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Essential Oils That Stimulate The Vagus Nerve, Promote Mental Health, And Reduce Stress

Disclaimer - The information provided in this blog, including any linked materials herein, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. For accurate and personalized recommendations, please consult with your specialists.


The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body, connecting the brain to the neck, heart, lungs, spleen, and the digestive system. It is also known as the "wandering nerve," which is the longest cranial nerve in the human body. It extends from the brainstem down to the abdomen, branching out to various organs, including the heart, lungs, and digestive tract. This nerve plays a crucial role in regulating essential bodily functions such as heart rate, digestion, and respiratory activity. Maintaining a healthy vagus nerve is paramount for overall well-being and balance.

In the pursuit of holistic well-being, the vagus nerve plays a pivotal role, connecting the brain to various organs and influencing vital functions. Recent research has shed light on the potential benefits of essential oils in supporting and enhancing the health of the vagus nerve. Essential oils can help stimulate the vagus nerve and improve mental health.

How Do Essential Oils Promote Vagus Nerve Stimulation?

Essential oils are plant extracts and are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and other minerals. Essential oils are extracted from different parts of plants like fruits, flowers, stems, roots, leaves, etc. Essential oils are gaining wide relevance in the field of skin care these days. But few know that there are immense benefits attached to this product.

Essential oils have gained recognition for their potential to stimulate the vagus nerve, a crucial component of the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for regulating various bodily functions. The mechanisms through which essential oils promote vagus nerve stimulation are multifaceted and include both direct and indirect effects. 

Essential oil vagus nerve stimulation helps reduce stress, promotes mental clarity, improves sleep, helps you achieve emotional balance, and helps you develop a better mind and body balance. In the below sections, we will see in detail some of these essential oils, their benefits, as well as different ways to use essential oils for the vagus nerve. 

Best Essential Oils For Vagus Nerve

1. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender oil is renowned for its calming properties, and it has a sedative scent that can help promote sleep. It contains linalool and linalyl acetate, compounds that contribute to its soothing aroma. Inhaling lavender oil through aromatherapy can promote relaxation and alleviate stress. As stress negatively affects vagus nerve function, lavender oil is a valuable ally in maintaining optimal vagal tone.

2. Bergamot Essential Oil

Derived from the peel of bergamot oranges, bergamot oil has a citrusy and refreshing scent. It is known for its mood-enhancing properties, helping to alleviate anxiety and promote a sense of well-being. By positively influencing emotional states, bergamot oil indirectly supports vagus nerve health, as emotions are intricately connected to autonomic nervous system function.

3. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang ylang oil is prized for its floral and sweet aroma. It has a calming effect on the nervous system, making it beneficial for reducing stress and promoting emotional balance. As emotional well-being is closely tied to the vagus nerve, incorporating ylang ylang oil into your routine may contribute to the overall health of the vagus nerve and promote relaxation. 

4. Patchouli Essential Oil

Known for its earthy and grounding scent, patchouli oil has been traditionally used to promote a sense of stability and centeredness. This grounding effect can extend to the nervous system, potentially supporting vagus nerve function. Patchouli oil's calming properties make it a valuable addition to practices that aim to enhance the mind-body connection.

5. Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary sage oil is recognized for its hormone-regulating properties, making it beneficial for managing stress and promoting relaxation. By balancing hormones, clary sage oil indirectly influences the vagus nerve, which is involved in regulating various physiological functions, including hormonal balance.

6. Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Derived from the chamomile plant, Roman chamomile oil is known for its calming and sedative effects. It can promote relaxation and ease feelings of tension. Improved relaxation and sleep quality positively impact the vagus nerve, making Roman chamomile oil a valuable tool for supporting overall nervous system health. This is one of the best essential oils to promote a healthy vagus nerve. 

7. Vetiver Essential Oil

Vetiver oil has a deep, earthy scent that is grounding and relaxing. It is often used to promote a sense of calm and focus. By encouraging relaxation, vetiver oil may contribute to optimal vagus nerve function. This oil helps to promote relaxation. 

8. Frankincense Essential Oil

Derived from the resin of the Boswellia tree, frankincense oil has a rich history of use in traditional medicine. This oil has calming and balancing effects on the mind and body. By promoting emotional balance and relaxation, frankincense oil indirectly supports vagus nerve health, contributing to overall well-being.

9. Eucalyptus Essential Oil 

While not traditionally associated with vagus nerve stimulation, eucalyptus oil can indirectly impact the vagus nerve by promoting respiratory health. Eucalyptus oil's decongestant properties may support clear breathing, positively influencing the connection between the respiratory system and the vagus nerve. This oil has a refreshing, minty scent that helps ease congestion and promotes easy breathing. 

10. Rosemary Essential Oil 

Known for its invigorating scent, rosemary oil has been linked to increased alertness and cognitive function. By promoting mental clarity, rosemary oil indirectly contributes to vagus nerve health. Cognitive processes are closely intertwined with the autonomic nervous system, and enhancing mental acuity can positively influence overall nerve function.

Benefits Of Using Essential Oils For Stimulating Vagus Nerve

1. Stress Reduction and Anxiety Relief

Essential oils, such as lavender, are renowned for their calming properties. Inhaling the soothing aroma of lavender can promote relaxation, alleviate stress, and reduce anxiety levels. As stress negatively impacts vagus nerve function, incorporating these oils into your routine can contribute to an improved vagal tone and overall mental well-being.

2. Enhanced Vagal Tone

Vagal tone refers to the activity of the vagus nerve, influencing various bodily functions. Essential oils like peppermint have invigorating properties that may stimulate the vagus nerve, enhancing vagal tone. Improved vagal tone is associated with better regulation of heart rate, digestion, and other essential physiological processes.

3. Better Sleep Quality

Certain essential oils, such as chamomile and ylang-ylang, have sedative effects that can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. Quality sleep is crucial for overall health and has a positive impact on the vagus nerve, contributing to its optimal functioning.

4. Emotional Balance

Essential oils like frankincense are known for their ability to balance emotions and promote a sense of well-being. Emotional health is closely tied to the functioning of the vagus nerve, and incorporating these oils into your routine can support emotional resilience and balance.

5. Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Chronic inflammation can negatively impact vagus nerve function. Many essential oils, including turmeric and ginger, possess anti-inflammatory properties. By reducing inflammation, these oils create an environment conducive to optimal nerve function, supporting the health of the vagus nerve.

6. Cognitive Enhancement

Certain essential oils, like rosemary and peppermint, are associated with increased alertness and cognitive function. By promoting mental clarity, these oils indirectly contribute to vagus nerve health, as cognitive processes are intricately linked to overall nervous system function.

7. Improved Digestive Function

The vagus nerve plays a crucial role in regulating digestive processes. Essential oils such as ginger and peppermint have been traditionally used to alleviate digestive issues. By supporting healthy digestion, these oils positively influence the vagus nerve and its role in the gastrointestinal system.

8. Mind-Body Connection

Essential oils can facilitate the mind-body connection, influencing both mental and physical well-being. Practices like aromatherapy, where essential oils are used to create a sensory experience, promote relaxation, and enhance the connection between the brain and the vagus nerve.

9. Holistic Wellness

The holistic approach of using essential oils aligns with the principles of overall wellness. By addressing various aspects of health, including emotional, mental, and physical well-being, these oils contribute to a balanced and harmonious lifestyle, supporting the optimal function of the vagus nerve.

Different Ways To Use Essential Oils For Vagus Nerve

1. Aromatherapy Diffusion

Utilize an aromatherapy diffuser to disperse the aroma of essential oils into the air. This method allows you to inhale the beneficial compounds, positively influencing the vagus nerve. Popular choices for diffusion include calming oils like lavender, bergamot, and ylang-ylang.

2. Topical Application

Dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil, and apply them topically to specific areas. Massaging diluted oils onto pulse points or the base of the neck allows for absorption through the skin, potentially stimulating nerve endings associated with the vagus nerve. This method is effective with oils like clary sage, patchouli, and frankincense.

3. Inhalation Techniques

Practice deep breathing exercises while inhaling the aroma of essential oils. This combination enhances the mind-body connection and may positively impact the vagus nerve. Oils like eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint are particularly invigorating when used in this manner.

4. Warm Bath Soak

Add a few drops of essential oils to a warm bath for a relaxing and aromatic experience. The steam from the bath helps disperse the scent, creating a soothing atmosphere. This method is effective with oils like lavender, ylang-ylang, and chamomile for a calming effect.

5. Aromatherapy Jewelry

Wear aromatherapy jewelry such as diffuser necklaces or bracelets. These accessories have porous materials that absorb and slowly release the scent of essential oils throughout the day. It's a convenient way to experience the benefits of oils like vetiver or bergamot consistently.

6. Steam Inhalation

Add a few drops of essential oil to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam. This method is excellent for respiratory-supporting oils like eucalyptus. As you breathe in the steam, the aromatic molecules enter the respiratory system, potentially influencing the vagus nerve.

7. DIY Massage Oil

Create a DIY massage oil by blending essential oils with a carrier oil. Use this blend to massage specific areas associated with the vagus nerve, such as the neck and throat. Oils like clary sage, lavender, and frankincense are suitable for this purpose.

8. Yoga and Meditation Practices

Incorporate essential oils for meditation practices & yoga. Apply oils to your wrists or diffuse them in the room to enhance the sensory experience. Oils like patchouli, frankincense, and lavender can contribute to a calming and grounding atmosphere.

9. Pillow Sprays

Create a pillow spray by mixing water with a few drops of calming essential oils. Spritz this blend onto your pillow before bedtime to promote relaxation and quality sleep. Oils like lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang are excellent choices for this application.

10. DIY Room Spray

Make a DIY room spray by combining essential oils with water in a spray bottle. Spritz the blend in your living spaces to create a refreshing and uplifting ambiance. This method is effective with oils like bergamot, lavender, and eucalyptus.

DIY Essential Oil For Vagus Nerve Recipes 

Recipe #1 - Calming Massage Oil Blend


  • 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil (carrier oil)
  • 4 drops lavender oil
  • 3 drops clary sage oil
  • 2 drops chamomile oil (Roman or German)


  1. In a small glass bowl, combine the jojoba oil with the specified drops of lavender, clary sage, and chamomile essential oils.
  2. Mix the oils well to ensure an even blend.
  3. Transfer the mixture into a dark glass bottle for storage.

How to Use: Apply a small amount of the calming massage oil to your neck, throat, and pulse points. Gently massage the oil into the skin, promoting relaxation and potentially stimulating the vagus nerve. This blend is ideal for use before bedtime or during moments of stress.


  • Lavender promotes relaxation and reduces stress.
  • Clary sage has calming and hormone-balancing properties.
  • Chamomile contributes to emotional balance and relaxation.

Recipe #2 - Vagal Tone Diffuser Blend


  • 3 drops bergamot oil
  • 2 drops ylang-ylang oil
  • 2 drops frankincense oil


  1. Add the specified drops of bergamot, ylang-ylang, and frankincense essential oils to your diffuser.
  2. Fill the diffuser with water according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  3. Turn on the diffuser and enjoy the aromatic blend as it fills the room.

How to Use: Use this diffuser blend during meditation, yoga, or whenever you want to create a calming atmosphere. The combination of these oils may positively influence emotional well-being and vagal tone.


  • Bergamot uplifts mood and alleviates anxiety.
  • Ylang-ylang promotes relaxation and emotional balance.
  • Frankincense has balancing and grounding effects.

Recipe #3 - Energizing Inhalation Blend


  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 2 drops rosemary oil
  • 1 drop eucalyptus oil


  1. Place a bowl of hot water on a stable surface.
  2. Add the specified drops of peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus essential oils to the hot water.
  3. Lean over the bowl, covering your head with a towel to trap the steam.
  4. Inhale deeply for 5-10 minutes, enjoying the invigorating aroma.

How to Use: Inhale this energizing steam blend to stimulate your senses and potentially influence the vagus nerve. This is an excellent practice for morning rituals or when you need a mental boost.


  • Peppermint and rosemary increase alertness and cognitive function.
  • Eucalyptus supports respiratory health and clear breathing.

Recipe #4 - Grounding Room Spray


  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 1 tablespoon witch hazel
  • 10 drops of vetiver oil
  • 5 drops patchouli oil


  1. In a small bowl, combine the distilled water and witch hazel.
  2. Add the specified drops of vetiver and patchouli essential oils to the mixture.
  3. Stir well and transfer the blend to a spray bottle.

How to Use: Spritz this grounding room spray in your living spaces to create a calming and centered ambiance. The combination of vetiver and patchouli promotes relaxation and a sense of stability.


  • Vetiver has grounding and relaxing properties.
  • Patchouli promotes stability and emotional balance.

Recipe #5 - Relaxing Bedtime Pillow Mist


  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 1 tablespoon witch hazel
  • 8 drops lavender oil
  • 4 drops chamomile oil (Roman or German)


  1. Combine the distilled water and witch hazel in a small bowl.
  2. Add the specified drops of lavender and chamomile essential oils to the mixture.
  3. Stir the ingredients thoroughly, ensuring an even blend.
  4. Pour the blend into a spray bottle.

How to Use: Spray the relaxing bedtime mist lightly on your pillow and bedding before going to sleep. Inhale the calming aroma as you settle in for the night, promoting relaxation and potentially enhancing the quality of your sleep.


  • Lavender induces relaxation and reduces stress.
  • Chamomile contributes to emotional balance and relaxation.
  • The mist creates a soothing bedtime atmosphere, supporting overall well-being.


Incorporating essential oils into your daily routine can be a game-changer for vagus nerve health. From the calming properties of lavender oil to the invigorating effects of peppermint oil and the balancing benefits of frankincense oil, these natural remedies offer a holistic approach to well-being.

As you embark on this journey, remember that consistency is key. Experiment with different oils and application methods to discover what resonates with your body and contributes to optimal vagus nerve function.

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