Essential oils have been around for centuries, dating back to biblical days, when Jesus was anointed with frankincense and myrrh at birth. They have been used since ancient times in different cultures, including China, Egypt, India and southern Europe. Some essential oils have even been applied to the dead as part of the embalming process. We know this because remains have been discovered in tombs over 2000 years! Essential oils are also common in aromatherapy, which was highlighted by French surgeon Jean Valnet, who learned that essential oils can help treat soldiers during the Second World War – a time when medicines are scarce.
The beauty of essential oils is that they are natural, extracted from flowers, leaves, bark or plant roots.
While it’s best to make sure you use pure essential oils, meaning oils that are not diluted with chemicals or supplements, they can provide much more relief and healing for various ailments, including as a natural remedy for anxiety.
Best Essential Oils against Anxiety
Anxiety is a tricky battle to face day after day, making it a natural solution as an essential oil blend, important. In a recent study of the 2014 American College of Health Sciences, 58 patients of hospice received manual massages once a day in one week with a basic oil mixture in a 1.5% dilution with sweet almond oil. The essential oil mixture consists of these essential oils in equal proportions of bergamot, frankincense and lavender. All patients who have received hand massage aromatherapy have reported less pain and depression, concluding that aromatherapy massage with this essential oil blend is more effective for treating pain and managing depression than self-massage.
Here are some of the best essential oils for anxiety:
1. Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)
It is believed to be the most common essential oil, the benefits of lavender oil include a soothing, relaxing effect. It is considered a nervous restorative system and helps with inner peace, sleep, anxiety, irritability, panic attacks, nervous stomach and general nervous tension.
The Essential Oils Handbook: Science, Technology and Applications, Second Edition, states that there have been a number of clinical trials involving the inhalation of essential lavender oil that show a reduction in stress and anxiety. A study using oral lavender essential oil capsules found that the heart rate option significantly increased compared to the placebo while watching the anxiety provoked film. This suggests lavender has a sedative effect.
In addition, studies show lavender ability to reduce anxiety in patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery and in people who visit a dentist.
2. Rose (Rosa Damascena)
One of the benefits of rose essential oil is a lot of emotional heart settling and perhaps the second most popular after lavender to relieve anxiety and depression that helps with panic attacks, mourning and shock. In the study of women who were pregnant for the first time published in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, a group of women received 10 minutes by inhalation of rose oil, another group received 10 minutes of feet massage with warm water. The results showed that aromatherapy and foot massage reduces the anxiety.
Vetiver oil has a relaxed, grounding and soothing energy, often used in trauma and helps with self-consciousness, calmness and stabilization. A tonic for the nervous system reduces nervousness and hypersensitivity and also attacks of panic and shock. An article published in the Natural Product Research studies anxiety such as behavior in rats and brings up the conclusion that vetiver oil may be beneficial in reducing anxiety effects, although more research is needed to confirm this finding.
4. Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata)
This popular essential oil can cure anxiety and depression due to its soothing and lifting effects. Ylang helps with boldness, courage, optimism and soothes fear. It can calm the heart and nervous heartbeat and is a moderately strong calming effect that can help with insomnia.
In a 2006 study conducted by Geochang Provincial College in Korea shows that using ylang-ylang oil along with bergamot and lavender oils, once a day for four weeks, reduces psychological stress reactions and serum cortisol levels, as well as blood pressure of clients with essential hypertension. Be careful when using ylang-ylang as it may be sensitizing or irritating to the skin; avoid using it under low blood pressure.
5. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Bergamot is common in Earl Gray tea and has a distinctive flavor and aroma of flowers. Bergamot oil is soothing and is often used to treat depression by providing energy; However, it can also help with insomnia causing relaxation and reducing agitation. It has been shown to reduce corticosterone response to stress in rats and another interesting study conducted in 2011 supports the hypothesis that the application of mixed essential oil, which includes the bergamot of the participants helps in the treatment of depression or anxiety. Mixed essential oil consists of lavender and bergamot oils.
Mixed essential oil causes significant natural ways to reduce blood pressure and pulse. Bergamot is usually safe, but it is photosynthetic, which means it can increase the risk of sunburn and rash. It is best to avoid using within 12 hours of sun exposure.
6. Chamomile (Chamaemelum Nobile)
With tranquil, soothing scent, chamomile benefits inner harmony and reduces irritability, overthinking, anxiety. An exploratory study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, Faculty of Medicine on an antidepressant activity in chamomile found that this essential oil can provide up to clinically significant antidepressant activity that appears in addition to previously observed anxiolytic activity.
Another study, published by the National Center for Additional and Integrative Healthcare, found that chamomile capsules were shown to relieve anxiety. Chamomile oil is usually safe, except for some minor allergy risk, especially for anyone who has an allergy to ambrosia.