Essence of Thyme Student Researches Aromatherapy for COVID-19

Sep 12, 2022

Essence of Thyme student Jenny Ditch is using her training in the Certified Master Aromatherapist Program to help her examine a very timely and pressing issue: how aromatherapy and essential oils can be used in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

Jenny’s research will be published in the Autumn 2022 issue of In Essence, the biannual journal of the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (IFPA).

Jenny applied what she learned previously from Essence of Thyme as part of the Level 2 aromatherapy certification program and her mentor Dr. Kelly Ablard to effectively investigate evidence-based research and apply it to a topical issue that the aromatherapy community could benefit from. Now, she’s using this experience to advance the dialogue about evidence-based research into essential oils and their potential role in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Jenny was kind enough to sit down with us and talk about her research and its process, from inspiration to publication. She also shares important behind-the-scenes glimpses of what a solid research mentorship looks like and how it helps you achieve your goals with excellence.

Tell us more about your research topic.

I wrote a review of several studies conducted on the possibility of utilizing essential oils to prevent and/or treat COVID-19. It was really fascinating to see how aromatherapy really does have great potential to be helpful in the battle against COVID-19, and that potential is backed by research. I am hopeful that my paper will raise awareness of the exciting research that has already been done regarding the potential use of essential oils to prevent and treat COVID-19 and help to encourage further research in that area of study.

Can you share some of your findings?

I found there were numerous examples of clinical research regarding the potential of using essential oils to prevent and treat COVID-19 and related illnesses. There were many common essential oil constituents that had great potential for inhibiting COVID-19 infection including citronellol, geraniol, limonene, linalool, and neryl acetate. These constituents are prevalent in several essential oils commonly used in aromatherapy.

Describe your process. What was it like to write a research paper as a student? How did you collaborate with your instructors? What helped you feel confident?

At first it was very intimidating. It has been several years since I wrote anything academic, and even longer since I have written anything science related. I started my paper with many direct quotes, then added my own descriptions, summaries, and conclusions about the studies and the subject in general. I wrote half of my paper, then sent it to Dr. Kelly Ablard, who mentors the research paper students, just to make sure I was on the right track. Her notes were very encouraging and helped me to feel confident going forward. I also had some good friends who were able to read my paper along the way and help me work through it. With any large undertaking I usually have that moment of panic thinking that this undertaking is going to end in disaster. Thanks to Kelly's encouragement, and the encouragement of some great friends, that moment of panic in this paper was very short lived. After I finished my final draft of my paper, I met with Kelly again to review it, and she provided very helpful feedback to really help my paper become a success.


“I am hopeful that my paper will raise awareness of the exciting research that has already been done regarding the potential use of essential oils to prevent and treat COVID-19 and help to encourage further research in that area of study.”


After your research article is published, what's next for you and for your work?

I've just gotten started in Essence of Thyme's Certified Master Aromatherapist Program, which will take me some time to complete. After that, I hope to find my niche somewhere in aromatherapy research. In the Master's program I am excited to be examining a variety of research studies already and have companion documents to help me understand some of the topics covered in these studies. I am excited to become more familiar with a variety of research studies and feel more comfortable reviewing research papers in the future.

How did Essence of Thyme prepare and support you in publishing your research paper?

After Kelly suggested that my paper could be published, we met via Zoom several times. Kelly walked me through the process of publishing, including what elements of my paper needed to be adapted for publishing. She also helped me to edit my paper and make it even better before sending it off to the editors. It has been a really interesting process overall, I have learned a lot already!

What was your favourite part of your experience with Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies?

I have really loved the experience of writing a research paper. Aromatherapy research is fascinating! I also love the relationships I have developed with other students and the staff at Essence of Thyme. I am really loving the online Certified Master Aromatherapist program. My first program through Essence of Thyme was the correspondence program, and I learned quickly that I really like the online learning format much better. I appreciate the variations in information, delivery methods, and the flexibility of online learning. It is so helpful with my busy life!

What would you tell someone who was considering this program?

I have always really loved science, and understanding why and how things work. When I decided to study aromatherapy, I was drawn to Essence of Thyme's program because of their focus on science and research. I felt like the program would give me the foundation I desired and the tools I need to continue in the field in the future.


While understanding and writing research can feel intimidating, Jenny’s work is a perfect example of how you can make a difference with your aromatherapy knowledge — and how a formally recognized aromatherapy certification program can provide the support you need for your career in aromatherapy.

Congratulations, Jenny, on your accomplishments and your contributions to our field! It’s an honour to support you, and we look forward to seeing how your work contributes to both the field of aromatherapy and much-needed support for this challenging disease. 

Student Bio: Jenny Ditch 

Jenny Ditch is currently a student in the Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies Certified Master Aromatherapist Program. She is excited to find her niche in aromatherapy research.

 About Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies

Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies offers 300- and 630-hour professional aromatherapy certification programs that help you grow a successful, fulfilling career by specializing and creating your market niche. Professional Level Certification prepares graduates to become aromatherapy consultants, launch product lines or retail businesses, or provide services as an adjunct to existing holistic health specializations. Master Level Certification and electives are ideal for certified aromatherapists seeking higher education or a path to clinical aromatherapy practice.

All Essence of Thyme programs focus on aromatherapy product development and advanced formulation, evidence-based research, spa and business management, international industry regulatory guidelines, and sustainability and conservation of essential oil and carrier oil-bearing plants.

Our comprehensive, evidence-based programs meet or exceed the criteria set forth by 5 international professional aromatherapy associations. Learn more about our aromatherapy certification programs.


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