The Best Essential Oils For Anxiety
Essential oils have had a revolution in the last decade. Their aromatherapy uses are now world renown and their many ways of application. While essential oils have existed for thousands of years, the science behind why certain scents have effects on the mind and body has only recently become popular in modern society. Simple use of the oils can have a significant impact on your daily life. Most medical professionals will agree that essential oils can assist in healing some illnesses.
While not an illness, anxiety is a common issue that affects millions of people around the world but essential oils have become increasingly popular for their capabilities to alleviate anxiety. Anxiety can be multi-faceted and with the help of the complex and rich aromas, relief can decrease attributes of anxiety as well as lift the weight of apprehensions.
What Exactly Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. While most people have experienced nervousness or anxiousness at least once in their lives, for many people anxiety becomes a powerful force that affects their daily life to a very high degree. When your general anxiety begins to control pieces of your life, you might have developed an anxiety disorder. Panic attacks and intense social phobias are prime examples that could mean you might be experiencing an anxiety disorder.
Oils And Anxiety
While you should consult a medical professional for serious anxiety disorders, essential oils have been found to be an effective low-impact way to help calm anxiety and bring a sense of wellbeing. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms then you might want to consider using essential oils to help ease your anxiety:
- Over worrying
- Difficulty sleeping
- Irrational phobias
- Constant muscle tension
- Chronic indigestion
- Over-anxiousness in social situations
- Constant self-consciousness
- Panic attacks
- Obsessive/Compulsive behavior
Using Essential Oils
One thing to note is that essential oils are not actually oil, as they do not contain the same fats that would constitute actual oils. This typically gives their consistency much thinner bodies than actual oils. Instead, they are the condensed particles of plants in a liquid form that provide mental and physical health benefits. As the particles are microscopic, they absorb into the skin rapidly and many oils can cross the blood-brain barrier for optimal health. The health benefits that essential oils provide are quite varied including brain function enhancement, mood elevation, hormone balancing, mental and physical fatigue buster, mental clarity, and lessen stress.
While some essential oils can be applied to the skin undiluted, the mass majority are diluted with a high-quality carrier oil or should be mixed with an oil that is good for the skin such as jojoba, almond or coconut oil. While most essential oils can be ingested, they may also be diluted in another agent such as a large cup of water or tea. It is always a good idea to test an oil before using by applying a drop or two to a small piece of cotton then rubbing that on the inside of the arm. If there is no irritation after a few hours then you are probably not allergic to the oil. Pay attention to ‘hot’ oils: for example, cinnamon and clove bud.
The Best Essential Oils For Easing Anxiety
Lavender essential oil has a sweet floral scent. Lavender is from Latin meaning “to wash”. It is the most versatile of all oils. Every home should have Lavender on hand as it can be used for almost everything, with it’s analgesic, antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-infection properties. It originates from the Old World and grows abundantly in many countries. Lavender is beloved as the oil of choice for calming and relaxation. It soothes panic attacks, tense muscles, depression and agitation. Spray on a pillow for a sound sleep or inhale for calming relief. It is a comforting oil, bringing us out of our aloneness.
Ylang Ylang Oil
Ylang Ylang essential oil is distilled from the flower of the Ylang Ylang tree found in Madagascar, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The flowers have long, drooping petals of a yellowish-green hue and are known as the “flower of flowers”. The oil is collected through steam distillation. The scent is a sweet floral one similar to jasmine with a hint of citrus and an undertone that is rich, sweet and woody.
Ylang Ylang essential oil is a calming and relaxation-inducing oil that has many potential benefits along with its anti-anxiety qualities including antidepressant, aphrodisiac, reduces high blood pressure, repairs the nervous system, antiseptic, antifungal, and promotes healthy skin.
Ylang Ylang soothes an unsettled mind, clears negative chatter and lifts our heart.
Roman Chamomile Oil
Chamomile is a common garden plant found in dry fields across Europe, North America, and Argentina. This low-growing perennial plant goes by many names such as Roman Chamomile, ground apple, mother’s daisy, and whig plant. Chamomile has a shrub-like appearance and grows small white petal flowers that resemble daisies. Back in the days of Rome, soldiers would use it in the field to stay calm and collected. Chamomile essential oil is well known for its soothing capabilities. If a couple drops are diluted in a glass of water then ingested, chamomile essential oil can be very calming and is effective against anxiety. If you are having “one of those on-edge and irritable days”, chamomile essential oil is a great way to turn it around. When used on the skin, the oil can create a healthy and young appearance. The scent of chamomile is rather unique, resembling a mix of floral and apple characteristics. Interestingly, chamomile has been found to have positive effects on plants surrounding it which has garnered it the nickname “Plant’s Physician”.
Bergamot is a fragrant citrus fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow or green color similar to a lime, depending on ripeness. It is cold pressed from hand-harvested fruits’ rind and grows in Italy, France, and a few other countries. It is typically not used for food. With its light spicy and fruity aroma, it is a great mood elevator and paradoxically a sedative. It helps resolve insomnia and tension as well as aids in digestion and acts as an analgesic. This uplifting scent promotes peacefulness. It brings about harmonious relationships.
Clary Sage Oil
Clary Sage is a biennial herb that is native to the northern Mediterranean Basin as well as parts of North Africa and Central Asia. The herb has a very long history for its medicinal purposes including writings that date all the way back to the 4th century BC. They have a long green stem which produces small vertical flowers that range in color from cream white to lilac and light pink. The flowers produce a lovely floral character that continues into the essential oil when distilled. Containing the natural chemical linalyl acetate is the calming effect in Clary Sage oil. This oil is perfect to use in a bath to relax or as a calming agent when one is experiencing anxiety. Clary Sage was used for ages as a skin and hair treatment with archeological evidence revealing its use in soap. It can be a very effective treatment for dry or irritated skin.
Everyone knows of the delightful yellow fruit that grows naturally in many places around the world but did you know that the essential oil extracted from the lemon also has many medicinal benefits? Lemon Oil is cold pressed from the rind of the fruit. Lemon oil is great for raising your mood and revitalizing energy. Therefore, the oil has been found to be impactful in releasing stress and removing anxiety. Consider using this as a cleaning agent around the house or using a few drops in the palm of your hand and inhaling when experiencing anxiety. Gain a sense of well-being, and also enjoy increased concentration and memory.
Eucalyptus is actually a wide family of trees and shrubs that grow white flowers with string-like petals. Eucalyptus essential oil has a soft, sweet, penetrating, bouquet with a minty-woody-terpenic undertone. They are native to Australia and one of the genus is actually the tallest flowering tree on Earth. There are more than 700 in the species and are also found natively on Indonesia and New Guinea. Along with the fast-producing resources of wood and oil, Eucalyptus trees are also adept at draining swamps which reduces the risk of malaria. As such, they are viewed as a kind of miracle tree. The Eucalyptus essential oil is one of the most beloved used for medicinal purposes. The calming effects of the oil for anxiety and stress are well known, but it also has a number of other benefits including that it is one of the few that can help relieves sinus and allergy congestion. Eucalyptus awakens your own healing powers, aids in concentration and centering yourself.
Frankincense is an aromatic resin collected from Boswellia trees found in Oman, Somalia, and India. The word Frankincense is actually derived from an old French expression that means “high-quality incense”. One can imagine that it has quite the aroma! The resin is extracted by cutting the bark off the tree, causing the sap to form a teardrop-shaped resin that hardens on the tree. It is collected and used in its resin form as an incense or steamed distilled to produce an oil. The aroma has a fresh, sweet resinous bouquet with a delightfully sweet scent and fruity-balsamic undertone. It can be used topically to promote healthy skin and hair. When ingested it can boost your immune system.
Sandalwood trees are aromatic foliage with heavy, yellow, fine-grained wood that is found naturally in Hawaii, Australia, and India but has been cultivated in many parts of the world. They are the second most expensive tree in the world and are highly prized for their fragrance, which has a distinctive creamy, balsamic bouquet, warm almost milk-like scent. Steam distillation is the primary method for collecting the oil from sandalwood and can take between 14-36 hours. Sandalwood essential oil has powerful mood-enhancing elements and can be quite grounding. It is commonly used in meditation to help relax the mind. Placing a couple drops in your hands, cupping them together and breathing deeply into them can have powerful calming effects, bringing peace and harmony. Its other uses include healthy skin promotion, smooth hair, and sleep enhancement. In one study, Sandalwood was even found to have positive effects on plants!
There are few scents as distinct as Peppermint but did you know that it has great health benefits as well? Peppermint is actually a hybrid combination of Spearmint and Watermint. It is indigenous to Europe and the Middle East but is now widely cultivated around the world. Peppermint is a perennial that grows long stalks with small purple flowers and bright green leaves that provide the aroma/flavor. Peppermint oil has a plethora of benefits which includes stomach ache relief, headache relief, anti-bacterial qualities, energy boosting, and enhanced mental focus.