Media reports suggest that more people have contacted the doctor with stress and anxiety-related issues in the last six months than in the previous two years. The news isn’t shocking, considering that alternative medicine practitioners have used essential oils and aromatherapy for hundreds of years to address problems like stress, sleep issues and anxiety.
It’s useful to be able to tackle the effects of anxiety naturally, and by researching the properties of essential oils, we have been able to suggest the best essential oil for the best results. Still, let us look at the definition of anxiety first,
Anxiety and how essential oils can help
The definition of anxiety is a persistent feeling of unease, including worry or fear that makes a situation or problem seem difficult to reconcile, according to the NHS website. Anxiety sufferers find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiousness are more constant and can often affect their daily lives, making what seems like an everyday task daunting and complicated.
If you seek traditional medical help, you will likely be prescribed anti-anxiety medication, and this may be the solution for some. Still, many people prefer a natural alternative to drugs. The widely accepted treatments using essential oils that help the symptoms of anxiety are massage and inhaling via a warm bath or diffuser.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are compound elements extracted from plants and treated to capture the plant’s scent or essence. Unique aromatic compounds give each essential oil its characteristics and flavor.
When we talk about the treatment, we are not talking about the addition of chemicals, and it’s more about the distillation process. Extraction is carried out via distillation using steam or water depending on the plant, or a mechanical method, such as cold pressing.
Once extracted, the aromatic oils are combined with either a carrier oil to use in massage or bath products or water for diffusing. Oils obtained using chemicals or oils with the addition of synthetic perfumes or preservatives are not considered authentic essential oils.
Oils to Help with Anxiety
Lavender oil and anxiety
Lavender is a purple-flowering herb with a recognizable, familiar musky smell. Inhaling the oil or applying it by massaging helps to relieve anxiety by impacting the limbic system, mildly sedating the part of the brain that controls emotion to bring relaxation and calm.
Lavender oil has antibacterial properties and can help reduce inflammation. To get the most out of lavender oil, put three or four drops into a warm bath or in a massage preparation.
Bergamot oil and anxiety
Bergamot oil is produced by pressing the inside of the rind of a bergamot orange fruit. The fruit is from the citrus family and looks like a nobbly lime. The fruit has a deep woody undertone combined with top floral notes, used in Earl Grey tea to give it the familiar scented taste.
The benefits of bergamot are stress reduction and alleviation of depression and anxiety when inhaled. Use in a diffuser or vaporizer to get the maximum effect.
Ylang-Ylang and anxiety
Ylang-Ylang is made from distilling the flowers of the herb Cananga odorata genuina with water. Used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation, inhaling a blend of ylang-ylang, lavender, and bergamot will lower stress levels and help control blood pressure, heart rate, and serum cortisol.
Ylang-ylang is a stimulant, a mild aphrodisiac that can lift the spirits and increase a sense of well being. The combination of oils can be inhaled or used in a carrier oil onto the skin. If using one on their own, and not in a mixture, inhalation is recommended.
Safe use of Essential Oils and how they can help anxiety
Essential oils must be diluted with a carrier oil before applied to the skin. Essential oils are potent, and dilution reduces your risk of inflammation and irritation. Consider a patch test if your skin is sensitive or if you haven’t used essential oils before.
We suggest adults use a mix of up to 10 drops of essential oil with 125 milliliters of carrier oil. The mixture should be diluted with a ratio of three to six drops of essential oil to 125 ml of carrier oil if you intend to treat children with essential oil.
Choose your carrier oil based on the suitability to your essential oil; your carrier oil should be odorless if possible, and take into consideration your skin's needs. Some popular carrier oils are sweet almond, apricot kernel, and jojoba oil.
Do not ingest essential oils; there is no evidence to prove they’re safe to swallow. Use as recommended by the retailer or aromatherapy association.
Looking for 100% chemical-free, all-natural nourishing face and body oils? Check out Earth & Elm Nourishing Face Oil and Earth & Elm Nourishing Body Oil. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral care, skincare, body care and foot care. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Alistair Knight is an author for Essence of Arcadia. He loves sports, time with the family, and good food!
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.