An essential oil inhaler is one of the tools we keep on hand to combat stress and anxiety. Have you tried one?

When our daughter started struggling with school-induced anxiety, we were introduced to a whole new world of therapeutic aromatherapy.  As she began to struggle with controlling her emotions during stressful times of homework and outright panic during bedtime routines, we began to seek out tools to help her.  Obviously, us losing our minds and yelling at her to get it together, didn’t seem to be working.  A friend suggested we try the inhaler and essential oils for anxiety.  We were at a point where we had nothing to lose.  The inhaler was and is a game-changer for our daughter and our entire family.


Did you know that your sense of smell is connected to the part of your brain that helps control your memories, feelings, and hormones?  It is the reason that when you smell a certain food baking it reminds you of your grandmother’s house, and it is the reason that when I walk into a kitchen where cookies are baking, I instantly feel warm and fuzzy inside!  The smell of cookies baking actually makes my body feel good! When we inhale oils, the molecules go straight to our brain via the olfactory system.  They can stimulate our brain to release neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine to help our body relax and feel good. The best part is–the emotional response is immediate.

Research has shown us that diffusing certain oils such as lavender, can create a calming bedtime routine for children (and adults) but can also create a more calming work environment when diffusers are being used in the workspace. An inhaler is a perfect way to take this same idea on the go!  It is small enough to fit into a purse, a backpack, or even a pocket.  Take it to school, to work, the gym, and have it for those long commutes when traffic seems to get us all worked up!

What is an Inhaler?

Aromatherapy inhalers are little plastic tubes that house a cotton wick that holds essential oils. They are sometimes referred to as aroma sticks, nasal inhalers or sniffy sticks. Inhalers are portable and make it easy to keep oils handy that you might need while you’re traveling or out and about in situations that don’t allow you to use a diffuser. It is easy to keep the inhaler close at hand!

How To Use An Essential Oil Inhaler

A plastic inhaler has four parts and you can pick up a pack of inhalers for a reasonable price on Amazon.  It includes the inhaler tube with small holes on the rounded end (they let the smell escape) a cotton wick, a cap to keep the wick in the tube, and a cover that screws into the cap and covers the inhaler. (If you sign up to get a Young Living starter kit, email me and I will send you a couple inhalers!)

  1. Add 10-15 drops of essential oils to a glass dish.  I like to mix two scents, but this part is purely personal preference.  You can find a great list of calming oils here, but don’t forget that you can also use your inhaler when you need clarity and focus, or to help you breathe easier when you are sick or experiencing allergies.  I’ll list some recipes below for you to try, and as a bonus, all of these oils come in the Young Living Essential Oils Starter Kit!
  2. Use tweezers to roll the cotton wick around in the oils.  You want the wick to absorb all of the oils.  Us the tweezers to insert the cotton with into the smaller tube with the holes on the end (the actual inhaler part).
  3. Snap the cap onto the end of the inhaler tube.
  4. Place the lid over the inhaler and screw it into the cap.

We use our inhaler in all sorts of situations, but we always pair it with some meditative breathing.  Take the lid off of the inhaler, place it under the nose and take a few deep breaths in and out.  We use the 5-3-5 method.  Breathe in for 5 counts, hold for 3 counts, and exhale for 5 counts.  Replace the lid when you are finished and your inhaler can last for months.  When you feel like the smell isn’t as strong or is losing its power, you can simply remove and replace the cotton wick and keep the inhaler (if the cotton wick has no smell I will reuse).  I do recommend labeling the outside lid of your inhaler.  My kids tend to leave them lying around and I hate for them to get mixed up!

Essential Oil Inhaler Recipes

  • Sleep  10-12 drops of Lavender.  This is usually a calming oil for just about everyone!  I like to add 2 drops of Peppermint to my inhaler, my youngest add 2 drops of Lemon to hers, or you can add 2 drops of Copaiba.  Keep this one by your bed and slowly inhale deeply as you slip into bed to help you drift off to sleep.
  • Calm  5 drops Lavender, 3 drops Stress Away and 3 drops Frankincense.  This is perfect for adults and children who need to take a minute to relax or when you find yourself in a stressful situation like homework, office meetings, and traffic.
  • Focus  3 drops Lemon, 3 drops Frankincense and 5 drops Peppermint.  When you need a little focus or boost of energy in your life.
  • Breathe  6 drops Raven and 4 drops Peppermint.  When you feel like you need a breath of fresh air and need to open up your airway.  It helps provide some relief during times of congestion.

Be creative! You will quickly find your favorite essential oil.

Where to get essential oils

If you would like to give essential oils a try you can get started with an introductory kit. The kit includes a diffuser. We always have essential oils diffusing at our home. Learn more here.

diffuser blends

Here are more ways we use essential oils at my home:



These opinions are my own. I do not intend to diagnose or treat.

About Stacy

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  1. Inhaler sticks are so much fun to make – and great to have in the pocket. The hardest thing for me is deciding which ones to use- there are so many lovely ones.

  2. me encanta todo lo que tenga que ver con aromas,y mas si ayudan a relajarse , a desestresarse y a estar un poco mas tranquilo-

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