AroMed: Lauren’s Top 10 Gift Picks
- Organic Essential Oils and Essential Oil Air Diffuser
- Fair Trade Scarves and Bags
- CBD Tinctures, Massage Oils and Lotions
- Beeswax Botanical Luminaries
- Natural Perfumes and Body Sprays
- Unique Jewelry
- Eco-Friendly Gemstones
- Artisanal Soy Candles
- Indian Block Tapestries
- Jade Yoga Mats
Planting a Seed
Understanding Plant-Based Therapies
Lauren Andrews’s experience as a psychiatric nurse left her frustrated. “I didn’t always have a lot of options other than pharmaceuticals to help patients address symptoms like anxiety, agitation, or insomnia.” Most medications come with a list of possible side effects, including addiction and complications from long-term use. She wondered if there was a better way.
Along with other nurses, Lauren developed a Sensory Modulation Program to help patients manage their symptoms. “We had options that engaged the senses—meditation, yoga, art therapy—but we didn’t have anything olfaction-related.” At that point, she began researching essential oil aromatherapy. Soon, its effectiveness made it popular not only with patients but also with other nurses and doctors.
Lauren recalls one patient who tried a lavender-infused lotion in place of her sedative to help with disruptive anxiety. “It had the same effect as her medication. She felt better about herself, and it was empowering. I see her in the community and she still uses it.”
That experience, and others like it, gave Lauren an appreciation and strong desire to better understand plant-based therapies. “With all the positive feedback from patients, I realized I’d stumbled upon something very powerful. So I committed to educating myself.”
Lauren considers herself fortunate to have studied under Andrea Butje and Robert Tisserand, two of the preeminent aromatherapists in the field. Still a registered psychiatric nurse, she has earned her Clinical Certification in Aromatherapy, as well as the Cannabis Science and Medicine Certification from the University of Vermont. The opportunity to study medicinal uses of essential oils and cannabis on even deeper levels, Lauren says, “changed my life and my practice, opening me up to the power of plant-based medicine, and I vowed to do it full time.”
She began doing consultation work but quickly realized she wanted “to help a broader range of people and offer a wider range of remedies that were affordable and more easily accessible. “In a retail setting, I could make that happen and help the most people. That’s when I decided to open a shop.” AroMed’s flagship store opened in Montpelier, Vermont, in 2013.