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Essential Oils for Anxiety

Young woman struggle with anxiety and depression

There is a good chance that you are aware of essential oils by now. They serve so many purposes and aromatherapy has been linked to a litany of health benefits. And even though they have been used by medical practitioners for years, they are gaining traction when it comes to treating pain, stress, and sleep issues.

Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils and for good reason. It has been used to treat many different things and there have been recent studies that suggest that sniffing a compound in lavender known as linalool has the same effect on the brain as anti-anxiety drugs. The best part is that it doesn’t impair movement in the way that medicines such as Valium can.

Also beneficial is the fact that it can be sniffed and does not have to be introduced into the bloodstream. This is great for people who are worried about interactions or side effects that medications can have on them or in general.

The only catch to this is that the research was done on mice. We still don’t how this transfers over to humans and it may be years before we truly know.

It is also important to remember that the way a person reacts to aromatherapy is individualized to that person. What might be beneficial or detrimental to some may not have the same effects on others. It is important to try essential oils in small doses to see how you react to them. The last thing you want is to have an adverse reaction due to a heavy dose.

The key is to make certain that you diffuse these essential oils before using them. Diffusing disperses them into the air in less-concentrated doses. Follow the directions laid out by the product as they can have very negative effects if inhale or used incorrectly.

When following the correct procedure, you can apply the oils in several ways. Use them on your skin, in bathing, applied to a diffuser bracelet, or mixed into lotions and creams. If they are not diluted beforehand, they can be irritating to the skin.

But did you know that essential oils also have the power to combat depression and anxiety? There have been a number of essential oils that are proven to combat stress, anxious feelings, and tension because of their calming and soothing properties.

If you are looking to reduce symptoms of anxiety, improve your well-being, and uplift your mood using natural remedies, then using essential oils might be the best option for you. 

In this article, we have listed down the best essential oils for anxiety and break down how they promote relaxation, boost mental health, and improve overall mood.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that capture the natural fragrance and properties of plants. They have been used for centuries for their therapeutic benefits and are known to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.

How Do Essential Oils Help With Anxiety?

Essential oils can help alleviate anxiety by stimulating certain receptors in the brain that are responsible for regulating emotions. When inhaled or applied topically, these oils can have a calming effect on the mind and body, promoting a sense of peace and tranquility.

Best Essential Oils For Anxiety

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary Essential Oil

If you are anxiously looking for a way to relax, rosemary essential oil is probably not the best option as it can be somewhat stimulating and energizing through the inhalation of its scent. What it does provide, according to some research though, is increased cognitive function. It also helps decrease the overall presence of stress hormones, which can also help to reduce anxiety and intensified uneasiness in some situations. Some studies also suggest that rosemary essential oil can lower blood pressure when taken three times a day!

It may be beneficial to make use of rosemary essential oils in situations that are more stressful. Even though it is not exactly meant to treat symptoms of anxiety, being able to manage those stress levels could, by proxy, help to mitigate anxiety.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender has long been a known remedy for insomnia and anxiety. There are a variety of ways that you can use these lavender essential oils to bring about a more relaxed presence in your life. Simply inhaling it gradually removes anxious feelings and keeps stress levels at bay. Lavender remains one of the most popular essential oils around for just this reason.

The key is to look for products that contain the oil that is distilled from the flowers of the Lavandula angustifolia plant. Just a little bit of lavender essential oil each day can have a drastic effect on how you deal with stress and anxiety in your life.

If you are a newbie in using essential oils, you can simply start inhaling lavender from the bottle or even add a few drops of it on a carrier oil such as sweet almond or coconut oil to massage your temples.

Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot Essential Oil

There was a study conducted in 2015 by the journal Forschende Komplementarmedizin (Research in complementary Medicine) which found that those people who inhaled bergamot essential oil that has been diffused with water vapor had reduced levels of stress hormones, reduced fatigue, and improved mood. This was used among a control group to test the results. With these findings, it is best to conclude that bergamot essential oil can promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.

Bergamot oil can be hugely beneficial for having more energy throughout the day while maintaining an improved mood. These also help to mitigate those levels of stress that can plague our lives daily.

Sweet Orange Essential Oil

Sweet Orange Essential Oil

This essential oil is extracted from the peel of the orange fruit. Not only that, it has been shown to improve markers of post-traumatic stress disorder when tested in mice. Additionally, a 2015 randomized clinical trial that was published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research noted that women in labor who were exposed to orange essential oil were able to reduce anxiety ratings more than those who were exposed to distilled water.

With a natural citrus scent, a sweet orange essential oil can also be used in cleaning products or just as a fresh scent for your home. It is one of the most versatile essential oils on the market today and remains one of the most popular as well. 

Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile Essential Oil

The Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine noted back in a 2015 review that chamomile has stress-relieving and anti-anxiety properties that help to reduce anxiety & depression, overactive minds, and worry among subjects tested.

If used before sleep for things like baths, it can help to relax the body and mind while also bringing on sleep. All of this with spiritual and peaceful awareness. You may have heard of chamomile before as it is a popular tea that is used for relaxation purposes and for providing easier sleep.

How To Use Essential Oils For Anxiety

There are several ways to use essential oils for anxiety:

  • Inhalation: Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to a diffuser or inhale directly from the bottle for quick relief.
  • Topical application: Dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil, and apply it to your wrists, temples, or the back of your neck.
  • Bath: Add a few drops of essential oil to a warm bath and soak for 15-20 minutes to promote relaxation.
  • Massage: Mix a few drops of essential oil with a carrier oil and massage it into your skin for a calming and soothing effect.

Precautions When Using Essential Oils

  • Always dilute essential oils before applying them to the skin to avoid irritation.
  • Perform a patch test before using a new essential oil to check for any allergic reactions.
  • Avoid using essential oils internally unless under the guidance of a qualified aromatherapist.
  • If you are pregnant, nursing, or have any underlying health conditions, consult with a healthcare professional before using essential oils.
  • Remember, essential oils are not a substitute for professional medical treatment. If you are experiencing severe anxiety or mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified healthcare provider.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the essential oils out there that have beneficial health qualities. To find the best ones for you, think about the areas in your life that you would like to improve - perhaps it is sleeping better, limiting stress, enhancing the immune system, or just feeling better.

Doing this will allow you to properly identify the essential oils that can have the biggest impact on your life. Using essential oils regularly, whether aromatically or applying it directly to your body will make a tremendous impact on the way you live your life and can help to make you feel better overall.

Note: This article has not been medically reviewed. We are not medical professionals and all of the opinions in this article are based on scientific research and studies. Anxiety should be checked out by a licensed medical professional such as a psychiatrist. Please also make sure to seek medical advice from your doctor first before using any essential oils for your depression and anxiety.