Aromatherapy for stress relief is generally considered a form of alternative medicine.  But did you know there is actually an abundance of scientific research backing up the use of essential oils to treat anxiety and induce relaxation?  Here are 7 healthy oils which smell amazing and which can help to soothe your worries.

 

How To Treat Anxiety With Essential Oils

1.  Cedarwood Oil

Cedarwood oil has a lovely woodsy scent most of us are familiar with.  At one point or another, you probably have walked into a room with cedar walls or cedar furniture, took a deep breath, and asked, “ What is that incredible smell?”

It turns out that cedarwood oil has a relaxing effect on the mind which is backed by scientific research—and which goes far beyond pleasing associations.  So if you love the smell of cedar furniture, you don’t need to go out and buy a new chest of drawers; just pick up some cedarwood oil, breathe deep, and relax.

2.  Vetiver Oil

Vetiver is a unique scent which is easy to distinguish once you have become familiar with it.  It is grassy, heavy, and slightly bitter.  Many people have a masculine association with it, probably because it tends to be a popular ingredient in men’s colognes.  If you ever have gotten a soothing vibe from a cologne containing vetiver, it wasn’t a coincidence; vetiver really does help to reduce anxiety.

3.  Lavender Oil

Lavender is probably the most well-known oil to soothe anxiety and relieve stress.  It has a light sedative effect and a mild, herbaceous, mellow floral scent.  It is clinically proven to reduce stress markers.  You can also try a related oil called lavandin, which has successfully been used in pre-op to reduce patient anxiety.

4.  Rosemary Oil

Rosemary is considered a somewhat invigorating scent, so it may surprise you that it has a mellowing effect on the human psyche.  But it can actually reduce stress and improve performance when you need your mind to be sharp but relaxed.

5.  Ylang Ylang

Oil Ylang ylang is a heady floral scent reminiscent of jasmine blossom.  It is best known for its aphrodisiac effects, so you may not expect it to have relaxing qualities as well.  But the research is there; ylang-ylang may relieve both stress and depression.

6.  Orange Oil

Oranges have a wonderful juicy, refreshing scent, and that aroma actually can make a huge difference when it comes to dealing with your stress!  Studies show orange oil can reduce anxiety and have an uplifting effect on mood.

7.  Geranium Oil

Geranium oil has a scent which is similar to rose, but with less of a powdery impression and more of a hint of citrus.  This beautiful scent is so effective at soothing anxiety it has helped women through the first stage of labor.

 

As you can see, aromatherapy really works for treating anxiety!  Just remember when using these oils topically that you should always dilute them in a carrier oil first to stay safe.  You can also use them in an oil diffuser or perfume blend!

 

References:

  1. http://www.aobjournal.com/article/S0003-9969(08)00111-8/abstract?cc=y=
  2. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.1950/abstract?
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12898420

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