By - Craig Mullins

Using Essential Oils To Treat Anxiety

Suffering from anxiety is difficult, but the great thing is that there are solutions out there. While some people choose the pharmaceutical route, there are others who would prefer to take a more natural approach. If you are looking for a way to reduce anxiety, you should definitely try essential oils. Many have used them to successfully combat all of the symptoms associated with this condition.

Here are some of the best essential oils you can use to treat anxiety:


Not only is this oil great for anxiety, but it can help reduce many of the most common symptoms that associated with it, including restlessness, panic attacks, sleep difficulty and irritability. There have been numerous studies conducted in the past that concluded lavender is a great stress reliever.

There are a number of ways to consume lavender for anxiety relief. including the following:

  1. Adding this oil to tea and consuming it internally is useful. While you are sipping on the warm, relaxing liquid, inhaling the aromas can decrease feelings of stress as well.

  2. Use the oil as an inhalant. You can massage the oil onto your hands or wrists and inhale the scent throughout the day. If you want to inhale the oil without placing it directly on the skin, you can place some on a cotton ball or cloth.

  3. Blend this with a carrier oil, like jojoba or coconut, and use it to moisturize your skin. This will soften your skin while offering a soothing aroma. It can begin to ease all of your feelings of anxiety within five minutes.


When most people think of chamomile, they have thoughts of a relaxing cup of tea before bedtime. The reason that this is often consumed prior to slumber is because of its soothing scent and the fact that it diminishes feelings of anxiety.

Not only does it help you mentally, but it can assist with stress and digestion troubles as well. This may sound off topic, but having physical ailments can certainly lead to increased feelings of anxiety.

There has been research conducted that concluded chamomile has antidepressant effects. This is particularly useful for those who are looking to boost their mental health without relying on a medical approach.

Chamomile essential oil is considered quite gentle, so you will not have to be concerned about using this when little ones are present. In fact, there are some who have used this to ease their children’s anxiety directly.

Rose Oil

This oil has been used in everything from perfume to tea. It has always been associated with healing, but many are not aware of the fact that it can help those who are dealing with anxiety.

There are two chemicals, geraniol and citronellol, that make up rose oil and they work together to offer relief. Not all roses are the same, so the amount of chemicals in the oil you purchase may vary from 12-44%, with a higher concentration being preferable.

The three main benefits of the oil that are associated with anxiety are:

  • It calms the nerves.

  • It restores your appetite (lack of hunger is common when dealing with anxiety).

  • It is a powerful antidepressant.

Numerous studies have been conducted that have concluded rose oil can significantly lower a person’s feelings of anxiety. Many people who have sought out alternative treatments for depression can vouch for the healing properties of this oil.

Lemon Balm

The essential oil that is gleaned from lemon balm has been used for many years to curb the effects of anxiety on the brain. It can also help with sleep issues, like insomnia, and put the user in a more relaxed state. This oil has been studied extensively and it was found that polyphenols and flavonoids, which are some of the active compounds in lemon balm, have a number of great health benefits. One of the most important is the way that it works on the neurotransmitters and eases feelings of stress and anxiety.

When taken in high doses, this oil has a sedative effect. Taking this on a regular basis can have a profound effect on insomnia symptoms and anxiety disorders. Anyone who has been having trouble with anxiety accompanied by sleeping trouble should reach for this. It has been proven to be safe, which means you can feel comfortable adding this to your daily regimen.

Frankincense Oil

This is an oil that comes from the Boswellia tree and it has been used to heal since ancient times. While most have lauded this oil when it comes to arthritis, hormone issues. neurological support and digestion, it can also help with feelings of anxiety.

There was a research study conducted in 2009 and it concluded that frankincense had antidepressant properties when administered to mice. An earlier study showed that women in the delivery room were calmer when this oil was used. Considering the amount of fear and anxiety that is associated with childbirth, this was a huge breakthrough.

Frankincense can be used directly on your skin, alone or blended with a carrier oil. You can dab it behind the ears the same way you would with cologne. Keep in mind that there are some digestible forms of frankincense that can be used in tea. Read the label carefully to make sure that the oil you purchase is safe for consumption.

Geranium Oil

This is a very good option when it comes to relief from anxiety. While many other essential oils are taken from the petals of flowers, this one comes from the stems and leaves.

It is fairly inexpensive to produce, so many people use it when rose oil is not financially viable. Keep in mind these oils do not smell the same; geranium has its own distinctive essence. It is also rich in antioxidants, which is useful for those who plan to add this to tea.

Studies have shown that this oil helps the user reach a heightened state of wellbeing. Not only that, but it can also decrease blood pressure. As was mentioned earlier, better physical health can reduce anxiety as well.

There are many ways to use geranium oil. You can rub it into the skin (alone or with a carrier oil). You can use a diffuser. Even rubbing it into the palms and inhaling the scent can have some useful effects.

This is safe to ingest, so you can make tea with this or add it to any beverage. Some find it hard to take without adding a little sweetener, but that is purely a personal decision.


This oil is often given the botanical name ylang-ylang, even though they are technically not the same thing. They are from the same family and there are some unsavory people who will substitute cananga for its more fragrant and delicate cousin.

Many people do not realize that aromatherapy is not all about pleasant smells. This is important to note since some believe cananga is not effective because the scent is not very strong. This oil can help with depression by calming down the user. In high doses, it can be used as a sedative. As with many essential oils mentioned here, it can have a positive effect on blood pressure.

Many who have nerve pain (especially that which is related to diabetes) deal with feelings of anxiety and depression; this oil can help with all of these ailments.

Sweet Basil

Holy basil is often used to treat anxiety, but many do not realize that sweet basil is effective for this as well. People all over the world enjoy this as a spice, but its oil can be used to significantly reduce anxiety symptoms.

There was research conducted at Hainan Medical University and it concluded that sweet basil is one of the most powerful essential oils when it comes to combating anxiety. Out of the numerous oils studied, this was one of the best. In a different study, it was found that the essential oil gleaned from basil had a significant impact on anxiety while an extract from the same plant was not as effective.

The best way to use this oil would be to add it to an inhaler or place it inside of a diffuser.


This oil has been used for thousands of years to assist with soothing and healing. While the number one benefit of vetiver is its antioxidant properties, it has the ability to significantly reduce anxiety. This is why it is so popular among people who practice aromatherapy and do so for calming and healing effects. There was a study conducted in Thailand and it was found that rats had a better response when using this than they did when taking diazepam, which is a powerful drug that is used to treat anxiety. It has also been used to treat ADD and ADHD in adults and children.

Clary Sage

This oil is one of the most fragrant available and it is wonderful for relaxing users and calming down feelings of anxiety. It is very rich in linalyl acetate and linalool, which are compounds that have been shown to relax the nervous system. There was a study done and it was concluded that this oil has a profound effect on the dopamine levels in the brain, which means that it can be very effective when being used as an antidepressant and treatment for anxiety.

One of the most common ways to use this is to dab it on the neck and ears and use it was a perfume. It should also be noted that this oil is safe for consumption, so it can be made into a tea or added to other beverages as well. Another way to use this would be to add it to hot bath water and soak the body in it.

Valerian Oil

This is an herb and essential oil that successfully fights anxiety. It increases gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain and this reduces excitability and irritability levels. It also promotes relaxation. In large doses, it acts as a sedative.

There are two compounds, valerenol and valerenic acid, that are contained in Valerian oil and they have anti-anxiety properties alone, but there is no clear understanding of how this works.

Valerian has been shown to help with psychological issues that occur due to stress. This is very distinctive since not many plants can do this. Placing this on your temples or the back of the ears can reduce anxiety rather quickly. Make sure that you do not place it too close to the eyes.

Most of the time when people mention Valerian, it is in reference to it being a sleep aid. This means that it is more effective for those who experience anxiety-related sleep issues. It is best to use this prior to bedtime so you are able to achieve a restful sleep. Keep in mind that this oil can cause lucid dreams when used in large doses. Unless that is something you are interested in, you might want to use a small amount at a time.


This oil has a pleasant scent that is reminiscent of balsamic. Most people who use this do so in order to cleanse their renal system and fight infections. In traditional medicine, it is most often used as an antibacterial agent. Those who have urinary issues find that this is naturally cleansing and it detoxifies the body. While it is not discussed as often when anxiety is mentioned, it can definitely help with this. There are several cultures where it is used to relieve stress and stop the user from brimming with feelings of anxiety.

When used in aromatherapy, the scent of juniper helps induce a relaxed state of mind. In ancient times, it was often associated with helping people deal with emotional pain and trauma. When inhaled, it has a very calming effect on the brain.

In a study on insomniacs who consume prescription drugs, it was found that many of them reduced or totally eliminated pharmaceuticals after using juniper oil.

You can add this to a diffuser, place some on your body (blended with a carrier oil) or add it to detergent so the aroma lingers on your clothing. If you are seeking a more direct and soothing approach, you can place some in bath water before soaking in it.


Researchers who have studied the healing effects of fragrances found that jasmine oil can significantly increase GABA levels. In fact, it was shown to be more effective than traditional medications that are prescribed for anxiety. While this study was not conducted on humans, that does not make these findings any less profound. For many centuries, it has been used as a natural way to reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Jasmine essential oil is particularly useful for people whose anxiety leads to low energy levels and lethargy. The oil acts as a stimulant on the brain, which means that mood can improve right away. If you are someone who is prone to bouts of nervousness, this would be useful for you as well. This is because jasmine oil helps build a tolerance against stress and anxiety.

It has been found that using this directly on the skin is the best way to administer it. While there are other methods of use, none of them is as effective.

Peppermint and Eucalyptus Oils

These are two very well known essential oils that have not been commonly used for anxiety, but it has been shown they may have long-lasting effects. Let’s discuss peppermint oil first.

It might be a little surprising to know that this plant which is usually used as a spice has benefits to those who suffer from anxiety. It is more commonly known for things like its antibacterial properties, pain relief and services as a digestive aid for those with stomach issues. Research done found that this oil is really effective when used to combat depression and anxiety. Numerous studies have concluded that it should be added to the list of anxiety-fighting oils.

Now let’s talk about eucalyptus. 1,8 cineole is a compound found in eucalyptus and it was found to work toward significantly decreasing feelings of anxiety. Since this oil has been used for so many other things, including cold medicine, reducing inflammation, fighting viruses and repelling insects, it was great to know that something so popular could also be used to help with anxiety.

Tips For Using Essential Oils

  • Always test essential oils on a small area of the body before you begin to use it more abundantly. This will help you assess whether or not you are allergic to it. Place a small amount of your wrist and cover it with a bandage. After 24 hours or so, remove this and check for redness, rash or irritation. If you do not notice any adverse reactions, you can feel free to use this on the skin as you wish.

  • If you are pregnant or nursing, it would be wise to check with your doctor before you try this. While this is an all-natural approach, it is possible for some of these oils to have ill effects, so seeking medical advice can be a lifesaver.

  • Many essential oils need to be blended with a carrier oil in order to tone it down a bit. Coconut, olive, jojoba and argan oil are all great options. There are others as well, so do some research and figure out which would be best for you.

  • When using it in bath water, you can add it directly to the water or blend it with bubble bath, Epsom salt or any other substance you plan to add to the water. Less is more when it comes to oils, so do not go overboard. You can probably get away with only adding 5-6 drops in an entire tub filled with water.

  • Always look for a reputable source when you are buying oils. This will ensure you will have no issues when it comes to feeling the effects. It is also important to buy from someone that will not add so much of a carrier oil or other substance that the product is diluted. This was referenced a bit earlier when discussing cananga.

  • If you feel uncomfortable adding this directly to your skin, you can apply some to a cotton ball and inhale it over the course of the say. Placing this in your pocket, at your work desk or in your car is a great way to reap the benefits without worrying about any allergic reactions.

  • Do not buy the essential oils that are described as fragrances on the label. This typically means that other things may have been added and they may not be safe to inhale directly. You should look for those that have “therapeutic grade” in the description and/or on the label.

  • Note that all essential oils are not fit for human consumption. You do not want to add this to a beverage or make a tea with it before checking to see if it is safe.


Unfortunately, anxiety and stress are two things that most people will have to deal with at some point in their lives. Even if you are someone who is generally able to handle these things, sometimes it can be overwhelming. The idea is to take cues from your body and decide what the next course of action is. It may be important to take more than a few deep breaths and grab some essential oils.

These oils mentioned here can help you relax and they have the power to ease all of the tension you have been feeling, boost your mood and help you get some sleep. You have to take a chance and see what kind of help they can offer you. Whether you decide to use one of the oils that you are familiar with or you want to try something new, you can look forward to feeling better than you have in a very long time.

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