The use of essential oils for anxiety remains a popular option. This must be in some part to their effectiveness I am sure, as if they didn’t work then people wouldn’t be talking about them, using them, and enjoying the benefits.
So why are anxiety sufferers turning to these tiny bottles packed with so-called ‘healing properties’? Right off the bat it’s very likely that because essential, or aromatherapy oils are made from the herb, flower or spice and distilled into a good quality oil, so they are a natural remedy. Plus, they’re fast acting. When you take in the sublime smell from the bottle, your 50 million smell receptors in your nose send messages (across the blood-brain barrier) directly to you brain. Each oil has a particular message to send, and each oil has a different way of behaving, so can do a whole host of different positive things, and can adapt to the individual’s needs (they’re called adaptogens).
You’ve probably heard of the most common aromatherapy essential oils for anxiety – lavender, rose, clary sage, vanilla, patchouli and ylang ylang, so we’ve put together a short list of five essential oils for anxiety that you may not have tried yet.
The reason it’s No 1 on the essential oils for anxiety list is that frankincense contains sesquiterpenes, which help to carry oxygen to the brain, and lift mood, and incensole acetate which relaxes blood vessels in the skin and positively stimulates the limbic system, the area of the brain responsible for emotions. Activity in the limbic system from Frankincense will reduce feelings and thoughts of anxiety. So, that science, and the fact it blends with most other oils, so is a good one to have as your main scent if you’re experimenting.
But what does it smell like? If you can imagine a deep, rich, sweet scent which warms you right through (feels good already, doesn’t it.)
Pure Rose oil can be expensive, which is why Geranium is on this list for anxiety – because it’s a cheaper option. It is said to balance hormones, it works on the stimulating the lymphatic system, and helps to relax the whole body, soothing irritable feelings. It can pick you up from feeling down, and interestingly releases negative memories and opens the mind to new ideas.
What does it smell like? A soft light, fresh sweet citrus-rose. Think pink flowers (which is why it’s popular for women).
3. Roman Chamomile
This oil will make you feel better just reading about what it does. It’s calming, soothing and anti inflammatory. It’s really good for headaches, and will help to bring you back you when you’re angry.
So when you’re feeling restless, wound up, and all in your head, and you would so like to be a calmer-you, this is the oil to breathe in deeply, or massage onto skin (in an oil). Go for the Roman, not the German version as it’s better for anxiety.
What does it smell like? It’s a bit like soft cocoa with herb borders.
Who wouldn’t want a bit more zest in their life when trying really hard to kick anxiety to the kerb? Orange is a real head turner as it promotes joy and happiness and lifts the spirits while increasing circulation. It’s for reducing inflammation, which in turn calms anxiety and angry feelings. Plus, it’s one of the lower cost oils.
What does it smell like? You know the smell of fresh oranges on a sunny day? Well, that, concentrated.
And now to one of the more expensive oils. We had to include this as a special gift to yourself. Have you ever tried expensive perfumes like Chanel No 5 which include Jasmine? That’s because not only does it smell divine, the properties include uplifted mood and increased confidence. It acts on the neurotransmitters called GABA, helping to regulate feelings of anxiety.
What does it smell like? Light heady florals that make you go ‘oooh’ (House of Chanel know what they’re doing).
But which one to choose?
It’s easy to get lost in which to choose, so you may want to try a ‘blend’ that an expert has put together, and just pop a few drops in a bowl of hot water in a room if you’re new to this. For your info, blending oils means that a qualified aromatherapist has taken the time to masterfully combine oils that go well together, for a specific purpose. So you might want to take this route. Try searching for ‘blended oils for anxiety’.
Word to the wise: Avoid putting oils on your clothes as oils can stain, and make sure you do a one drop patch test before applying liberally directly on your skin or having an essential oils bath.
Essential oils for anxiety are to be treated with respect. Some will react to the sun, should be avoided in pregnancy, and interfere with certain medications. Check with your doctor if you have any concerns and read up on the information from your suppliers.
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