10 Best Essential Oils for Stress and Anxiety Relief

homeopathic medicine

Essential oils do much more than smell nice. While some essential oils relieve headaches or improve focus, others can dramatically reduce stress and anxiety. Essential oils extracted directly from petals, roots, bark and other plant parts are safe for most patients and can play a pivotal role in homeopathic medicine. Their value has been known since ancient times, and many cultures around the world promote these oils as alternatives to pharmaceutical options that can have ugly side effects.

You can reduce stress naturally using essential oils in a diffuser, and some essential oils are safe to use topically or in a hot bath, especially when used with a high-quality carrier oil such as almond or coconut oil. Experiment with different oils, concentrations, and methods of use to find one that works best for you. Even if you already have a preferred scent, try a different essential oil listed below to see if it works better for relieving your stress and anxiety.

1. Lavender

Lavender is perhaps the most famous essential oil for relaxation, and it’s safe to use topically even while pregnant. Studies have documented the calming properties of lavender, and it’s often used topically, in a diffuser, or in a hot shower or bath, depending on patient preference.

While plenty of lavender-scented products are available around the world, few use genuine essential oils. To get the best relaxation and avoid adverse reactions, use high-quality essential oils or look for lotions, sprays and bath products that use pure lavender.

2. Ylang Ylang

This hard-to-pronounce essential oil is an often-overlooked option for relieving stress and hypotension. One study in a group of men showed that genuine ylang-ylang oil actually works, instead of just benefiting from a placebo effect. Ylang ylang is also safe to use during pregnancy, making it an especially helpful option for women.

3. Chamomile

Chamomile tea is commonly enjoyed in many parts of the world, but the relaxing properties of chamomile essential oil are less well-known. It can reduce blood pressure and reduce symptoms of depression in addition to relieving stress. Chamomile is also safe to use topically during pregnancy, making it a great addition to any household’s medicine cabinet.

4. Jasmine

Like chamomile, jasmine is perhaps better-known in drinkable form. In ancient China, jasmine flowers and tea were highly sought-after because of their wonderful fragrance. Jasmine essential oil is not safe for use during pregnancy, though, so consider replacing it with lavender, frankincense or chamomile.

5. Cedarwood

Cedarwood oil helps promote the release of serotonin, a chemical that significantly increases your brain’s ability to relax. It also blends well with other essential oils, adding variety to your relaxation routines, and can even be added to your shampoo or conditioner. Unfortunately, pregnant women need to avoid cedarwood oil.

6. Frankincense

Frankincense can be applied topically and is even safe for use during pregnancy. Unfortunately, frankincense is typically more expensive than other essential oils, but it’s a worthwhile investment for patients who find it to be more effective than other oils. Consider buying a blend of frankincense and other essential oils if you find pure frankincense to be too expensive for regular use.

7. Rose

Like lavender, the rose is commonly known and used for dealing with anxiety, stress, grief, and other adverse emotions. It’s also a scent associated with romance, so some patients might find the scent particularly helpful for their mood.

8. Cinnamon Leaf

If your stress is usually brought about by long workdays, cinnamon leaf oil can be a great option. Cinnamon oil can help reduce fatigue and exhaustion, which in turn can reduce stress levels. Keep in mind, though, that pregnant women shouldn’t use cinnamon oil, and some other users may be sensitive to a topical application as well. Cinnamon oil diluted with almond oil is the best option for most users.

9. Bergamot

Bergamot is a member of the citrus family and offers a sharp citrus- and floral-tinged scent that many patients find invigorating. Studies show that diffused bergamot oil is an effective treatment for stress relief.

10. Lemon

Lemons may not be the first thing you think of when considering the ways to relieve stress but believe it or not, lemon essential oil is excellent for reducing anxiety. Lemon can be applied topically, even during pregnancy. Diffused lemon oil can also give a fresh, clean scent to your home and make it even more welcoming for visitors.

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to reduce stress naturally with essential oils, but they work best in conjunction with other self-care protocols. Your stress and anxiety may also be best reduced with a blend of some of the oils since every patient’s needs are different. Make sure to utilize a holistic approach to natural wellness to keep your body and mind working at their best.

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