Have you ever noticed the powerful effect of scents on your emotions and mood?
Essential oils for anxiety contain aromatic molecules that can pass the blood/brain barrier and have a direct effect on the parts of our brain that control stress, anxiety, panic, and depression.
Though using essential oils alone may not cure an anxiety disorder, they can definitely help you calm your anxiety, stress and fears and even stop a panic attack dead in its tracks – without the side effects of drugs.
The 3 Best Essential Oils for Anxiety
Though scientific research on essential oils for anxiety is not abundant, there are a few studies proving the positive (and fast!) effect of a few essential oils on anxiety, stress, and panic:
1. Lavender Oil
One of the major components of Lavender EO is linalool. In animal models, linalool has been found to inhibit GABA(A) binding receptor in the central nervous system inducing a relaxing state.
Another study, examining the effect of Lavender on patients with preoperative anxiety found significantly lower anxiety after treatment with Lavender EO.
High-quality lavender oil has a sweet, floral, herbaceous, and slightly woody scent. Its color can range from pale yellow to yellow-green, but it can also be colorless.
How to Use Lavender Oil for Anxiety
Here are a few of the best ways to use Lavender essential oil to relieve anxiety and stress:
- Diffuse 10 – 12 drops of Lavender oil into the air during your workday
- Add 2 drops of Lavender oil to 1 tablespoon of your favorite lightly scented organic carrier oil (like almond oil) and massage your entire body or just your temples.
2. Frankincense Oil
Frankincense has a significant meaning in Christianity and is believed to be one of the gifts offered by the three wise men to the newborn Jesus.
Frankincense EO is considered the true star of the essential oils. It treats skin conditions, nervousness, depression, and anxiety.
It’s known for its comforting properties and is useful for visualizing, improving your spiritual connection, and helping overcome stress and despair.
In my experience, Frankincense EO is a very effective sedative that induces mental peace, relaxation, and satisfaction and relieves anger, anxiety, and stress.
3. Sweet Orange Oil
According to a study published on PubMed.com, Sweet Orange Oil has been found to have anxiety-inhibiting effects in humans, supporting its common use as a tranquilizer by aromatherapists.
Sweet Orange essential oil is obtained from the peels of orange by cold compression. Although most of you know the common name of oranges, perhaps you don’t know the botanical name, Citrus Sinensis.
The very smell of orange essential oil reminds you of happy moments and brings pleasant thoughts to mind.
That’s why this oil is so often used in aromatherapy. It creates a happy, relaxed feeling and works as a mood lifter, perfect for people who suffer from depression or chronic anxiety.
More Anxiety-Inhibiting Essential oils:
1. Rose (Rosa damascena)
2. Sandalwood (Santalum album)
3. Bergamot (Citrus aurantium) – People exposed to bergamot essential oil aromatherapy prior to surgery had a greater reduction in pre-operative anxiety than those in control groups.3
4. Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)
5. Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
6. Rose-scented geranium (Pelargonium spp.)
4 Easy Ways to Use Essential Oils for Anxiety
Here are the many ways you can use aromatherapy for anxiety:
Add a few drops to your diffuser and use throughout the day to lift your spirits and calm your mind.
Diffuse at night to reduce anxious thoughts and promote better sleep.
Add 2 drops to your pillow (under the pillowcase) to inhale while you sleep.
Add 1-2 drops on the palm of your hands and rub them together. Bring your palms to your nose and take 4-6 deep and slow breaths to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
You can also inhale essential oils using an individual inhaler with drops floated on the top of the hot water (popular for treating nasal congestion and sinus infections)
Add 6-8 drops to 2 oz carrier oil (coconut oil/sweet almond oil, jojoba) and rub your shoulders for a quick stress relief.
You can also rub some of the oils on your temples, works wonderfully with Lavender EO.
Add 5-10 drops of the EO to your bathtub. If you have sensitive skin, dilute the EO in 1 tbsp. carrier oil before adding to the tub.
More Ways to Use Essential Oils
- Add a few drops to a tissue or a cotton ball and place in your car, in your office etc.
- Add 2 drops on a cloth and put in the dryer for calm smelling clothes.
- Add 2-3 drops on a cotton ball and put in the vacuum cleaner.
Powerful Essential Oil Blend for Anxiety
4 drops Clary Sage EO
3 drops Geranium EO
3 Drops Lavender Oil
2 drops Sweet Orange Oil
1 drop Sandalwood EO
Combine the EOs in a small dark glass bottle and open to take a sniff or add 1-2 drops into the palms of your hands and rub them together to sniff.
My Favorite Essential Oils for Stress and Anxiety
Try to opt for organic 100% pure or therapeutic grade essential oils.
For anxiety, I never ingest any of these oils and only use them externally as suggested above.
My favorite EOs are:
Side Effects and Warnings
Some people may develop an allergic reaction to any essential oil. I recommend pregnant women and nursing moms to check with their doctor before inhaling or massaging these oils.
Also, check with your doctor if you are taking any kind of medication.
What’s your experience with essential oils for anxiety? Share with us in the comments below.
To your health and happiness,