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Top 10 Essential Oils for Anxiety

Many of us have dealt with anxiety at one time or another, but 2020 has brought increased levels of stress and high levels of uncertainty, so there are likely very few that are unaffected. When our nervous system stays on high alert with no periods of proper rest, anxiety can increase.

To date, anxiety disorders are the most common struggle affecting 40 million adults in the US, or 18.1% of the population every year, and many go untreated (Facts & Statistics, 2020). Complementary therapies like aromatherapy can help. Here at 21 drops, we are as dedicated to your health and well-being as we are to maintaining transparency and safety. Here are our top 10 essential oils for stress and anxiety. 

1. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)

Bergamot has a bright, citrusy aroma and is a superior essential oil to support our emotional well-being. It is an adaptogen, providing the user with balance and assistance adapting to life's stressors. A study published in 2015 showed that bergamot essential oil supports mental and physical fatigue by increasing parasympathetic nervous system activity (rest, digest, and restore) (Kuchta, 2015). If you feel tired and burnt out throughout the day, add bergamot essential oil to your wellness routine.

21drops blends using bergamot:

Sunshine Diffusing Oil

Cautions- According to the International Fragrance Association (IFRA), the maximum ratio for applying bergamot to the skin is 0.4%. The IFRA states that "The Standard is set due to the phototoxic effects of the material. The limit only applies to applications on skin exposed to sunshine, excluding rinse-off products (IFRA Bergamot, 2020).

 

2. Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

Frankincense is a favorite essential oil for many novice users and experts alike. It has an affinity to calm and ground the user when feeling spacey and airy with an inability to focus. Although a different form of the botanical, Frankincense resin, as was mentioned in the Bible and the essential oil, is impactful to the user during meditation or other forms of energy work.

21drops blends using frankincense: 

Brain Power Elixir

De-Stress Roll On

De-Stress Diffusing Oil

Naked De-Stress Roll On

Focus Roll On

Focus Diffusing Oil

Naked Focus Roll On

Cautions- There are no known safety considerations for this essential oil.

 

3. Jasmine Absolute (Jasminum sambac)

Jasmine Absolute has an exotic floral heady aroma that can positively affect our brains' GABA receptors, which is responsible for calming the central nervous system and soothing situational anxiety and depression (Hossain, 2004). The oil is uplifting while having aphrodisiac properties. Its aroma has the potential to carry you off to exotic places during guided meditation, leaving you Zenlike and refreshed. 

21drops blends using jasmine:

Calm Mini Roll On

Passion Mini Roll On

Cautions- According to the International Fragrance Association (IFRA), the maximum ratio for applying jasmine absolute to the skin is 4% (Sonomascent, 2009).

 

4. Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia)

Are you feeling frazzled? This flowery essential oil is the most commonly used oil across the globe for its multitude of uses, and you may find it very beneficial to calm you when you need it the most. You can place a couple of drops of lavender in an oil diffuser and let the wonderful aroma transcend your home or office or apply to your skin adequately diluted to take the soothing effects with you on the go.

21drops blends using lavender:

De-Stress Roll On

De-Stress Diffusing Oil

Naked De-Stress Roll On

Headache Roll On

Headache Mini Roll On

Headache Diffusing Oil

Naked Headache Roll On

Immunity Mini Roll On

Naked Immunity Roll On

Caution- There are no known safety considerations for this essential oil.

 

5. Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)

 There is no other way to describe it; green mandarin essential oil smells divine, resembling sweet orange with a tart finish. If you require a healthy dose of optimism or struggle with discomfort and anxiety in social situations, give this oil a try. We feature green mandarin in our Sunshine diffusing oil. The blend will help to lighten your spirit in no time at all.

21drops blends using mandarin:

Sunshine Diffusing Oil

Caution-There are no known safety considerations for this essential oil.

  

6. Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini)

With its soft and rosy sweet aroma, palmarosa provides you support and balance during tumultuous moments in life. In her book, The Blossoming Heart, Robbi Zeck stated that the aroma of palmarosa opens the doorway of the heart to bring love and forgiveness to traumatic events (Zeck, 2004). I add palmarosa to my diffuser blend at night to help slow down my thoughts and welcome forgiveness for anything that may have gone wrong throughout the day. You can find palmarosa in our Sleep diffusing oil. Palmarosa, combined with sandalwood and ylang ylang, is sure to have you resting peacefully. 

21drops blends using palmarosa:

Sleep Diffusing Oil

Sleep Mini Roll On

Organic Sleep Duo

Caution- There are no known safety considerations for this essential oil.

 

7. Sandalwood (Santalum album)

Sandalwood has remained a favorite oil of mine throughout the years for its strong anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties. The benefits of inhalation are sustained for a prolonged duration of time, as seen in a study published in 2013 from the Flavour and Fragrance Journal (Flavour and Frangrance Journal, 2013). This randomized controlled trial subjected mice to a stressor (in this case, caged loaded-water immersion) then given an aromatherapy treatment of inhaled sandalwood oil for 90 minutes, and the results spoke for themselves. The anxiolytic activity of sandalwood oil was sustained for 24 hours after the aromatherapy treatment.

21drops blends using sandalwood:

Passion Mini Roll On

Sleep Diffusing Oil

Sleep Mini Roll On

Organic Sleep Duo

Caution-Sandalwood is an oil that needs consideration from a sustainability standpoint. A little bit of this oil goes a long way; please use it responsibly.

 

8. Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)

Look to sweet orange essential oil during times of situational anxiety and depression. Sweet orange has the potential to reverse melancholy moods and to relax the body and mind nearly instantaneously. Sweet orange blends well with just about any essential oil. In my most recent book, Emotional Healing with Essential Oils, I indicated that if tension goes to your stomach and has it tied in knots, sweet orange will be your ally (Moldenauer, 2019).

21drops blends using sweet orange:

Calm Mini Roll On

Sunshine Diffusing Oil

Caution- There are no known safety considerations for this essential oil.

 

9. Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)

Vetiver is a prized essential oil by many that struggle with focus and an internal desire for perfectionism. Vetiver assists in restoring self-confidence and helps you to be gentle with yourself. Peter Holmes, in his book Aromatica, states that vetiver helps to balance hormones and assists with restoring our digestive system (Aromatica, 2016). If your stress results in digestive upset, reach for vetiver to provide support. Vetiver is a crucial component in our Calm roll on.

21drops blends using vetiver:

Calm Mini Roll On

Caution- There are no known safety considerations for this essential oil.

  

10. Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)

Ylang ylang has a strong exotic floral aroma, and when artfully blended, provides the user an apparent calm that not many oils can produce. Its best uses are for nervous tension, fearful states, and situational depression (Hongratanaworakit, 2004). You can find ylang ylang in our De-Stress synergyalongside lavender and frankincense essential oil for a significant calming experience.

21drops blends using ylang ylang:

De-Stress Roll On

De-Stress Diffusing Oil

Naked De-Stress Roll On

Sleep Diffusing Oil

Sleep Mini Roll On

Organic Sleep Duo

Caution- According to Tisserand & Young, the maximum dilution ratio when applying ylang ylang to the skin is 0.8% (Tisserand & Young, 2014).

 

 

Aromatherapy can help us navigate difficulties in our lives that lead to excessive stress, worry, and anxiety. Research shows us their effectiveness in balancing the mind and body and restoring peace to the human spirit. We hope that our top 10 essential oils for stress and anxiety have provided a great starting point for utilizing these healing catalysts in your lives and those you love.

 

 

References

 

E, L., E, L., 12, G., & 12, L. (2009, April 12). A Note on Jasmine and IFRA. Retrieved September 08, 2020, from https://sonomascent.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/a-note-on-jasmine/

Facts & Statistics. (2020). Retrieved September 08, 2020, from https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

 

Holmes, Peter, and Mimi Camp. Aromatica - a Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics. Volume 1: Princ. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016. P. 353-61

 

Hongratanaworakit, T., & Buchbauer, G. (2004). Evaluation of the Harmonizing Effect of Ylang-Ylang Oil on Humans after Inhalation. Planta Medica,70(7), 632-636. doi:10.1055/s-2004-827186

 

Hossain, S. J., Aoshima, H., Koda, H., & Kiso, Y. (2004). Fragrances in Oolong Tea That Enhance the Response of GABAA Receptors. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry,68(9), 1842-1848. doi:10.1271/bbb.68.1842

 

IFRA Standard, Bergamot oil expressed. https://ifrafragrance.org/standards/IFRA_STD48_0164.pdf

 

Moldenauer, L. (2019). Emotional healing with essential oils: Relieve anxiety, stress, depression, and mood imbalances naturally. Emeryville, CA: Rockridge Press.

 

Satou, T., Miyagawa, M., Seimiya, H., Yamada, H., Hasegawa, T., & Koike, K. (2013). Prolonged anxiolytic-like activity of sandalwood (Santalum albumL.) oil in stress-loaded mice. Flavour and Fragrance Journal,29(1), 35-38. doi:10.1002/ffj.3176

 

Tisserand R., Young R., Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals-, 2e, Churchill Livingstone; 2 edition (November 6, 2013) p. 477

 

Watanabe, E., Kuchta, K., Kimura, M., Rauwald, H. W., Kamei, T., & Imanishi, J. (2015). Effects of Bergamot (Citrus bergamia(Risso) Wright & Arn.) Essential Oil Aromatherapy on Mood States, Parasympathetic Nervous System Activity, and Salivary Cortisol Levels in 41 Healthy Females. Complementary Medicine Research,22(1), 43-49. doi:10.1159/000380989

 

Zeck, R. (2004). The blossoming heart: Aromatherapy for healing and transformation. East Ivanhoe, Victoria: Aroma Tours.