6 Essential Oils That Help Anxiety
For many centuries, essential oils were highly prized for their healing abilities. Countless societies and civilizations have greatly valued the therapeutic benefits of smelling flowers and various oils — and with good reason. Science has shown our olfactory senses have a powerful link in the brain. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful links in the human body. This is because our sense of smell is linked to the amygdala and hippocampus, which means of all of our senses, it has the strongest tie to memory. For instance, smelling your uncle’s cologne while out and about can conjure up lots of memories of your time with him.
But pleasant scents have a deeper effect than just conjuring memories. They also have the ability to calm the mind and energize the body. This is because the lungs have an immediate connection to the bloodstream, and carry the molecules of scent to every area of the body. That’s pretty amazing if you think about it. Whether you want to battle fatigue, reduce tension, or improve focus, essential oils got you covered.
One of the most settling heart-centered oils, Rose is probably one of the most well-known essential oil, save for lavender. Rose oil is wonderful for anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and grieving. In a study of its effectiveness, a group of pregnant women was split into two. One group was given a foot bath with rose oil, the other a footbath without oil. The findings showed “aromatherapy and footbath reduces anxiety inactive phase in nulliparous women.”.
Frankincense has been used for centuries in religious/spiritual ceremonies. It’s highly prized by many eastern cultures for its ability to help calm the mind and reduce restlessness. To observe frankincenses psychoactive effects, researchers administered incensole acetate, the primary active ingredient of the Boswellia resin, to mice.
“In spite of information stemming from ancient texts, constituents of Boswellia had not been investigated for psychoactivity,” said Raphael Mechoulam, co-author of the findings. “We found that incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, when tested in mice lowers anxiety and causes antidepressive-like behavior. Apparently, most present day worshipers assume that incense burning has only a symbolic meaning.”
3) Lavender Oil
Considered the most common essential oil, lavender oil has a calming, relaxing effect. It’s considered a nervous system restorative and helps with inner peace, sleep, restlessness, irritability, panic attacks, nervous stomach, and general nervous tension.
Bergamot oil is very calming. It’s been proven to reduce corticosterone response to stress in rats and has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression. Compared with the placebo, blended essential oils caused a significant reduction in blood pressure and pulse rate, and participants in the blended essential oil group rated themselves as “calmer” and “more relaxed” than the control group.
This popular essential oil can treat anxiety and depression due to its calming and uplifting effects. Ylang ylang helps with cheerfulness, courage, optimism and soothes fearfulness. It may calm heart agitation and nervous palpitations and is a moderately strong sedative, which can help with insomnia. In a 2006 study conducted by Geochang Provincial College in Korea, using ylang-ylang oil, along with bergamot and lavender oils, once a day for four weeks reduced “psychological stress responses and serum cortisol levels, as well as the blood pressure of clients with essential hypertension.”
A peaceful, calming scent, chamomile benefits inner harmony and decreases irritability, overthinking, anxiety and worry. An explorative study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine on the antidepressant activity in chamomile found that this essential oil “may provide a clinically meaningful antidepressant activity that occurs in addition to its previously observed anxiolytic activity.”
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