4 Calming Essential Oils For Taming Your Anxiety Naturally

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4 Calming Essential Oils For Taming Your Anxiety Naturally
Health And Wellness

Anxiety can slip quietly into our lives in a variety of ways, registering as muscle tension rising from the shoulders to the neck, a sinking feeling in the stomach, loss of appetite, or interrupted sleep.

With so many people on "red alert" during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, you may recognize some of these signs, even if you don’t identify yourself as feeling "stressed."

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Living in a world filled with uncertainty can trigger worry among even the calmest, most relaxed people.

If you already struggle with anxiety, living with uncertainty can be like touching a match to dry tinder.

Instead of reaching for sugary snacks, cigarettes, or alcohol, consider making natural anxiety remedies such as calming essential oils your allies to soothe stress and anxiety.

As an extra bonus, these essential oils also have antimicrobial activity.

Here are the top 4 essential oils for calming anxiety, reducing pain, lifting moods, and improving sleep.

1. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia var. aurantium)

Bergamot is one of the top performers for reducing anxiety and improving moods. Like the sunny, warm climates where this fruit grows, bergamot brings a sense of peace and relaxation.

Inhaling bergamot essential oil for 15 minutes reduces salivary cortisol — a marker of stress and anxiety — and has a calming effect equal to benzodiazepine drugs without the sedating side effects.

Local application of bergamot essential oil effectively reduces chronic pain.

Bergamot even reduces agitation in those suffering from dementia, a symptom that is untouched by pharmaceutical medications.

2. Coriander (Coriander sativum).

This essential oil is high in the constituent linalool — up to 69 percent — which has a calming effect on the central nervous system similar to diazepam.

3. Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia).

Inhaling lavender essential oil provides fast-acting relief for anxiety and pain.

For chronic anxiety, oral lavender essential oil (Silexan) is more effective than inhalation.

Taking 80 mg of Silexan daily was as effective as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) Paroxetine for lowering anxiety. Those taking 160 mg of Silexan daily had even greater improvements in Hamilton Anxiety Scale scores

For six– to 12-year-old children, lavender inhalation before tooth extraction reduced pain and anxiety both during and after the dental procedures.

Combining lavender essential oil along with good sleep practices improves the depth and quality of sleep more than good sleep hygiene alone.

Good sleep practices include:

  • Creating a regular sleep schedule
  • Limiting fluids before bed
  • Avoiding caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the day
  • Wearing earplugs and a face mask
  • Avoiding screen time and texting at least an hour before bed
  • Creating a relaxing bedtime routine
  • Exercising regularly, ideally before 6 p.m.

Lavender essential oil can reduce anxiety and pain, even in the face of open-heart surgery.

Inhaling lavender essential oil on a cotton ball for 20 minutes twice a day on the second and third days after surgery significantly reduced pain and anxiety.

Patients in the intensive care unit who inhaled lavender essential oil twice a day for 10 days had less pain and anxiety as well as improved sleep.

4. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis).

Inhaling essential oil 20 minutes a day significantly reduced anxiety for patients recovering from an acute heart attack.

Rosemary also improves concentration and memory.

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Now that you know about the different essential oils for anxiety, follow these suggestions to maximize their benefits.

1. Use a diffuser with a timer.

Turn it on for 15 to 30 minutes every three to four hours.

Continuous diffusion through the night is very hard on the liver (the primary organ that breaks down and excretes essential oils).

2. Use a blank inhaler.

Add eight to 10 drops of essential oil or an essential oil blend to the wick of a blank inhaler. Cap the bottom of the inhaler and screw in the cover.

To use, unscrew the cover and hold the inhaler close to the nose. Breathe normally for five to 10 minutes. You can use the inhaler up to five times a day.

3. Massage it onto your skin.

Add two to three drops of essential oils to a tablespoon of pure, organic vegetable oil. Massage with it at least two to three times a day.

Focus on the hands, feet, and abdomen to maximize absorption.

4. Put it on your pillow.

At bedtime, place one drop of essential oil on your pillow

One drop of essential oil is roughly equivalent to 30 cups of tea, so use sparingly.

5. Rotate the oils you are using every two weeks.

This minimizes the possibility of developing sensitivity to the oils.

If you become sensitized to one oil, you may become reactive to all essential oils, and then you will have lost this powerful therapeutic tool.

6. Choose oils you enjoy.

If you dislike a scent, even if it is indicated for anxiety, you probably won’t use it, and the irritating odor may even increase the anxiety.

Since inhaled essential oils immediately penetrate the central nervous system and travel through the lungs into the bloodstream, you can experience the anxiety-relieving effects of essential oils right now.

As soon as you notice tight muscles, shallow breathing, fast heart rate, or other signs of stress, begin using essential oils to restore calm, relieve pain, and brighten your mood.

Please note that this article is not a substitute for medical care.

While essential oils have powerful therapeutic effects, they cannot replace pharmaceutical drugs. If you are taking medications for anxiety, discuss this information with your healthcare provider.

RELATED: The Different Types Of Essential Oils And How Aromatherapy Works

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Dr. Judith Boice is a naturopathic physician, acupuncturist, assistant professor of aromatherapy, international best-selling author, and award-winning author and teacher. Deepen your knowledge of essential oils with Dr. Boice's free report, "Seven Myths About Essential Oils."

This article was originally published at drjudithboice.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.