Essential Oils for Anxiety

What Are the Essential Oils for Anxiety?


From a common perception, you may sometimes relate essential oils to products of aromatherapy and those used at spa shops. But are you aware of the fact that some varieties of all existing essential oils do have an avalanche of benefits in the aspect of relieving stress and anxiety? According to an integrative medicine specialist who works at Centre for integrative medicine in Cleveland’s clinic called by the name Yufang Lin, essential oils usually work through the process of inhalation or topical application, while they benefit the mind and body. Essential oils meant for topical application can be mixed with a carrier oil, to be used as a massage oil, salve, perfume or body cream. Dr. Lin also said that the addition of essential oil to your bathwater could serve as a magical way to relax your body after a very busy day. Besides, Dr. Lin said smell serves as the fastest way through which one’s mood can be changed, thus making the use of essential oils to be a great way for reducing anxiety and enhancing relaxation. Besides, many herbs are required to produce a small quantity of essential oil, and that’s why it ought to be used judiciously. With regards to various ongoing researches, if a study even suggests that a certain oil is good for suppressing anxious feelings, yet it might not work that same way for everybody. Essential oils exist as varying scented liquids, that manufacturers produce from the leaves, florals, and fruits of plants. Some researches have suggested that aromatherapy done using certain essential oils may enhance relaxation and relief from anxiety.

If you have been looking for what are the essential oils for anxiety, there are essential oils listed below that have been proven to effectively alleviate anxiety in human subjects, as said by Dr. Lin. Other aromatic oils detailed in this article have also been found capable of reducing anxiety and supporting relaxation, but further research beyond animal subjects is necessary, to discover if the oils are beneficial to humans.

The major essential oils are:

  • Lavender
  • Orange
  • Bergamot
  • Sweet marjoram

While others are also well described as beneficial for anxiety.

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Essential Oils


Lavender Oil

Among all existing essential oils, Lavender happens to be the most popular. This wonderful oil is capable of easing anxiety as well as stress, to the extent that some researchers in reputable hospitals have used the oil on some of their admitted critically ill patients. Some other studies done have been able to show that the oil is highly beneficial to those patients that are deprived of sleep.

Vetiver Oil

Vetiver oil is very popular in Sri Lanka and India. This essential oil is known to have a sweet and smoky scent that is similar to that of sandalwood oil. It is also known as Oil of tranquillity, which can reduce anxiety, panic, emotional stress and depression.


Frankincense essential oil is rich in warm aroma, while its capable of boosting the supply of oxygen to the brain, stimulating the body’s limbic system and consequently lift one’s mood. When you add it to your bathwater, it should help to relax your mind & body, while bringing emotion in to check.

Rose Oil

Inhalation of rose oil helps to promote calmness and reduce tensions felt in the body, which is why it is usually recommended to depressed or grieved persons.


Geranium oil has a sweet smell that is similar to that of rose oil. It can help to effectively replace negative feelings/thoughts with positive thoughts. Some persons believe that the oil can also help to bring hormone imbalance back to normal.

Ylang Ylang Oil

This essential oil has a scent that is capable of calming as well as uplifting the mind. The oil is a perfect choice when you need an essential oil to enhance your wellbeing. It can be able to lower blood pressure and it also has sedative qualities.


You can try to get a massage with a few drops of this oil on your skin when you have anxiety or headache. You will perceive it has a little herby aroma when inhaling it. It is also useful for treating certain skin conditions like eczema.  


Jasmine oil has been practically used over the years for the reduction of symptoms of anxiety, while its capable of calming the nervous system. On the other hand, this essential oil can lift your mood and increase energy levels, according to some previous studies.


 Valerian oil has been substantially used since some centuries ago. There are certain compounds it’s believed to contain that helps in promoting sleep and calming nerves,  thereby relieving anxiety. It can also have a slight sedative effect when used.


Holy basil contains eugenol, which is the compound that gives a spicy and minty aroma to this oil. This essential oil is known to be adaptogenic and it’s effective in treating mental and physical stress, according to research from a trusted source.


Jatamansi and valerian belong to the same family of plant classification. The oil is used for calming the mind as well as enhancing sleep. A 2008 study stated that Jatamansi oil could relieve depressive feelings by reducing MAO receptors and GABA neurotransmitters inside the brain.


Bergamot oil is extracted from the body of bergamot oranges, and it has a strengthening citrus scent. A 2015 study has shown that bergamot oil helps to relieve anxiety and uplift mood in animal and human subjects. It should be noted that this oil can elevate sun sensitivity when it’s used topically.

Clary Sage

Clary sage oil has a woody and herbal odor. It is usually used for enhancing aphrodisiac, probably because of the calming ability it possesses. Cortisol is regarded as a stress hormone, wherefore high cortisol level can increase the possibility of anxiety & depression. But the use of Clary sage can reduce tension and control levels of cortisol in women.


Sweet Basil

Sweet basil oil is believed to be useful for calming the body and relieving stress, in the course of aromatherapy. It contains phenol compounds that can relieve anxiety, and they sedate to a relatively less extent than diazepam, which is the common medication for anxiety.


In the field of ayurvedic medicine, patchouli oil is used to help relieve depression, anxiety, and stress. Patchouli is also thought to enhance calmness & relaxation, though most of the shreds of evidence backing this are just anecdote for now.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm oil is known to have a fresh aroma that uplifts mood, and the oil has a soothing and restorative effect in aromatherapy. A 2011 study from a trusted source stated that lemon balm oil can help with anxiety disorders at mild and moderate levels.


Fennel oil is characterized by an anisic aroma, while it’s very useful for treating various side effects of anxiety including digestive problems. It may likely help to relieve anxiety and other conditions associated with menopause.


 Sweet marjoram is assumed to have the capability of calming nervousness and any feelings of anxiety. It is used to relieve headaches that may be associated with anxiety. The effectiveness of this oil for the management of anxiety is only backed by little scientific pieces of evidence.

Orange Oil

Orange essential oil is assumed to be very useful for pregnant women, as a study done in 2015 has suggested that this oil may effectively reduce anxiety in the time of labor.

Myrrh Oil

Myrrh essential oil is identical to lavender oil, and this oil has a characteristic woody scent. Generally, it can help to reduce feelings of stress and get you relaxed.


Eucalyptus essential is comparable with peppermint oil, and this oil contains menthol, a compound known to have a cooling effect. It may consequently relieve body aches and persisting tension, and can, therefore, enhance relaxation and help to suppress anxiety.

Peppermint Organic Oil

Peppermint oil contains menthol which has been proven to effectively relieve tension as well as discomfort, while these can resultantly make one more calm and very relaxed.

Lemongrass Oil

Even though the researches on lemongrass oil is slightly limited, yet a certain study in 2015 has shown that it may likely provide a quick response to relieve tension and anxiety.

Tea Tree Oil

Although there isn’t substantial research on it, tea tree oil is believed to reduce stress and even boost immunity and prevent sickness.


Neroli essential oil is from the tree of bitter orange. It has a sweet citrusy scent, which may possess anxiety-relieving qualities. Some researches have suggested that this oil has a characteristic calming effect, while it may help with the treatment of insomnia.

Lemon Oil

The essential oil extracted from lemon leaves or bark has a characteristic citrus scent. A previous systematic review has found that lemon oil tested in rats, likely possess the ability to relieve anxiety. It can, therefore, be suggested that people should use this oil in smaller doses or just for a shorter time. One should minimize exposure to sunlight when using this oil because it increases sensitivity to light from the sun.

How to Use the Essential Oils

  1. Even though essential oils are usually very pure, yet they are concentrated. However, lots of essential oils happen to be toxic and should not be ingested by anyone.
  1. Most of the manufacturers of these oils do recommend that the oils should be diluted with one of the various carrier oils like almond oil or olive oil. So, it’s important to always check for and read the labels of every essential oil to follow provided directions for the dilution of the oil.
  1. There are various ways by which diluted oils can be used, which include:
  • Putting the oils inside special diffusers that can be sprayed anytime.
  • Application of the oils unto fabrics & soft furnishings like pillows, cushions, etc.
  • Massaging the essential oils into a certain depth of the skin.
  • Mixing the oils with bathwater, lotions or salts.
  1. A patch test is necessary to be done before applying an essential oil to a large area of the skin or fabrics. Some of these oils can even cause skin irritation or possible allergic reactions.  
  1. Inhalation from containers is a very fast route through which the mood-boosting benefits of this oil can be enjoyed, so just turn open the oil bottle, and then take a sniff.

A Few Oil Recipes for Anxiety

Someone might just want to experiment with the blending of different essential oils to produce different fragrances and other effects. However, according to a 2015 review, a blend of lavender and rose oils for inhalation aromatherapy, helped with reducing anxiety in the group of female students from a reputable college.


Do this by opening a bottle containing essential oils, take a deep breath for inhalation of the aroma while holding the container a little far away and then wafting scent right towards the nose.

  1. Inhalation Formula 1
  • 5 drops of Lavender
  • 2 drops of Roman chamomile
  • 4 drops of Ylang-ylang
  • 1 oz. of carrier oil
  1. Inhalation Formula 2
  • 5 drops of Bergamot
  • 10 drops of Lavender
  • 5 drops of Neroli
  • 5 drops of Ravensara
  • 1 oz. of carrier oil


The use of a diffuser serves a very easy way to continually get the benefits offered by essential oils.

  1. Diffuser Formula 1
  • 3 drops of Basil
  • 5 drops of Clary sage
  • 4 drops of Geranium
  • 2 drops of Sandalwood
  • 5 drops of Ylang-ylang
  1. Diffuser Formula 2
  • 2 drops of Geranium
  • 9 drops of Lavender
  • 3 drops of Lemon

Bath or a Soak: 

A nice bath can be taken before starting a new day or at night after the activities for that day, to prepare the mind and body for sleep, which can help relieve stress or anxiety.

  1. Bath Formula 1
  • 2 drops of Clary sage
  • 3 drops of Lavender
  • 2 drops of Marjoram
  • 2 drops of Roman chamomile
  • 3 drops of Ylang-ylang
  • 1 oz. of carrier oil
  1. Bath Formula 2
  • 2 drops of Basil
  • 2 drops of Bergamot
  • 2 drops of Geranium
  • 3 drops of Lavender
  • 3 drops of Ylang-ylang
  • Try to add 1/4 of honey, milk or one carrier oil.


You can just take a massage with essential oils after a shower or tell someone to help you with a massage. You can get a better massage from a professional instead, with your oil blend.

  1. Massage Formula 1
  • 3 drops of Clary sage
  • 4 drops of Frankincense
  • 12 drops of Lavender
  • 6 drops of Ylang-ylang
  1. Massage Formula 2
  • 2 drops of Basil
  • 2 drops of Bergamot
  • 2 drops of Geranium
  • 8 drops of Lavender
  • 1 oz. of carrier oil
  1. Overwhelm Reset
  • 2 drops from Geranium oil
  • 2 drops from Clary sage oil
  • 1 drop from Patchouli oil
  • 1 drop from Ylang ylang oil
  1. Anxious Feelings
  • 2 drops from Sandalwood oil
  • 2 drops from Wild orange oil
  • 1 drop from Ylang ylang oil
  • 1 drop from patchouli oil
  1. Wake up and Energizer Blend
  • 3 drops of Peppermint
  • 3 drops of Wild orange
  • Any other favorite citrus oil can be used.


Cautions/Risks Associated with these Essential oils

Always remember that pure essential oils have a high concentration, while many of them are toxic as well. Which is why they should be diluted in a carrier oil before using them. You can follow instructions provided by the manufacturers for proper dilution.

Dilution of the oils helps to reduce the possibility of eyes, skin, or lung irritation. Therefore, no one should ever apply essential oils that are undiluted to their eyes or skin.  

The major signs that can be noticed from skin irritation or allergic reactions to certain essential oils include:

  • blotchy skin
  • redness
  • itching
  • pain

Before the complete application of diluted essential oil on the skin, it’s best to perform a patch test. In case there is a skin reaction, clean the area with warm water and soap, then discontinue the use of the oil.

It is a fact that essential oils are not safe for every single person. Therefore, speak with your doctor before choosing an essential oil for usage if you are pregnant, a nursing mother or have any underlying medical problem. Consult the doctor before you also use essential oils on your children.

Importantly, note that not all of those essential oils end up being created equally. Therefore, ensure to only buy from reputable sources.



From a general perspective, essential oils are characterized by scents and manufacturers do extract these liquids from different plants. Many persons have even discovered that essential oils used for aromatherapy can help to enhance relaxation, cause relief from stress & anxiety. Moreover, the greater part of the evidence provided by scientific study to back up the anxiety-relieving qualities of the essential oils are from animal studies. For confirmation and a better understanding of these pieces of evidence, researchers have to carry out many more studies on human subjects.

Always remember that essential oils should be diluted in the right carrier oil before using them. It’s better to test essential oils on a small part of the skin before trying to apply them on a larger part of the body. This is because these oils occasionally irritate the skin or various allergic reactions.  

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