Anxiety can be a big downer. It can make people less relaxed and even shy away from other social and productive activities. Unfortunately, anxiety is something that everyone experiences, and the handling and management of this anxiety is really up to the individual. People experiencing anxiety, though, can use certain items that may alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. Some of these items are health supplements and essential oils. But what are the best essentials oils for anxiety? Also, what are the benefits of the said essential oils? Read on to find out more!
Anxiety and Essential Oils: A Brief Backgrounder
The use of essential oils to address certain health conditions is referred to as aromatherapy. The idea behind this is that the smell receptors found in the nasal passage of an individual can send the nervous system messages which can have subtle but effective health benefits on the individual’s energy and chemical make up. Due to this, aromatherapy is utilized as a form of natural treatment in addressing stress and anxiety.
The Food and Drug Administration of the United States (US) is not required to have essential oils regulated so individuals are advised to be diligent in finding the right and beneficial kind of essential acid for them. Individuals should also stick to using oils that are therapeutic grade and avoid those that have fragrance included in them. Before essential oils are applied to the skin, they must be diluted using a carrier oil. This is done so that irritation of the skin is lessened or reduced. For essential oils to be used on adults, 15 drops of the said oil must be diluted using an ounce of carrier oil. The most popular carrier oils include jojoba, coconut, and almond.
Ingestion should be avoided when it comes to essential oils even if various internet blogs or forums claim that it can be. The evidence available on whether or not essential oils can indeed be swallowed is currently not sufficient. Essential oils are different from each other and some can even have toxic effects on individuals.
Best Essential Oils for Anxiety
Enumerated below are some of the best essential oils for anxiety:
Valerian is a form of herb that has been utilized for centuries. It is considered a powerful antioxidant that can aid in the calming of the nerves and the promotion of sleep. It has also been shown to provide the body with a mild effect that can be considered laxative. To use this essential oil, people can place a few drops to a diffuser before inhaling which can lead to sleepiness and relaxation.
This plant belongs to the same family of plants as valerian and is from the ancient ayurvedic tradition of using natural herbs to help sleep encouragement and calming the mind. In one study one in 2008, Jatamansi was observed to lower feelings of depression by reducing GABA and MAO brain receptors and neurotransmitters. For best results, this essential oil can be diluted before being massaged into the forehead or temples.
One of the most popular oils for aromatherapy, lavender can be used to alleviate anxiety. One research conducted in 2012 noted that the use of lavender for aromatherapy is believed to aid in calming anxiety by helping enhance the limbic system, which is the portion of the human brain that regulates emotions and moods. Lavender’s effects can be best enjoyed by having a few drops mixed in with a shower gel or carrier oil. This mixture can then be added to bathwater that is warm before enjoying the warm bath.
This essential oil has an elegant and refreshing scent that is described as floral. Research conducted in 2013 showed that inhalation of this essential oil can help in the promotion of romance and well being. Compared to other oils that are used to fight off anxiety, jasmine is believed to make individuals more relax without making them sleepy. Jasmine can be inhaled from the bottle directly or its scent can be allowed to fill the room via a diffuser.
5. Holy Basil
Also referred to as tulsi, holy basil is quite different from the kind used in the preparation of dishes such as lasagna. This oil has eugenol, a type of compound that can give its aroma a minty and spicy taste to it. One research conducted in 2014 noted that holy basil is a form of herb that is adaptogenic which can help in the treatment of mental stress and physical issues. Holy basil’s eugenol content has a powerful fragrance so using just a small drop can greatly help. This oil should be added to a diffuser before being inhaled once its aroma permeates the room.
6. Sweet Basil
This herb is the same used in the preparation of a marinara sauce but if used for aromatherapy, it is believed to help in relieving stress and calming the mind. One recent study conducted in 2015 showed that sweet basil had phenol compounds that can help patients get relief from anxiety. As a bonus, the said compounds were observed to be not as sedating as other similar medications. To use sweet basil, add a few drops to a diffuser to help in relieving stress and lowering anxiety.
This oil comes from oranges of the bergamot and provides a scent that can be described as citrusy. In one study conducted in both human and animal test subjects, bergamot has been observed to help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and stress and has also been shown to contribute to mood improvement. However, once this essential oil is utilized topically, it can lead to increased sun sensitivity. To use bergamot, simply put several drops of the said essential oil on a handkerchief or some cotton balls. The oil can then be inhaled for its aroma around two (2) to three (3) times to help address and reduce anxiety.