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The 8 Best Essential Oils for Anxiety: Science-Backed and How to Start Now

Dec 23, 2023 | Blog

The 8 Best Essential Oils for Anxiety: Science-Backed and How to Start Now
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In our quest for natural remedies to manage anxiety, essential oils have emerged as a popular choice. Renowned for their calming properties, these oils can provide a sense of tranquility and relaxation. Here, we explore the eight best essential oils for anxiety, each with its unique benefits.

Essential oils for anxiety

Essential oils work for anxiety by interacting with the brain and the nervous system through their aromatic compounds. When inhaled, these compounds stimulate the olfactory system in the brain, which is connected to areas that process emotions. This can lead to a reduction in stress and anxiety levels. Certain oils, like lavender and chamomile, are particularly known for their calming properties. They can help relax the mind, ease tension, and improve mood. The use of essential oils for calm is a complementary approach to anxiety management can be beneficial for its natural and holistic qualities.

Essential Oils for Anxiety

Do essential oils work for anxiety symptoms?

Essential oils have been studied for their potential effects on anxiety, with some clinical trials indicating their effectiveness. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials investigated the efficacy of different types of essential oils (EOs) on anxiety.

This comprehensive analysis included 44 trials involving 3419 anxiety patients. The results showed that essential oils were effective in reducing both State Anxiety Inventory scores (SAIS) and Trait Anxiety Inventory scores (TAIS). Specifically, Jasminum sambac (jasmine), Citrus (citrus aurantium L.), Rosa rugosa Thunb. (damask rose), and Lavandula angustifolia Mill. (lavender) were among the most effective, showing significant reductions in anxiety scores. These findings suggest that essential oils, could be a beneficial option for treating anxiety.

How to use essential oils

Using essential oils for anxiety can be done in several ways, each offering a unique approach to harnessing their calming properties. Here are some effective methods:

1. Aromatherapy Diffusion: Using an essential oil diffuser is one of the most popular methods. Simply add a few drops of your chosen essential oil (like lavender, chamomile, or neroli) to the diffuser filled with water. As the oil diffuses into the air, inhale the calming aroma to help ease anxiety.

2. Topical Application: Essential oils can be applied to the skin, but they should always be diluted with a carrier oil (like coconut or jojoba oil) to prevent skin irritation. Apply the mixture to pulse points such as the wrists, temples, or behind the ears. The warmth of your body helps release the scent.

3. Inhalation: For a quick and direct method, place a few drops of essential oil on a tissue or cotton ball and gently inhale. You can also add a drop or two to the palms of your hands, rub them together, and then cup them over your nose, taking deep breaths.

4. Bath Time: Adding a few drops of essential oil to a warm bath can provide a relaxing experience. The combination of warm water and the scent of the oil can be very soothing for anxiety.

5. Massage: A massage with essential oils not only helps in relieving muscle tension but also aids in reducing anxiety. Mix a few drops of essential oil with a carrier oil and use it for a gentle, calming massage.

6. Sprays: Create a room spray by mixing essential oils with water in a spray bottle. You can use this to spritz your room, pillow, or personal space to create a calming atmosphere.

7. Personal Inhalers: Portable aromatherapy inhalers are available which allow you to carry your favourite essential oils with you and inhale as needed throughout the day.

When using essential oils for anxiety, it’s important to note that they are complementary treatments and should not replace professional medical advice. Also, ensure you’re using high-quality, pure essential oils and always conduct a patch test if applying them to the skin. Some oils can be potent or cause allergic reactions, so use them responsibly.

Here is our pick of the best essential oils for anxiety

Many of these are also excellent essential oils for helping sleep and would work as a sleep aid essential oil.

Essential Oils for Anxiety

1. Lavender Essential Oil:

Does lavender help with anxiety? It’s thought so, yes. Known for its soothing and calming effects, lavender oil is a top choice for reducing anxiety. Its pleasant aroma helps to relax the mind, ease tension, and promote better sleep.

Essential Oils for Anxiety

2. Chamomile Essential Oil:

Chamomile, often associated with calming teas, is equally effective as an essential oil for stress and anxiety. It’s particularly good for reducing stress and promoting a peaceful state of mind.

Essential Oils for Anxiety

3. Rose Essential Oil:

Rose oil is celebrated for its uplifting and comforting properties. It’s particularly beneficial in easing emotional stress and creating a sense of well-being.

Ylang-Ylang

4. Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil:

Ylang-Ylang is known for its ability to promote relaxation and reduce feelings of fear and anxiety. Its sweet, floral scent is ideal for calming nerves.

Frankincense

5. Frankincense Essential Oil:

Frankincense offers a grounding effect, making it excellent for deepening relaxation during meditation or yoga. It helps to soothe anxiety and foster inner peace.

Bergamot

6. Bergamot Essential Oil:

A key ingredient in Earl Grey tea, Bergamot oil is known for its mood-enhancing properties. It helps to alleviate stress and improve mood.

 Vetiver

7. Vetiver Essential Oil:

Vetiver is highly valued for its grounding and stabilising effects. It’s particularly effective in calming anxiety and helping with emotional regulation.

Neroli

8. Neroli essential oil:

Neroli oil, extracted from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium), is highly regarded for its calming and soothing properties, making it beneficial for anxiety relief. One study found that it reduced anxiety symptoms and pain in labouring women.

Incorporating these essential oils into your daily routine can be a simple yet effective way to manage anxiety naturally. Whether diffused, inhaled, or used in a massage, they offer a holistic approach to easing anxiety symptoms. Remember, while essential oils can provide relief, they should be used as a complement to other anxiety management techniques and not as a replacement for professional medical advice.

Frequently asked questions

What are the best essential oils for sleep and anxiety?

Lavender Oil: Lavender oil for anxiety is widely praised for its relaxation effects. It’s known to help reduce anxiety and promote better sleep, making it an ideal choice for those struggling with insomnia or stress.

How to use lavender oil for anxiety?

To use lavender oil for anxiety, you can try aromatherapy by diffusing the oil in your living space using an essential oil diffuser. Another method is to apply it topically after diluting it with a carrier oil, such as coconut or almond oil, and gently massaging it onto your temples, wrists, or behind the ears. You can also add a few drops of lavender oil to a warm bath for a relaxing soak. Inhaling the scent of lavender oil can help calm the mind and reduce feelings of anxiety.

What essential oils are good for headaches?

Essential oils that are good for headaches include peppermint oil, which can provide a cooling sensation and help relieve tension headaches; eucalyptus oil, known for its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to open nasal passages; lavender oil, for its relaxing and pain-relieving effects; and rosemary oil, which can reduce pain and improve circulation. These oils can be inhaled through aromatherapy, applied topically when diluted with a carrier oil, or added to a warm bath.

Can I use lavender essential oil on skin? There are many benefits of lavender on the skin.

Yes, you can use lavender essential oil on the skin, but it should always be diluted with a carrier oil to avoid irritation. Lavender oil is known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, making it beneficial for various skin conditions like acne, eczema, and minor burns. It also has antibacterial properties and can promote faster healing of the skin.

Are there good essential oils for ADHD?

For ADHD, essential oils that may help include vetiver oil, which is known for its grounding effects; lavender oil, for its calming properties; and cedarwood oil, which can improve focus and reduce hyperactivity. These oils can be used in a diffuser, applied topically when mixed with a carrier oil, or inhaled directly. However, it’s important to note that essential oils are a complementary therapy and should be used alongside other treatments recommended by a healthcare professional.

What are the best essential oils for sleep and relaxation?

The best essential oils for sleep and relaxation include lavender oil, known for its calming effects; chamomile oil, which promotes relaxation and sleep; vetiver oil, for its grounding properties; and sandalwood oil, which can induce a sense of calm. These oils can be used in a diffuser in the bedroom, applied topically when diluted, or added to a warm bath before bedtime.

How to use essential oils for sleep?

To use essential oils for sleep, you can diffuse them in your bedroom before going to bed, particularly oils like lavender or chamomile. Alternatively, you can apply them topically after mixing with a carrier oil and massage onto the skin, focusing on areas like the neck, shoulders, and feet. Adding a few drops of a relaxing essential oil to your pillow or bedding can also promote better sleep.

What are some jasmine essential oil benefits?

Jasmine essential oil is known for its uplifting and mood-enhancing properties, making it beneficial for reducing anxiety and improving mood. It also has aphrodisiac qualities and can promote a sense of romance and intimacy. Jasmine oil is believed to have sedative effects, aiding in relaxation and potentially improving sleep quality. Additionally, it’s used in skincare for its soothing and moisturizing properties.


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