Can essential oils reduce anxiety?

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oils reduce anxiety

Whether you’re tossing and turning each night or struggling to switch off after a long day at work, essential oils are used by people around the world to relieve common symptoms of anxiety. But with so many different oils on offer, it’s tricky to know where to begin. Below, find out everything you need to know, from how to use them to the best essential oils to reduce anxiety.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are aromatic compounds extracted through steam, heat or water, from different parts of a plant – such as the bark, leaves or flowers. They are then used as a powerful tool to combat common ailments such as digestive issues, insomnia and anxiety.   

What is aromatherapy?- oils reduce anxiety

Aromatherapy is a centuries-old holistic practice of using essential oils to induce relaxation. This can be achieved through inhalation via diffuser, spray or stream. 

According to Medical News Today, essential oils stimulate the olfactory system, which is the part of the brain connected to smell. Molecules enter the body through the nose or mouth and pass through to the brain and lungs. Scent can be harnessed to evoke memories and influence mood.

Research indicates that essential oils have a holistic effect on everything from blood pressure and breathing to stress levels. This can be achieved via topical application through massage oils or skincare products. 

Massaging the area where the oil will be applied will boost circulation and increase absorption. However, if used on the skin, you must always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil such as coconut oil before application. 

What are the benefits of essential oils? 

Essential oils are renowned for helping people combat everyday issues from insomnia to inflammation worldwide.

Below, find the most significant benefits of essential oils.

  • To boost your mood
  • To help improve sleep
  • To reduce inflammation
  • To reduce nausea 
  • To relieve headaches
  • To reduce symptoms of anxiety

Do essential oils reduce anxiety?

People across the globe use essential oils to reduce anxiety symptoms, from sleepless nights to panic attacks. According to a recent survey conducted by Neurochemistry International, essential oils can lift the mood – but it depends on which scents you use. 

The study measured the anxiolytic effect, the reduction of anxiety, of oils on the body. Results indicated that lavender has continuously proven to relax and boost users’ moods. While rosemary, tea tree and beta-pinene also showed antioxidant effects on the brain.  

“Achieving benefits requires understanding which types are best and what dose is required,” said Professor Louise Bennett, the study’s lead author.

“We believe the interaction of essential oils with the naturally high levels of ascorbate (for instance, Vitamin C) in the brain can produce either anti-oxidant or pro-oxidant effects. It is the anti-oxidant, but not the pro-oxidant effects that lead to the mood benefit.”

Which essential oils are best for anxiety?

Essential oils are often used to relieve symptoms of anxiety. 

Below, find the most familiar scents to relieve anxiety, soothe nervous tension and support relaxation.

  • Lavender 
  • Orange
  • Bergamot
  • Mandarin

How can I use essential oils?

Use a diffuser

A diffuser is the best way to differentiate trial fragrances if you’re new to essential oils. A minimal black or white diffuser will also fit beautifully into the home as a statement piece.

Mix one to two drops of essential oils and freshwater to use. 

Carefully massage into your skin.

Many choose to massage essential oils into the skin, but you should never apply the undiluted solution as this can cause a dangerous allergic reaction. Make sure to dilute your essential oil with a gentle natural olive or coconut oil first.

Where to apply essential oils depends on which area you would like to soothe, but they are most commonly massaged into the temples, stomach, palms and feet. Always seek medical advice before applying essential oils if you have sensitive skin, are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Create a steam sauna 

Boil water and pour into a large pot or bowl. Then, add 8-10 drops of your favourite essential oil and lean over the pot with a towel draped across your head. It’s critical to keep a good 10 inches away to protect your face from burns. Breathe through your nose for a couple of minutes or however long feels comfortable. 

How long do essential oils last?

The lifespan of essential oil depends on the manufacturer. Always store your essential oils in a safe, dry and cool location to keep them from spoiling.

Essential oils have been used for centuries to combat day-to-day ailments, and now, they are growing in popularity to help relieve anxiety symptoms. In a busy world, it’s essential to take time out to look after yourself and investing in a diffuser will elevate everyday moments. 

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