9 Essential Oils to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

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We all encounter stressful situations at one point or another. Turning to natural remedies, such as essential oils, can be a gentle yet effective way to alleviate these bothersome feelings. Essential oils, extracted from plants, carry the essence of the plant’s scent and have been utilized for centuries in various cultures for their therapeutic properties. Here, we explore nine essential oils that have shown significant potential in reducing stress and anxiety:


understanding essential oils

Essential oils are aromatic compounds derived from plants. They are termed "essential" because they encapsulate the very essence of a plant's fragrance, the distinctive scent that differentiates it from other plants. Many cultures have utilized essential oils since ancient times for their healing properties and stress-relieving benefits.


how to use essential oils

Integrating essential oils into your routine is a straightforward way to bolster your health and well-being. These oils can aid in fostering tranquility, mitigating stress, purifying the ambiance of your home or office, alleviating bodily discomforts, and encouraging relaxation, among other benefits. Here are several methods to employ essential oils:

  1. Incorporate a few drops into your bath for a soothing experience.
  2. Place a small amount on your pillow before bedtime to promote peaceful sleep.
  3. Massage a few drops onto the soles of your feet or wrists to encourage relaxation.
  4. Utilize an essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy by adding a few drops of your chosen oil.
  5. Adorn yourself with an aromatherapy bracelet to enjoy the benefits throughout the day.


guidelines for essential oil usage

Diffusion: Add three to four drops of the oil to the diffuser of your choice.

Internal Use: Adhere to the instructions provided on the product label.

Topical Use: For skin application, use one to two drops on the desired area. To prevent skin sensitivity, dilute with a carrier oil.



Origin: Cananga odorata tree
Use: Aromatherapy, topical application
Benefits: Ylang ylang oil has a rich floral scent that is known to alleviate anxiety and act as a mood booster. It can promote a sense of calm and relaxation, reducing the symptoms of stress and anxiety. A study published in the Phytotherapy Research Journal suggested that it can decrease blood pressure and promote relaxation.



Origin: Lavandula Angustifolia plant
Use: Aromatherapy, topical application, bath
Benefits: Lavender is renowned for its calming and relaxing properties. Its sweet and floral scent is known to ease nervous tension, improve sleep, and even alleviate symptoms of migraines. A study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand suggested that lavender oil can decrease heart rate and blood pressure, promoting relaxation.



Origin: Origanum majorana plant
Use: Aromatherapy, topical application
Benefits: Marjoram oil, with its warm and spicy aroma, is known to have a calming effect on the nervous system. It can aid in reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety by promoting a sense of relaxation and peace. Marjoram is also believed to have positive effects on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, further enhancing relaxation.



Origin: Chamaemelum nobile plant
Use: Aromatherapy, topical application, tea
Benefits: Roman Chamomile has a light, floral scent that has a calming effect on the nervous system. Traditionally used to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders, its soothing properties can also help in reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology showed that chamomile might have modest anxiolytic activity in patients with mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder.



Origin: Ocimum basilicum plant
Use: Aromatherapy, topical application
Benefits: Basil oil is more than just a culinary herb; it has potent adaptogenic properties that can help the body cope with stress. Its refreshing scent can uplift the mood and reduce feelings of anxiety. Moreover, a study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology highlighted that basil oil has the potential to decrease stress hormone levels and exert anti-anxiety effects similar to diazepam.



Origin: Boswellia carterii tree
Use: Aromatherapy, topical application
Benefits: Frankincense has a warm, spicy, and woody scent that is known to induce feelings of peace and relaxation. It can help in reducing anxiety and chronic stress. According to a study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, frankincense might have anti-anxiety properties due to its impact on certain brain pathways.


Origin: Citrus aurantium tree blossoms
Use: Aromatherapy, topical application
Benefits: Neroli oil possesses a sweet and intensely floral fragrance that can instill tranquility and calmness in the mind. Traditionally utilized to combat symptoms of anxiety and depression, it has the potential to rejuvenate and uplift the spirit. A study in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine highlighted that inhaling neroli oil can significantly reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels, promoting relaxation and ease.



Origin: Citrus bergamia fruit
Use: Aromatherapy, topical application
Benefits: Bergamot, a citrus-scented oil, has been found to reduce anxiety and stress. It promotes a sense of calm and relaxation, and it is often used to uplift mood. A study in the Forschende Komplementärmedizin Journal noted that bergamot aromatherapy could reduce saliva cortisol levels, a marker of stress.



Origin: Rosa damascena plant petals
Use: Aromatherapy, topical application
Benefits: Rose Otto, derived from rose petals through a more intricate extraction process than regular rose oil, possesses a deeper, richer fragrance. It is known to open the heart chakra, promoting feelings of love, compassion, and harmony. Its profound calming properties can help in reducing anxiety and uplifting the mood, fostering a sense of well-being and emotional healing.


Caution:  Essential oils are highly concentrated plant substances, and you should treat them with caution and care.  For any use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes, consult a doctor. Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.



Essential oils offer a natural and holistic approach to managing stress and anxiety. Incorporating these oils into your daily routine can potentially foster a calmer and more balanced mental state, aiding in the alleviation of stress and anxiety symptoms. However, essential oils are not a substitute for professional medical advice and treatment. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized medical advice.


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