Essential oils have an incredible history. They actually date back to the days of the earliest human civilizations. According to health experts, evidence of extensive essential oil use shows up in records from ancient China, Egypt and India. In the Bible, the Wise Men brought two essential oils, myrrh and frankincense, as gifts for the newborn Jesus. And during World War II, the French doctor Jean Valnet became a leading proponent of healing through essential oils, or “aromatherapy.”
Today, as in ancient times, essential oils are being used across the globe for many beneficial purposes. Here in the west, one of the greatest needs is for essential oils to reduce stress, ease anxiety and promote balance and peace.
You can use these essential oils in several forms to ease your stress and anxiety or to support a loved one who is struggling similarly.
- Add a few drops to a warm bath.
- Diffuse a few drops into a carrier oil (such as coconut or jojoba oil) and breathe in the essence.
- Mix with a carrier oil and use topically.
- Place a single drop on your palm or inside wrist and rub together.
- Add 1 to 2 drops into 8 ounces of distilled water to take orally (ONLY for essential oils deemed safe for internal use, which each of the seven essential oils listed here are known to be).
Chamomile, or Chamaemelum nobile, is perhaps best known and loved in tea form. But it has powerful calming properties in essential oil form as well, according to Mental Health Daily. There are two forms: German and Roman. Both are useful in easing symptoms of stress and anxiety. Chamomile’s distinctive scent is floral and fruity with a hint of sweetness. In addition to providing calm and easing stress, either form of chamomile is a known sleeping aid and muscle relaxant, although the German variant is better known for relief from muscle soreness.
Lavender, or Lavandula angustifolia, is one of the few essential oils that is actually approved to treat anxiety both in North America and in Germany, according to Conscious Lifestyle Magazine. Natural Medicine Journal (NMJ) cites lavender as one of the most all-around effective essential oils to alleviate anxiety and depression. Most importantly, lavender retains its beneficial effects, regardless of which method is used.
Rose, or Rosa damascena, is one of the top essential oils cited by the American College of Healthcare Sciences for easing anxiety and stress. Organic Facts states that rose essential oil is literally packed with health benefits, each of which is enhanced by the worldwide love people hold for roses. In addition to its benefits for easing stress and anxiety, rose essential oil can also benefit those who are suffering from depression.
Bergamot, or Citrus bergamia, has a distinctive citrus scent with notes of spice and floral overtones. University Health News (UHN) states that bergamot has a sufficiently potent effect on anxiety that it has been successfully used to ease the fears of pre-surgical patients, who also showed reduced blood pressure and heart rate following Bergamot aromatherapy.
As Organic Facts explains, Ylang Ylang, or Cananga odorata, is known to have natural anti-depressant and sedative properties. The scent is a lovely combination of floral, jasmine and rose, which has its own ability to induce relaxation and peace.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Clary Sage, or Salvia sclarea, delivers a similar impact of taking an anti-depressant or anti-stress medication to reduce anxiety. Health expert Dr. Mercola states that Clary Sage is related to common sage, which is a fragrant herb often used in cooking. Clary Sage is a frequent ingredient for perfumes because of its lovely floral-meets-earthy scent, which in itself is quite soothing.
Sandalwood, or Santalum album, is a time-honored aid for meditators and yogis. With its distinctive spicy, woody scent, it is a favorite for room air fresheners and incense sticks. According to Healthline, Sandalwood is research-supported when it comes to easing symptoms of anxiety. Sandalwood can also be used to promote sleep and ease insomnia, Healthy and Natural World notes. For anxiety and depression brought on by monthly hormonal fluctuations, sandalwood can also have a beneficial effect.
These seven essential oils are all backed by research in their efficacy for treating symptoms of anxiety and stress. Many as noted here can also be helpful for promoting restful sleep, reducing depression and inducing a relaxed, balanced mood. To get the most powerful and healing effects, be sure to choose essential oils free from chemicals and additives, and that contain only pure ingredients.
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