For Centuries, Essential Oils For Anxiety Have Been Used
Although the concept of treating anxiety and symptoms of stress using essential oils may seem like a relatively new concept, the practice of incorporating essential oils into healthcare and psychological healing practices has been around for centuries. With the introduction of western medicine, it seems as though we have moved further and further away from the practice of holistic healthcare (treating the body and mind as a whole) and instead focused our attention on treating symptoms as they arise rather than the root cause of the problem.
While ancient cultures may have had more limited means of treatment, they relied on natural sources to find results while seeking to maintain physical and psychological well-being through diet, activity, and plant-based medicine. As it turns out, their understanding of essential oils for anxiety and their’ profound effect on the body and mind has withstood the test of time, as more and more researchers today are learning just how effective they can be when it comes to helping patients overcome stress and anxiety.
The earliest evidence of the use of medicinal plants and plant oil was discovered in Lascaux, located in the Dordogne region of France. Cave paintings dated as early as 18,000 B.C.E. detailed the use of plant medicine in healthcare practices. Many ancient cultures were aware of the unique effects of medicinal plants and integrated them into medical treatments and religious practices. The Egyptians used aromatic oils as early as 4500 B.C.E. in a variety of ways, including incense, medicine, and perfume. Essential oils and plant pastes were used in medicinal pills, powders, and ointments. For religious purposes, each deity was associated with a specific fragrance, and pharaohs had their own special aromatic blends.
Asia was also well known for its early use of essential oils. In China between 2697-2597 B.C.E., Huang Ti, known as the Yellow Emperor, developed his famous book “The Yellow Emperor’s Book of Internal Medicine” which detailed the use of aromatic medicine. This book is still regarded as highly useful in the practice of eastern medicine today. In India, a practice known as Ayurveda was developed 3,000 years ago and is still used to this day. Ayurveda is considered a personalized approach to health, and it focuses on the connection between the body and mind. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine, both ancient and modern, have detailed the importance of balance in maintaining overall health. Essential oils and plant medicine are among the key components of this balance.
Between 460-377 B.C.E., the Father of Modern Medicine, Hypocrites, detailed the use of medicinal plants in healing and their effects. It is thought that he acquired this knowledge through Greek soldiers’ experience with Ayurvedic medicine during their travels with Alexander the Great. During the fall of the Roman Empire, Roman physicians gathered texts written by Hypocrites which were later translated into many languages. The Romans integrated the use of aromatic oils into many aspects of their lives.
As we learn more about these ancient cultures’ use of essential oils for anxiety and their incredible results, it becomes increasingly evident that essential oils can have incredible benefits on the body and mind. These civilizations were aware of the ability of essential oils to bring balance and whole body health, and how inhaling these aromas can calm the mind, easing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. This impressive discovery has paved the way for modern research regarding the importance of natural medicine in modern healthcare.
Essential Oil Uses And Benefits For Anxiety Today
Today, the popularity of using essential oils for anxiety as healing tools is rapidly growing. Western medicine provides solutions for anxiety disorders and symptoms of anxiety, but often these remedies are costly or inaccessible. Much of the appeal of essential oils lies in their availability and virtually limitless options for use.
Not only can these highly concentrated plant extracts reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety, they can also help to prevent anxiety and stress-related complications such as sleep disorders, gastrointestinal distress, and heart disease. Researchers and medical practitioners have found essential oils to be an excellent complement or even replacement for remedies commonly used in modern medicine.
Essential oils can be used to reduce stress and anxiety through many routines and regimens including inhalation, massage therapy, in a bath, and even oral administration. Oil can be integrated into other stress relieving activities including bathing, meditation, yoga, and more, making them ideal tools in warding off anxiety and reducing the symptoms of anxiety disorders.
Aromatic oils stimulate the olfactory system which sends signals to the limbic system in the brain, helping to regulate emotional responses and calm the nerves. They can also have quick and effective results when applied topically. In fact, a study conducted by the Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry in Vienna, Germany, showed that the healing components of essential oils can be found in the bloodstream only five minutes after topical application.
The connection between the olfactory and limbic systems is a powerful one. Upon inhalation of an aromatic oil, the brain is stimulated in a manner that can have profound effects on emotional wellness. Because the limbic system is directly connected to the parts of the brain that control blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance, the use of essential oils for anxiety can offer amazing results for those who suffer from occasional or chronic anxiety by combatting fatigue, stimulating the body and mind, and quickly suppressing nervous thoughts and tension.
Oil can be used in diffusers, room sprays, cleaning solutions, skincare and beauty products, baths, foot soaks, and more. By using them throughout the home, you can experience the stress-reducing benefits and powerful anxiety relief when you need it most.
Modern Day Studies
While essential oil use was highly regarded as an effective healthcare solution by ancient peoples, research in the English language only began to emerge in the early to mid-1990s. Today, modern studies of the effects of aromatherapy are focused on the potential physical and psychological benefits of aromatherapy, and topical and oral administration.
Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health issues in the world today, and the reality is that there is a strong need for change. Rather than simply treating the symptoms, alternative medicine expresses the importance in discovering the root cause of anxiety and adapting accordingly. Essential oils are among the many natural tools that we can use to heal our bodies and minds.
Among the most commonly prescribed drugs for anxiety disorders are Xanax, Ativan, and Valium. These drugs work by stimulating a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA. This stimulates the “feel good” chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin.
While this may seem like an effective solution for treating anxiety, these drugs are known to be highly addictive and can cause some extreme side effects, both short and long-term. Additionally, withdrawal symptoms can be severe, and without the assistance of these drugs, the brain can become unbalanced leaving patients with worse symptoms than ever before. With this known information, the need for natural and effective solutions for anxiety treatment is growing rapidly.
Researchers are constantly discovering uses for essential oils in treating anxiety, anxiety disorders, and stress. In a study published in the medical journal, Phytotherapy Research, the effects of bergamot essential oil on rats were observed. The research showed that this essential oil could reduce the body’s stress hormone production, the same high levels of stress hormones that are contributing factors in anxiety. Much in the way anti-anxiety drugs work, bergamot essential oil also increases levels of GABA in the brain.
In a study published in The Journal of Ethnopharmacology, researchers observed the effects of lavender essential oil on anxiety reduction in animal test subjects. The study found that subjects that were exposed to lavender essential oil exhibited reduced signs of stress and anxiety, particularly the females. Lavender essential oils are among the most popular essential oils used to treat anxiety and reduce stress, and there are no known side effects of long-term exposure.
A study researching the anxiety-reducing effects of clary sage essential oil showed that patients suffering from anxiety and depression experienced significant improvement. Patients’ levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, were reduced noticeably, demonstrating the powerful ability of clary sage oil in combatting the stress response.
Live Your Best Life
We are learning more every day about the power of essential oils in relieving anxiety and reducing stress. As new research continues to emerge, the fact that essential oils can be crucial in promoting wellness and helping those with anxiety disorders and excessive stress is continually reaffirmed.
While maintaining a healthy lifestyle including regular exercise, a balanced and nutritious diet, adequate sleep, and regular relaxation can all be contributing factors, essential oils can play a huge role in eliminating the symptoms stress and promoting physical and mental wellness.
If anxiety has had a negative effect on your life, now is the perfect time to take control and rely on the wisdom of cultures before us by turning to natural remedies. After deciding what oil or combination of oils may be most beneficial for you, go ahead and check out the amazing selection of natural, pure essential oils for anxiety that Organic Aroma Sense proudly offers. We want you to live your best life, so we aim to equip our customers with all the tools they need to be successful in their journey to overcome anxiety.