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25 Best Essential Oils For Anxiety - Definitive Guide (2022)

Overview

If you’re looking for a holistic approach to anxiety, essential oils could hold the key. Anxiety can sometimes help you to cope under stressful conditions by giving you a boost of energy to help you focus. However, if the feeling persists and is overwhelming, then it is categorized as an anxiety disorder.

Essential Oils For Anxiety

Characteristics such as genetics, stress, and environmental factors are believed to contribute to anxiety. The main treatments for anxiety disorders are psychotherapy, medication, or both. Additionally, essential oils have been used to alleviate symptoms in some people through the use of aromatherapy for anxiety.

Aromatherapy is often used as a natural remedy to relieve anxiety and stress through topical applications and inhalation. It is believed to work by stimulating smell receptors in the nose which then send messages to the nervous system. Some people also believe that essential oils can have slight effects on balancing the chemical and energetic systems of the body through nutrients from the plants they are extracted from.

What essential oils are good for anxiety?

If you’re looking for a holistic approach and are thinking of using essential oils for anxiety, there are numerous essential oils that help with anxiety but here are 25 of the best essential oils for mental health.

1. Valerian Essential Oil

Valerian is a flowering plant that is native to Europe and Asia and has been traditionally used since the ancient world. It's known for its grounding abilities that combat nervous disorders and stress. Valerian is one of the best oils for anxiety as it has a mild sedative effect on the body and is commonly used to aid sleep disorders.

Scent Profile: Woody and balsamic

2. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil for anxiety is one the most popular aromatherapy remedies. It also has a sedative effect and may help with sleep troubles. Lavender aromatherapy is thought to calm anxiety by affecting the limbic system, the part of the brain that regulates emotions.

Scent Profile: Floral and herbaceous

3. Jasmine Essential Oil

Widely used in perfume making since the times of Cleopatra, Jasmine oil can have a calming effect without causing sleepiness. Its sweet scent can evoke feelings of romance and is a great scent to diffuse to get into the mood for loving moments with your other half.

Scent Profile: Floral and sweet

4. Basil Essential Oil

The phenol compounds in basil may relieve anxiety and provide a sedative effect. In aromatherapy, the scent of basil is thought to calm the mind and relieve stress.

Scent Profile: Herbaceous and refreshing

5. Bergamot Essential Oil

A popular ingredient in perfumes and Earl Grey tea, Bergamot for anxiety has a zesty and uplifting scent that relieves stress and improves moods. However, it may increase the skin's sensitivity to sunburn so we don't recommend applying this oil topically if you plan on going out in the sun.

Scent Profile: Sweet, tangy and citrusy

6. Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Across cultures from the Greeks to Vikings, daisy-like chamomile was believed to heal the mind and body. In Rome, the flower’s aroma was used by soldiers to feel courageous before fights. Today it's well known for its relaxing effects and pleasant aroma.

Scent Profile: Floral and herbaceous

7. Rose Otto Essential Oil

The scent of roses is known to soothe the senses. Treat yourself to a relaxing footbath with a few drops of Rose Otto oil. It's reported to reduce anxiety in pregnant women during labor so it’s sure to give you the calm vibes you need.

Scent Profile: Sweet and floral

8. Vetiver Essential Oil

Vetiver oil’s aroma brings calm and centers you for improved focus. As such, it’s one of the best essential oils for sleep and anxiety problems.

Scent Profile: Earthy, smokey and woodsy

9. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang Ylang oil is made from the tropical flowers of Cananga trees and has an exotic scent that's great for relaxation and stress relief. It is popularly used in aromatherapy to uplift moods and cultivate feelings of romance. If you need a Ylang Ylang substitue, Jasmine is definitely the closest you can get. But, if you don't have Jasmine, either, Rose, Neroli, or Geranium are also close in aroma.

Scent Profile: Floral and sweet

10. Frankincense Essential Oil

Known for its spiritual benefits, Frankincense oil has a grounding scent that can significantly alleviate anxiety and stress. Made from the Boswellia Serrata tree, brave locals in countries like Somalia would travel on rugged mountains for just a few kilograms of its prized resin.

Scent Profile: Warm and woodsy with balsamic notes

11. Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary sage is said to have gotten its unique, fresh scent from the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite and possesses clary sage spiritual benefits. A hormone balancer, clary sage oil is said to lower stress hormone levels and is therefore one of the best essential oils for anxiety and sleep troubles.

Scent Profile: Herbaceous and earthy with floral notes

12. Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli is used in Ayurvedic medicine to manage stress, anxiety and other ailments. Patchouli is great on its own but is popularly combined with lavender to create moments of respite.

Scent Profile: Earthy, woodsy and herbaceous

13. Egyptian Geranium Essential Oil

The Egyptians have long used geranium to beautify their skin for momentous occasions from weddings to great feasts. Today it’s often used as a scent in soaps, cosmetics, and perfumes. Egyptian Geranium oil has sedative effects and may be used to help lower feelings of stress or anxiety.

Scent Profile: Sweet and floral with refreshing fruity notes

14. Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram is a perennial herb thought to have originated from the Mediterranean. It was often utilized by the ancient Greeks to treat many ailments as well as to crown young couples during wedding ceremonies. There’s little scientific proof to support its effectiveness in relieving anxiety. However, it’s still a popular option amongst aromatherapists.

Scent Profile: Minty, herbaceous and spicy

15. Fennel Essential Oil

An evergreen plant native to the Mediterranean, fennel was vastly used in culinary by the ancient Romans and Greeks for its rich flavors. In ancient China, fennel was also used as a treatment for snake bites. Fennel supplements help with menopause symptoms such as anxiety, hot flashes, sleep problems, and depression. It’s indefinite if inhaling fennel oil would have the same result, but it might be worth a try.

Scent Profile: Sweet and peppery

16. Mandarin Essential Oil

Ancient Asian communities used Mandarin oil as a beauty elixir to fade scars. Today this calming citrus oil helps you relax and fall asleep with ease.

Scent Profile: Sweet and citrusy

17. Mace Essential Oil

Native to the tropical rainforests of Indonesia, Mace is the outer seed covering of nutmeg. Traditional Arabians used mace for intermittent fevers, diarrhea, and insomnia. When inhaled before bedtime, this spicy oil relaxes the mind for some much-needed rest.

Scent Profile: Sweet and spicy

18. Ho Wood Essential Oil

A tall evergreen plant native to China, Ho Wood oil is made from the bark of the Ho Wood tree. It has been widely used by the Ancient Chinese to eliminate odors and also create a relaxing environment. It's an earthy-scented bedtime must-have that promises to calm the mind for relaxing sleep.

Scent Profile: Earthy and floral

19. Spikenard Essential Oil

Exuding an earthy, calming scent, Spikenard is a cherished plant used in religious ceremonies to bring devotion, enlightenment, and deep inner peace to believers. It is also used in Nepalese tribes to heal the body and soul. A comforting remedy for stressed-out souls, Spikenard Oil calms anxiety and promotes sleep.

Scent Profile: Earthy and woodsy with musky notes

20. Vanilla Oleoresin Essential Oil

Vanilla was an ancient Aztec spice from Mexico but is now often used in baking and making delicious infusions. Vanilla Oleoresin oil is sweet and sensual, perfect for setting the mood for allowing you and your partner to soothe stress and anxiety for a romantic night.

Scent Profile: Creamy and sweet

21. Cilantro Essential Oil

Not to be confused with coriander, cilantro refers to the leaves on the coriander. Cilantro oil's fresh and comforting scent is used to soothe stress, nausea, and discomfort.

Scent Profile: Herbaceous, sweet and fresh

22. Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood is a holy symbol in Indian cultural practices often offered to the gods and goddesses. The result is a blessing of mental clarity and happiness to the worshippers. This woody helps calm the mind and boosts concentration for productive days at work.

Scent Profile: Woody and earthy

23. Calamus Essential Oil

A plant with ancient origins dating back to 1300BC, Calamus has since been popularized in traditional Chinese and Indian remedies for treating memory disorders and improving learning performance. Calamus oil also soothes the mind from stress and boosts mental clarity.

Scent Profile: Earthy, woody and spicy

24. Petitgrain Essential Oil

Petitgrain oil is derived from bitter orange trees that are loved by Spanish families for their many different uses. A single tree can yield ingredients for natural perfume, emotional healing and cooking. This oil is a stress-soother and mood-booster for smoother days ahead.

Scent Profile: Floral and woodsy

25. Cardamom Essential Oil

Cardamom was a treasured Scandanavian spice loved by Vikings. The spice is highly valued and might explain their remarkable talent for sailing across long trade routes without getting seasick. Cardamom oil is an incredible soother for stress, anxiety and even nausea.

Scent Profile: Warm, spicy and slightly sweet

How To Use Essential Oils For Anxiety?

Topically

Using essential oils on the skin is a great way to soothe stress and anxiety but just make sure to dilute it with a skin-friendly carrier oil first! A good rule of thumb is 2 drops of essential oils to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. Consider doing a patch test beforehand, to be on the safe side.

Diffuser

Diffusing essential oils is the easiest and most common aromatherapy method. Just add a few drops of essential oils into your diffuser and breathe in the benefits.

DIY

Make yourself a relaxing foot bath by adding Epsom salts and a few drops of essential oil into a bucket of warm water. Sit back, soak and relax.

How To Use Essential Oils Safely

Essential oils are great for self-care routines. However, we should also take care and caution when using them to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe! Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

  1. Read the label and instructions to make sure you’re using the oil correctly.
  2. Make sure to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil for safe application.
  3. Avoid using essential oils of sensitive areas like the eyes and nose.
  4. Don’t apply it on broken skin either unless it’s mentioned on the bottle or label.
  5. Keep it out of reach of kids and furkids.
  6. Some oils may make you sensitive to sun damage, so be sure to load up on SPF.
  7. If you show signs of irritation, stop using and consult a health professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

What scents help with anxiety?

The top 5 scents that help with anxiety include valerian, lavender, jasmine, basil and bergamot.

How to use lavender oil for anxiety?

You can dilute it with a carrier oil and rub it on your skin, diffuse it, or even just inhale its calming scent straight from the bottle.

What is the best essential oil for anxiety?

Lavender is the most popular scent to calm anxiety but it’s highly subjective to what you like best!

Where to apply essential oils for anxiety?

You can apply a couple of drops to a carrier oil and massage it into your neck and shoulders and just a few drops on the chest or neck followed by some deep breathing to help you relax and calm your mind.

Do essential oils work for anxiety?

Most of the scientific evidence to support the anxiety-relieving effects of essential oils comes from animal studies. Researchers need to conduct more large-scale studies in humans to confirm and better understand these findings.

What are some essential oils for dog anxiety?

Lavender, chamomile, sweet orange, sandalwood, frankincense, rose otto and bergamot are generally known to be dog-friendly and great choices to relieve anxiety in dogs.

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