Here is a suggested list of essential oils, linked to studies on each one:
- Lavender Studies show that lavender can reduce cortisol in the bloodstream just with inhalation. A 2019 review of 22 clinical trials on lavender inhalation were found to have favorable effects in relieving anxiety and decreasing systolic blood pressure, heart rate and salivary cortisol levels.
- Bitter Orange is from the peel, neroli is from the flower, and petit grain from the leaf. Sweet Orange is the MOST popular scent and works well also.
- Roman chamomile, blue chamomile. The essential oils are much more powerful than the tea (at least 20 times more). This oil calms the mind and relaxes the body while it grounds you and helps your mind stop racing.
- Clary Sage is a hormone balancer, especially when you are going through hormonal swings, PMS, pregnancy, menopause etc. It is shown to lower cortisol and has an antidepressant effect.
- Rose is often used for emotional stress and for women in labor, and has been shown in a series of studies to reduce pain and anxiety during first state of labor.
- Vetiver is the best oil, along with Chamomile, for fear and panic.
- Ylang Ylang (except for lower blood pressure), is also an antidepressant and sleep aid and appeals to kids (dilute at 2 percent before giving to them to inhale, see below for how to dilute).
- Bergamot is also an antidepressant and can prepare you for sleep. To be safe, use the bergaptene-free bergamot if applying topically. Bergamot is normally photo-toxic. Without the bargaptene, you avoid sun damage.
- Frankincense is the premiere mediation oil, used in many religions and cultures. It has many healing uses including immune support and a powerful skin healer. It has an affinity with the nervous system and many people are drawn to it. Myrrh works similarly but for much lower cost.
- Spikenard, a truly ancient oil especially for anxiety around sleep issues (used in ayurvedic medicine and chinese medicine and even cited in the bible).
- Rose geranium, like clary sage, balances hormones and is used for depression.
- Sandalwood is traditionally used for mediation and mindfulness because it relaxes the breath and the muscles while awakening and clearing the mind.
- Peppermint is mostly used as a memory stimulant or for mental fatigue and brain fog. Like sandalwood, it physically relaxes the muscles while stimulating. I always recommend for anxiety accompanied by fatigue or overwork or when you need a burst of energy. Rosemary is another wake up and focus oil and there is a lot of research on its effects as well. I prefer peppermint because you need very little and everyone loves it.
Credit: Organic Spa Magazine