10 Essential Oils for Reducing Anxiety, Helping with Relaxation and Sleep

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The practice of inhaling the scent of essential oil is called Aromatherapy, and it is practiced by people all over the world to encourage well being. According to one theory, the smell of the essential oil works by stimulating the smell receptors in your nose and sending messages to the nervous system. The oils also have a slight effect on the body’s chemical and energy systems. These are some of the reasons why Aromatherapy is used as a natural way to reduce social anxiety and stress.

Before applying essential oil to your skin, make sure that it is diluted with a carrier oil so that it does not cause any irritation. For adults, every fifteen drops of essential oil should be diluted with one ounce of carrier oil. For children, the mixture should be much more diluted with a ratio of three to six drops of essential oil mixed with one ounce of carrier oil. Almond, coconut, and Jojoba are some of the most used carrier oils.

Here are 10 of the best essential oils to use to alleviate anxiety, induce relaxation, and catalyze sleep:

Valerian

Valerian is one of the oldest herbs known to humankind. It has been known to contain compounds that encourage sleep and calm nerves. It can also have mild sedative effects on the body.

How to use: Add a few drops of Valerian oil to an aromatherapy diffuser and inhale. It may induce relaxation and make you sleepy.

Jatamansi

Jatamansi comes from the same plant as Valerian. It is often found as a component in Ayurvedic medicines to help with sleep and reduce stress. A 2008 study says that Jatamansi can relieve depression by reducing GABA neurotransmitters and MAO receptors in the brain.

How to use: Massage diluted Jatamansi oil on your temples or forehead.

Lavender

One of the most popular aromatherapy oils, Lavender oil, alleviates anxiety by impacting the limbic system, which is the part of the brain responsible for emotions.

How to use: Use diluted Lavender oil in your bathwater to experience the relaxing feeling. 

Jasmine

Jasmine oil has one of the most distinct scents known to us. Inhaling Jasmine aroma can help encourage a sense of well being and romance, according to a 2013 study. Unlike some other essential oils, Jasmine helps in relaxing without inducing sleepiness.

How to use: Inhale jasmine oil directly from the bottle or put it in a diffuser to fill the room with its aroma.

Holy Basil

Also known as Tulsi, Holy Basil contains eugenol, which gives it a spicy, minty scent. It is an adaptogenic herb that has been proven to affect physical and mental stress, according to a 2014 research. 

How to use: Add a few drops to an aromatherapy diffuser and inhale as the oil is dispersed throughout the room. 

Sweet Basil

Sweet Basil oil comes from the same family of her that is used to make marinara sauce. It is known to calm the mind and reduce stress. The oil contains phenol compounds, which help in relieving anxiety, according to a 2015 study. These compounds are found to be milder compared to anxiety medication diazepam.

How to use: Add a few drops to an aromatherapy diffuser and inhale as the oil is dispersed throughout the room. 

Bergamot

Bergamot oil is extracted from Bergamot oranges, and as a result, it has a beautiful citrus scent. Bergamot oil is found to help with stress and improve mood in both animals and humans, according to a 2015 study. 

Bergamot may increase sun sensitivity if used topically.

How to use: Drop a few drops on a cotton ball or handkerchief and inhale. 

Chamomile

Chamomile is one of the most used and popular essential oils. It is known for its relaxing and sedating properties. While there has not been much research on the effects of Chamomile on stress, it has been found that the oil can benefit people with mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder.

Rose

Rose oil is extracted from Rose petals. It contains an enchanting floral scent which helps in relaxing the senses.

Rose oil(Hindi name Gulab Ka Tel) can be used by pregnant women to reduce anxiety, according to a 2014 study.

How to use: Soak your feet in warm water mixed with diluted rose essential oil. It can also be added to a non-scented moisturizer or shea butter to massage on the skin. 

Vetiver

While Vetiver is not as popular as its counterparts, it is one of the best essential oils with innumerable benefits. It has a sweet earthy scent and is used as an aphrodisiac.

According to a 2014 study on rats, Vetiver oil helps in relaxation when used in Aromatherapy. The research shows that Vetiver oil has the same effect as the anti-anxiety drug diazepam. 

How to use: Enjoy a relaxing massage with diluted vetiver oil, or add it to a diffuser.

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