Center energy – I choose from aromatics that like to draw scattered energy together, like a tree that is both anchored to the ground with branches reaching for its full potential.
  4. Disperse – and finally I select an aromatic that encourages old patterns, no longer desired, to move along.

This formula in combination with botanicals that support the liver and respiratory system gives the user a powerful tool towards addressing the root issues around addiction. The Aromastick can be used as a nasal inhaler or an oral inhaler simply by the user’s choice – inserting it an 1/8th of an inch into the nostril and inhaling, or by inserting it 1/4th of an inch into the mouth and inhaling.

Clients report the first few days tend to cause an increase in coughing which brings up dark, thick mucous from the lungs. I get positive feedback from users that appreciate keeping the ritual of taking a break from work or socializing and drawing an object to the mouth and inhaling.

To get the most out of your aromatherapy consultation, I recommend pairing it with other wellness tools such as:

  • hypnosis
  • talk therapy
  • a nourishing diet
  • loving movement – hula hooping, rock climbing, a gym membership, cycling, paddleboarding, basically whatever gets you moving your body that’s not associated with your job.

Aromatherapy consultations are available by appointment Monday through Friday with the option to have your consult here in person in my Austin, Texas clinic or via the telephone wherever you live.


No Vaping Sign, 6/2015, Starplex Cinema, by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Aromastick with Rosemary plant, by Amy Kreydin, Copyright 2014, all rights reserved.