Essential oils are volatile aromatic oils which are extracted and concentrated from plant sources and used in a variety of ways for better health. They help to boost mood, reduce stress, energize, calm, soothe, reduce cramps and more.
Each pure essential oil contains the essence of the plant that they are extracted from, ranging from lavender, rose, bergamot, geranium, chamomile, ylang-ylang, jasmine, etc.
They have been produced and used for centuries, even being found in the residues of tombs more than 2000 years old. When medications were scarce during World War II, essential oils were used to treat soldiers, both mentally and physically, and today it is commonly used in aromatherapy to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 18% of the population or 40 million adults in the United States are suffering from anxiety disorders and less than one-third are receiving treatment for it. Stress and anxiety disorders are costing more than $42 billion per year, which is more than 30% of the total mental health bill in the US.
A 2011 study conducted in Taiwan found that inhaling essential oils for just 10-minutes per week could effectively calm nerves, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress. The results were later also demonstrated on animals, calming the nerves of mice and rats in a laboratory.
In 2014 The American College of Healthcare Sciences studied the effect of once-daily essential oil hand massages and found that all patients reported less stress and depression within a week.
Most essential oils need to be used with a carrier oil, such as grapeseed, almond, jojoba, coconut, and olive oil because they are so concentrated and cold irritate the skin. Once diluted, they are excellent to use for
massages and fragrance and some can even be used in cooking and in drinks.
Here are 12 of the Best Pure Essential Oils to Reduce the Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety:
1..Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)
Lavender oil is one of the most commonly used essential oils because it is so versatile and offers a rich and luxurious scent. According to The Handbook of Essential Oils: Science, Technology, and Applications, clinical trials have proven that the smell of lavender oil can significantly reduce stress and the symptoms of anxiety.
Research has shown that lavender oil also helped to reduce feelings of anxiety in patients going to the dentist or going for coronary artery bypass surgery, which is incredible! It helps to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, migraines, headaches, and can relieve the symptoms of hypertension.
2. Chamomile (Chamaemelum Nobile)
A study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine discovered that chamomile essential oil helps to promote inner harmony and happiness and can even reduce the symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) in children.
It’s delicate and calming scent helps to reduce irritability and soothes nerves from negative emotions, such as anger, depression, anxiety, and stress.
3. Rose (Rosa Damascena)
Rose essential oil helps to soothe the heart, relieving the symptoms of depression, grieving, shock, and panic. It’s beautifully fragrant and can be used as a natural perfume to lift your mood all day.
One study published in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal found that women who were given rose oil massages and foot rubs were much calmer and happier than those who were only given plain oil and warm water alternates.
4. Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia)
If you’ve ever picked up the floral scent in Earl Grey tea, it’s commonly bergamot that’s added to provide a warm, soothing scent to calm nerves. Bergamot essential oil helps to treat insomnia, agitation, anxiety, and stress, with studies proving that it naturally lowers blood pressure and relaxes muscles and nerves.
5. Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odorata)
A 2006 study conducted by Geochang Provincial College in Korea found that Ylang Ylang essential oil was excellent at promoting cheerfulness, optimism, and courage. It helped to lower cortisol, the stress hormone, in all participants after just four weeks of once-daily exposure to it and can boost energy and the feeling of vitality naturally.
6. Frankincense (Boswellia Carteri/ Boswellia Sacra)
In aromatherapy, frankincense essential oil is used to quieten the mind and deepen meditation. It is known to enhance spiritual grounding and to leave you feeling tranquil and calm.
The scent of frankincense helps to slow breathing, which can be very effective in soothing the symptoms of shock, panic, anxiety, and fear.
7. Sandalwood (Santalum Album)
The comforting, woody fragrance of sandalwood essential oil has natural sedative properties that help to treat anxiety and stress. It also helps to improve the quality of sleep and treat insomnia, which promotes a feeling of restfulness and calm after a good night’s rest.
8. Jasmine (Jasminum Grandiflora/ Jasminum Officinale)
Jasmine essential oil offers a beautiful sweet floral fragrance that helps to stimulate the happy hormones in the brain. Some studies have compared the effect of jasmine oil on the nerves to Valium, an anti-anxiety drug. It helps to regulate emotions that trigger nerves, such as excitement, anxiety, fear, and shock.
9. Marjoram (Origanum marjorana)
Sweet marjoram essential oil helps to increase circulation, which is known to boost a feeling of relaxation. It also helps to calm nerves before bedtime to promote deeper, better sleep, which can significantly improve emotional stability.
10. Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin/ Pogostemon Patchouli)
Patchouli essential oil is often added to incense sticks to create a beautiful and tranquil ambiance in meditative practices because it’s so effective at reducing stress. It’s also a natural aphrodisiac, helping to boost endorphins and feelings of pleasure, which can be very calming.
11. Lemon (Citrus Limonum)
Pure lemon essential oil is a citrus-based oil that helps to boost immunity, energy, and a sense of happiness and vitality. It’s extremely refreshing and often added to cleaning products for its fresh, stress-busting scent. It can be applied topically when diluted with a carrier oil or one drop can be added to a glass of water to drink for an extra boost in calm and happy energy.
12. Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)
Basil essential oil offers a very fresh and uplifting fragrance, which helps to regulate appetite and mood. It contains magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which are excellent for improving circulation, boosting cognitive function, and improving overall health during stressful times. It can be used in cooking or can be inhaled, infused or applied topically when diluted.