Essential oils are fast taking the world by storm for use in treating common ailments and nagging health conditions.
The use of plant extracts to support health and wellbeing has actually been around for thousands of years. Found as far back as ancient Egyptian times, essential oils have been used to treat everything from aches and pains to diabetes and anxiety.
Just what are these mysterious elixirs, and how can they improve our health in such significant ways?
This article will take a look at essential oils, how they are used, and which ones, in particular, can be used for anxiety and depression. Get ready to uncover some surprising information as we explore the world of essential oils!
A Quick Primer On Essential Oils
Essential oils are oils that are extracted from plant compounds. The oils capture the plant’s scent, flavor, or essence. The oils themselves are extracted from plant material using processes like distillation or cold pressing.
Once extracted, the oils are combined with carrier substances that make them suitable for use.
How Do Essential Oils Work?
Most essential oils are used for aromatherapy, which is the process of inhaling them for various purposes. You can find high quality and low-cost essential oil diffusers on Amazon or anywhere else. Now about how they actually work. Natural chemical compounds found in essential oils can interact with your body in a few different ways.
When applied to the skin on various parts of the body, the oil is absorbed. Alternatively inhaling aromas from essential oils affects the central nervous and limbic systems. These systems are responsible for several automatic processes in the body, so through simple inhalation, we can stimulate the nervous and limbic system to create different desired effects.
The Different Benefits Of Essential Oils
Though conclusive research is varying with respect to the effect that essential oils have on the body, some common themes and benefits that occur with regular use of essential oils include:
- Relief from headaches and migraines
- Improved circulation and cardiovascular function
- Better quality sleep; relief from insomnia
- A reduction in inflammation
- Antibiotic and antimicrobial properties
- Relief from stress and anxiety
While many touted benefits are yet to proven, using essential oils in the form of aromatherapy has been shown to work for anxiety and depression. Many studies show the effects of essential oils like lavender can have a calming effect on people, therefore, easing their anxiety.
In fact, a reported 50 percent of essential oil users report that they are using essential oils to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Anxiety affects a staggering 40 percent of Americans in some form or another, with many more going undiagnosed and untreated. It seems that increased use of essential oils is in order as a means of naturally reducing its potentially crippling effects.
Using Essential Oils For Anxiety
How you use them is totally up to you. What we’ve discovered through our research and experimentation is that there are many great ways to enjoy these benefits. First, using essential oils for bath time. You can find essential oil blends designed for stress and anxiety. A few drops in your bath can make a huge difference to a sense of calm and wellbeing. You can also use an essential oil diffuser to diffuse such a blend or specific oils into your room at night or throughout the day.
Finally, we have essential oil jewelry otherwise known as “diffuser jewelry” that allows you to naturally diffuse essential oils throughout your day even if you’re at work or taking a walk. How you use them is totally up to you and comes down to personal preference.
The Best Essential Oils For Stress And Anxiety
While you can find blends out there on the Internet or in shops; it’s good to know which essential oils can be used and what to look out for. The following oils have been found to be incredibly effective at reducing symptoms of anxiety; many report relief from this constant stress that allows them to return to daily activities with a sense of ease and enjoyment once more.
Try any combination of them to reduce symptoms and start living life again:
This oil is derived from valerian root, and it has been in use for thousands of years to treat all kinds of health issues and uncomfortable symptoms. Valerian is thought to contain beneficial compounds that promote restful sleep and give one a relaxed, calm feeling. It might even have mild sedative effects when used by some. Valerian oil is best used in a diffuser; use at times when it is okay for you to feel sleepy and relaxed.
Jatamansi is found in the same plant family as valerian; its use in Ayurvedic medicine helps to calm the mind and promote restful sleep. A study recently performed on mice revealed that regular use of jatamansi even lessened symptoms of depression by decreasing GABA neurotransmitters and MAO receptors in the brain.
Lavender is one of the most popular, widely used essential oils. It is thought that lavender has the ability to calm and quell anxiety, as it affects the limbic system. Lavender can be applied to the skin topically or used in a diffuser with similar, beneficial results.
Jasmine oil has a gorgeous, exotic scent, and its scent evokes pleasant memories that help to reduce stress and anxiety. Unlike other oils that cause sleepiness, jasmine can promote calm feelings of well being without causing drowsiness.
Otherwise known as tulsi, holy basil comes from the same family as basil used in cooking. The eugenol present in holy basil has a strong, minty aroma, and a little goes a long way for reducing mental stress and promoting emotional and mental well being. Use sparingly for best results.
Sweet basil oil is derived from the plant that you use for making your marinara sauce; its pleasing aroma is said to promote feelings of well being. Phenol compounds present in sweet basil have a suppressing effect on the nerves, helping you to feel calmer. Add several drops into a diffuser or inhale through a tube for the best results.
Bergamot is derived from bergamot oranges and, as such, it has a marvelous citrus scent. Both animal and human trials have shown that bergamot can help relieve anxiety and improve mood. You may diffuse bergamot or place a few drops on a cotton ball and inhale, using 2-3 times per day.
You’ve long heard that chamomile tea can be used for a restful, calming experience; chamomile oil is no exception to this. Chamomile has a pleasant aroma when diffused, and it can be used topically on the temples and the soles of the feet to help relax and refresh the senses.
Rose essential oil is one of the most beautiful yet one of the most difficult oils to extract from its mother plant, the rose. Add rose oil to your favorite moisturizer, your bathwater, or diffuse for a completely relaxing sensory experience.
Frankincense oil is derived from the resin of the Boswellia tree. Its musky, sweet aroma helps to ease anxiety and reduce stress. Its antimicrobial properties make it perfect for applying topically to the skin and using in moisturizers, massage oils, and baths. Frankincense has been used for thousands of years to calm the body, clear the mind, and promote restful and relaxing sleep.
Personally, a mix of Lavender and Valerian essential oil seems to work wonders for easing my stress levels and sending me into the deepest sleep during the night. The use of essential oils has been proven over and over to be quite effective in reducing and even eliminating anxiety.
While many are skeptical of natural cures and treatments. There is no harm in experimenting with essential oils. They are cheap, effective for many and can be found easily. To improve the quality of your life I hope you consider incorporating them into your daily care routine and see what they can do for you.