Living with ​anxiety can be a challenging experience that affects various aspects of our lives. From heightened stress levels to difficulty in concentration and sleep disturbances, anxiety can significantly impact our overall well-being. Fortunately, there are natural remedies available that can provide relief and promote a sense of calmness. One such remedy gaining popularity is the use of ​essential oils.

In this blog, we will explore the best essential oils for anxiety relief. Whether you are seeking a natural solution to manage occasional bouts of anxiety or are looking for complementary therapies to support your mental health, this guide will provide valuable insights on harnessing the power of essential oils.


Do Essential Oils Actually Work for Anxiety?

It is not uncommon for people to experience feelings of anxiety, stress, and tension in their daily lives. To combat these feelings, many individuals are turning towards alternative methods to manage their symptoms. Aromatherapy, which involves the use of essential oils to improve physical and emotional well-being, has become an increasingly popular choice for those seeking natural relief.

Research studies offer evidence supporting the positive impact of aromatherapy. In one study, it was found that essential oils, in general, led to significant reductions in vital signs such as systolic blood pressure (SBP) and heart rate (HR), indicating a potential physiological impact on anxiety¹.

Furthermore, certain essential oils have been specifically studied for their effectiveness in reducing anxiety. For instance, ​lavender oil is widely recognized for its calming properties and has been shown to reduce anxiety levels in numerous studies². Similarly, valerian oil has demonstrated anxiolytic effects and may help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety⁴.

In conclusion, while more research is needed to fully understand the effects of essential oils on anxiety, current evidence suggests that certain essential oils, such as lavender and valerian, may indeed have a positive impact on reducing anxiety symptoms. Incorporating aromatherapy and these essential oils into a comprehensive anxiety management approach may be worth exploring for those seeking natural alternatives.


💡 8 Best Essential Oils For Anxiety

🌿 Lavender

When it comes to essential oils for anxiety relief, one of the most popular and well-known options is lavender oil. It is known for its calming and soothing properties, which can help to alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.

Lots of scientific studies have looked into how lavender can help with anxiety, adding to its fame as a natural anxiety helper. A research review found compelling evidence supporting the anxiolytic properties of lavender oil. The review concluded that lavender oil inhalation or aromatherapy significantly reduced anxiety levels in clinical settings².

Another study published in the journal Phytomedicine found that oral lavender oil capsules were effective in reducing generalized anxiety disorder symptoms over six weeks of treatment. This only highlights the diverse ways in which lavender can be utilized to combat anxiety³.


🌿 Valerian

When it comes to managing anxiety, valerian can be a great option to consider. Valerian has a long history of use as a calming agent, particularly in cases of anxiety and sleep disturbances. Its essential oil is made from the plant's roots and has a strong scent that people might describe as woody, earthy, or musky.

Valerian is believed to have compounds that encourage sleep and soothe nerves, giving a gentle sedative effect to the body. That's why it's commonly used to help with sleep.

Numerous scientific studies have investigated the efficacy of valerian in treating anxiety. A meta-analysis reviewed multiple randomized controlled trials and found that valerian extract showed significant reductions in anxiety symptoms compared to a placebo. These findings support the traditional use of valerian as an effective natural remedy for anxiety relief⁴.


🌿 Frankincense

Frankincense oil, derived from the resin of the frankincense tree, offers a convenient and easy way to harness the benefits of this ancient natural remedy. The aroma of frankincense has a soothing effect on the mind, helping to alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.

What's great about using frankincense is that it can be used in combination with other relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, to enhance their effectiveness. The gentle and subtle nature of frankincense makes it a versatile option that can be integrated into your daily self-care rituals.

While the traditional use of frankincense for anxiety relief spans centuries, scientific research has shed light on its potential benefits. A clinical trial published in the journal Holistic Nursing Practice explored the effects of frankincense aromatherapy on anxiety and depression levels in patients undergoing hemodialysis. The study found a significant reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms among participants who received frankincense aromatherapy compared to a control group⁵.


🌿 Chamomile

Chamomile, a delightful herb that has been cherished for centuries, holds remarkable properties in promoting calmness and reducing anxiety. It works by interacting with key neurotransmitters in the brain, promoting relaxation and instilling a sense of calm. Thanks to its anti-anxiety properties, chamomile can alleviate symptoms associated with anxiety disorders and everyday stress.

A 2016 study published in Phytomedicine investigated the effects of chamomile extract on individuals with moderate to severe generalized anxiety disorder. The results showed that chamomile significantly reduced anxiety symptoms compared to a placebo, supporting its use as a natural remedy for managing anxiety disorders⁶.


🌿 Bergamot

With its unique aromatic profile and potential therapeutic properties, bergamot offers promising avenues for anxiety relief. Bergamot is a citrus fruit that possesses a refreshing scent and is commonly used in perfumes, aromatherapy, and herbal medicine. The essential oil derived from bergamot is known for its bright, citrusy aroma and potential therapeutic benefits.

Researchers conducted a study published in The Journal of Nursing Research examined the impact of aromatherapy with bergamot essential oil on anxiety, mood, and cortisol levels in women undergoing postpartum period. The results indicated that bergamot aromatherapy significantly reduced anxiety and improved mood compared to a control group. Additionally, cortisol levels were lower in the bergamot aromatherapy group, indicating a potential stress-reducing effect⁷.


🌿 Ylang-Ylang

Derived from the flowers of the ​Cananga Odorata tree, ylang-ylang is renowned for its ability to provide a sense of calm and relaxation. It has long been used in alternative medicine for its reputed calming properties. It's believed that its aromatic compounds have a direct impact on the central nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety symptoms.

Studies suggest that ylang-ylang oil may indeed offer benefits when it comes to managing anxiety. Its ability to lower blood pressure and heart rate, along with the reported feelings of well-being and relaxation, make it a promising alternative for those seeking natural approaches to anxiety reduction.

One study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience examined the physiological and psychological effects of ylang-ylang oil inhalation. The researchers measured participants' blood pressure and pulse rate before and after exposure to ylang-ylang oil. The results showed a significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as heart rate, indicating a potential calming effect⁸.


🌿 Rose

Known for its pleasant fragrance and numerous health benefits, rose essential oil has been found to have significant effects on anxiety. The uplifting aroma of rose essential oil has a calming effect on the mind and body, helping to alleviate feelings of anxiety, tension, and restlessness.

Scientific studies have found that rose essential oil has anxiolytic properties, meaning it can help reduce anxiety symptoms. Inhaling the aroma of rose essential oil or using it in aromatherapy has been shown to calm the nervous system and alleviate anxiety.

One study conducted a randomized clinical trial on patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI). The study found that the use of rose essential oil significantly reduced apparent anxiety in these patients and recommended its use as a complementary treatment for anxiety reduction⁹.


🌿 Clary Sage

Incorporating clary sage essential oil into your self-care routine can be a natural and effective way to manage anxiety. With its unique aroma and therapeutic properties, clary sage oil has shown promising effects on anxiety reduction.

Clary sage essential oil is renowned for its ability to promote relaxation and induce feelings of calmness. Its pleasant fragrance has a soothing effect on both the mind and body, helping to alleviate anxiety, stress, and nervous tension.

A study examined the use of clary sage essential oil in reducing anxiety and blood pressure in patients undergoing urodynamic examinations. The study found that inhalation of clary sage oil significantly reduced anxiety levels and blood pressure, suggesting its potential as a natural anxiety-reducing intervention¹⁰.


How Essential Oils Help With Anxiety

Essential oils have gained recognition for their potential to assist in reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. These natural plant extracts are commonly used in aromatherapy, a popular holistic practice that utilizes scents to support emotional well-being. While research on essential oils and anxiety is ongoing, several studies have shown promising results in terms of their calming effects.

One primary way essential oils can help with anxiety is through the activation of our sense of smell known as the olfactory system. When we inhale the aroma of essential oils, scent molecules stimulate receptors in our nose, which transmit signals to the brain. These signals can directly impact our emotions and mood.

When applied topically to the skin, essential oils can be absorbed into the bloodstream and reach various parts of the body, including the brain. They can also interact with the skin's sensory receptors, sending signals to the brain that can promote relaxation and reduce stress.


Essential Oils Are Your Secret Weapon Against Anxiety

Incorporating essential oils into your anxiety management routine can be a natural and enjoyable way to promote relaxation and support emotional well-being. Whether it's the calming properties of lavender, the mood-lifting effects of bergamot, or the soothing qualities of chamomile, these aromatic plant extracts have shown promise in reducing anxiety levels and creating a sense of calmness.

By using essential oils alongside other self-care practices, such as exercise, mindfulness, and seeking support from loved ones, you can enhance your overall well-being and find a sense of calm amidst the challenges of daily life.


Frequently Asked Questions


Where should you apply essential oils for anxiety?

Essential oils can be applied to pulse points. These are areas where your blood vessels are close to the surface of your skin. The pulse points on your wrists, temples, and behind your ears are all good places to apply essential oils. You can also apply essential oils to the soles of your feet.


Are there risks of using essential oils for anxiety?

Using essential oils for anxiety can have potential risks. While they can provide temporary relief and promote relaxation, it's important to use them with caution. Some oils may cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, or interact with medications. Consult a healthcare professional before use, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or are pregnant. Remember, essential oils should complement, not replace, proper medical treatment for anxiety.


What is the 3 - 3 - 3 rule for anxiety?

The 3-3-3 rule is a simple technique to manage anxiety. It involves finding three things you can see, three things you can hear, and three things you can touch. By focusing your attention on these sensory experiences, you can redirect your mind and ground yourself in the present moment. This technique promotes relaxation and helps reduce anxiety. It's easy to practice and can be used anytime, anywhere when you feel overwhelmed.



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Roh, D., Jung, J. H., Yoon, K. H., Lee, C. H., Kang, L. Y., Lee, S., Shin, K., & Kim, D. H. (2019). Valerian extract alters functional brain connectivity: A randomized double‐blind placebo‐controlled trial. Phytotherapy Research, 33(4), 939–948.

Karadag, E., & Samancioglu Baglama, S. (2019). The Effect of Aromatherapy on Fatigue and Anxiety in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis Treatment. Holistic Nursing Practice, 33(4), 222–229.

Keefe, J. R., Mao, J. J., Soeller, I., Li, Q. S., & Amsterdam, J. D. (2016). Short-term open-label chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) therapy of moderate to severe generalized anxiety disorder. Phytomedicine, 23(14), 1699–1705.

Chen, M. L., Chen, Y. E., & Lee, H. F. (2022). The Effect of Bergamot Essential Oil Aromatherapy on Improving Depressive Mood and Sleep Quality in Postpartum Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Nursing Research, 30(2), e201.

Moss, M., Hewitt, S., Moss, L., & Wesnes, K. (2008). Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang. International Journal of Neuroscience, 118(1), 59–77.

Haddadi, M., Robat Sarpooshi, H., Jaghouri, E., & Dehnabi, A. (2021, August 30). The effect of aromatherapy with rose essential oil on apparent anxiety in patients with myocardial infarction. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 19(4), 1007–1012.

Seol, G. H., Lee, Y. H., Kang, P., You, J. H., Park, M., & Min, S. S. (2013, July). Randomized Controlled Trial for Salvia sclarea or Lavandula angustifolia: Differential Effects on Blood Pressure in Female Patients with Urinary Incontinence Undergoing Urodynamic Examination. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 19(7), 664–670.

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