Stress and anxiety are common in most people’s lives, but excessive stress and anxiety can compromise your immune system and can lead to illness. Anxiety can lead to insomnia, headaches, and digestive problems. Using essential oils has been shown to help ease anxiety, stress, and depression in most people. Each type of essential oil offers different, unique properties, and it is important to use the oils that are best for your specific needs. In this article, we review 10 of the best essential oils for anxiety to help you find the right oils for you.

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What Are Essential Oils?

Essential Oils

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are natural compounds found in the stems, roots, flowers, leaves, or fruits of a plant which are extracted for a wide range of health and beauty purposes. They are highly concentrated and contain the essence of the plant, which has the plant’s characteristic fragrance and the plant’s healing properties. The best essential oils for use on the skin are extracted using cold-pressed methods rather than using heat. The cold-pressed essential oils will keep more of the nutrients from the plants.

How Do Essential Oils Help With Anxiety?

When using essential oils in aromatherapy, the scent can stimulate the smell receptors in your nose and send messages to your nervous system. This is a natural remedy for calming stress and relieving anxiety. Keep reading to learn the benefits of each essential oil and how they can help relieve anxiety.

Where Can You Buy Essential Oils For Anxiety?

You should choose oils that are 100% pure and natural, with no added fragrance, adulterants, or other additives. You can purchase them at health food stores, vitamin stores, or online at Amazon.

How Do You Use Essential Oils For Anxiety?

You can inhale the essential oils directly from the bottle or after applying them to your hand or a handkerchief. You can put the essential oils into a diffuser, or you can rub them directly onto your skin. When applying directly to your skin, perform a patch test for skin sensitivity and use a carrier oil in most cases. You can also add the essential oils to your warm bath water.

How We Reviewed Essent​​​​ial Oils For Anxiety

How We Reviewed Essential Oils For Anxiety

We reviewed 10 of the best essential oils for anxiety based on their natural benefits for a variety of concerns. We reviewed the pros and cons of using each type of oil. Some essential oils listed below are most effective when combined with other essential oils. We have provided you with our recommendations for combining the oils and the best methods for using each essential oil.

What We Reviewed

  • Rosemary

  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile
  • Rose
  • Jasmine
  • Valerian
  • Eucalyptus
  • Ylang &Ylang

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Rosemary oil comes from the rosemary plant, and it is one of the best essential oils for anxiety because it has high antioxidant levels and it lowers your levels of cortisol, a type of stress hormone. Rosemary belongs to the mint family, and it was considered sacred by the ancient Greeks and Romans. You can apply rosemary essential oil to your skin, or you can use a diffuser to fill the air with the aroma so you can relax while your anxiety and stress subside. It pairs well with some of the other best essential oils for anxiety, including lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus.

PROS

  • Pleasant aroma
  • Helps reduce nervous tension
  • Lowers cortisol

CONS

  • Not safe for people with Epilepsy
  • May cause problems for people with high blood pressure
  • May irritate sensitive skin if applied topically

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Peppermint is one of the best essential oils for anxiety when added to a warm bath, used in a massage oil, or in a diffuser. Peppermint essential oil is a combination of spearmint and water mint, and it smells amazing. Menthol is one of the most active ingredients in peppermint essential oil. If you apply peppermint essential oil directly to the skin of your forehead, temples, and back of the neck, it can help ease tension headaches that often accompany anxiety.

If your anxiety causes IBS, peppermint essential oil can help with digestion. Peppermint essential oil will not usually calm you down, but it is effective in treating the symptoms that cause anxiety. You should use peppermint essential oil as prevention rather than as a cure for anxiety. It pairs well with lavender and lemon essential oils.

PROS

  • Invigorating scent
  • Helps IBS symptoms
  • Safe for external use

CONS

  • May irritate sensitive skin if applied topically
  • May cause heartburn or nausea if ingested
  • Can interfere with some medications

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Lavender essential oil is one of the best essential oils for anxiety due to its calming effects, and it’s a popular choice for this purpose. Aromatherapy using lavender essential oil can impact your limbic system which is the part of your brain that controls emotions. You can add lavender essential oil to your bath water or use it in a diffuser. It has a floral aroma and has been proven by science to reduce anxiety and help you sleep more peacefully.

You can also apply lavender essential oil to your skin to absorb the relaxing benefits quickly. Lavender can relieve a tension headache when rubbed directly into your temples. For full body relaxation, you can also apply lavender essential oil to your feet and your wrists. It pairs well with some of the other best essential oils for anxiety, including peppermint and chamomile.

PROS

  • Scientifically proven to reduce anxiety
  • Safe for external use
  • Helps with insomnia

CONS

  • May cause unwanted drowsiness
  • May cause gastrointestinal irritation if ingested
  • May interact with some medications

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Bergamot has a sweet and spicy citrus scent and comes from bergamot oranges. It is one of the best essential oils for anxiety when inhaled and can not only relieve anxiety but also improves your mood. You can place a few drops of bergamot essential oil onto a handkerchief and inhale it a few times when you are feeling anxious. Bergamot is also effective at helping relieve depression. Early Chinese medicine used bergamot to aid in healthy digestion, and it’s often added to black tea.

Bergamot essential oil helps clear your mind and invigorate your senses, providing relaxation to your nervous system. You can inhale bergamot essential oil, or you can apply it directly to your hands, feet, neck, or stomach to help ease the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Bergamot can cause photosensitivity, so avoid exposure to the sun for 12 hours after applying it to your skin.

PROS

  • Calms anxiety and elevates mood
  • Safe for external use
  • Pleasant citrus aroma

CONS

  • Causes photosensitivity
  • May cause a rash when applied topically
  • May not be safe for children

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Chamomile essential oil is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs, and it is one of the best essential oils for anxiety because it’s a well-known calming sedative. There are two types of chamomile: Roman and German. You can apply it directly to your skin as long as you dilute it, or you can add it to warm bathwater for a relaxing home-spa experience. You can also use it in a diffuser while you drink chamomile tea to double-up on its anti-anxiety effects. Chamomile essential oil can settle feelings of restlessness to calm the body and mind, it can help with insomnia, and it can elevate your mood.

PROS

  • Gentle and safe
  • Calming
  • Relieves insomnia

CONS

  • Only apply to skin if it’s diluted
  • May not be safe for pregnant women
  • May interact with some medications

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Rose essential oil can improve depression and is also one of the best essential oils for anxiety relief. It’s extracted from rose petals and smells like roses. The floral fragrance of roses relaxes our physical senses and helps ease any feeling of anxiousness we have. You can experience anxiety relief by soaking in warm water that contains rose oil, or add rose essential oil to your moisturizer and rub it into your skin. You can also inhale diffused rose oil to enjoy its calming properties.

PROS

  • Smells like roses
  • Relaxing and calming
  • Safe for external use

CONS

  • May not be safe for pregnant women
  • May cause a reaction on sensitive skin
  • The scent may be too strong if not diluted

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Jasmine is one of the best essential oils for anxiety because it’s known to help calm your central nervous system without causing drowsiness. Jasmine essential oil also helps with depression and insomnia by instilling feelings of confidence and optimism. For centuries, jasmine essential oil has helped many people overcome stress and calm their nerves.

PROS

  • Does not cause drowsiness
  • Helps insomnia
  • Calms nerves

CONS

  • Could cause a mild allergic reaction
  • Might not be safe for pregnant women
  • The smell can overpower other aromas

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Valerian essential oil is one of the best essential oils for anxiety because it calms a restless mind, promotes sleep, and relieves nervous tension. It has been used since ancient times and can be inhaled via a diffuser for aromatherapy. You can also apply it to the bottom of your feet, but remember, since Valerian essential oil will make you sleepy, only use it before going to bed. It has an earthy smell and can ease restlessness to help you relax and unwind after a stressful day. The valerian plant originates from Belgium and Croatia originally, but you can now find it across Asia and North America.

PROS

  • Eases restlessness
  • Calms nerves
  • Relieves tension

CONS

  • Causes drowsiness
  • May not be safe for pregnant women
  • May interact with some medications

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Ylang Ylang essential oil is floral scented and comes from the flowers of the tropical ylangylang tree. It is one of the best essential oils for anxiety when combined with lavender essential oil and bergamot essential oil. It can lower stress levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels. You should dilute it with a carrier oil if you apply it directly to your skin, or it can be put in a diffuser to be used in aromatherapy. Ylang Ylang essential oil is effective for treating insomnia and promoting relaxation, often instilling an immediate sense of peaceful calm.

PROS

  • Lowers stress levels
  • Treats insomnia
  • Relaxing and calming

CONS

  • May irritate sensitive skin
  • Could interact with blood pressure medications
  • May not be safe for people with heart conditions

Final Thoughts

Each one of the essential oils discussed in this article is helpful in treating anxiety and the symptoms that often occur before, during, or after an anxiety episode. Essential oils for anxiety are a natural and effective way to help eliminate stress and tension in your everyday life, and by using these essential oils, your stress levels will reduce, and you will notice a greater ability to relax, calm down, and fall asleep easily.

Based on our reviews of the ten best essential oils for anxiety, we have determined that most people will benefit from combining at least two or three of the oils, and because every person’s body and brain chemistry is different, we recommended that you experiment with a few different essential oils for anxiety until you find the right combination for you.

Overall, the essential oils for anxiety are safe and non-toxic, but pregnant women should always consult a doctor before using any essential oils. Be sure you are using only 100% pure essential oils and that you purchase them from a reputable source to ensure that you are getting organic products free from chemicals and toxins and pay attention to the way each essential oil makes you feel and which method of use relaxes you the most.

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