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Essential Oils To Curb Anxiety

Essential Oils To Curb Anxiety

There are many health benefits to using essential but anxiety management is one area where they really shine. Like a bullet straight into the heart of your biochemistry, their phytochemicals can quickly enter your bloodstream and quickly relieve anxiety.

Below are the four best essential oils to curb anxiety:

  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Rose
  • Chamomile

To know more about how these essential oils are so effective in anxiety management, do keep on reading.

What Exactly Is Essential Oils And How It Help Anxiety?

Essential oils are extracted from the roots, stems, flowers, leaves and bark of some plants. Their therapeutic compounds can promote relaxation, improve mood, reduce anxiety and improve depression. Most compounds must be digested or injected to enter the bloodstream. However, the phytochemicals in essential oils, such as linalool and linalyl acetate, are small enough to pass through the skin and nasal cavity. From there, they can easily cross the blood-brain barrier to potentially relieve anxiety. People with anxiety often simultaneously have digestive problems that inhibit nutrient absorption, making essential oils a particularly valuable treat.

Ways Using Essential Oils To Reduce Anxiety

Essential oils can either be ingested, applied topically or inhaled. Aromatherapy massage however can particularly provide a quick relief. A 2008 study has shown that aromatherapy hand massages with a blend of bergamot, lavender and frankincense can effectively reduce anxiety, pain and depression in hospice patients better than just regular massage. The essential oil used has a blend containing a 1.5 percent dilution of essential oils with sweet almond oil as the carrier oil. Carrier oils such as almond, coconut and hemp seed oil can disperse the essential oil over a larger surface area and extend its aromatic effects. It is also proven that taking lavender oil orally can also be effective. A 2009 study published in the journal Human Psychopharmacology confirmed this fact that consuming lavender oil capsules orally can reduce anxiety in participants watching stressful movies.

The Best Essential Oils For Anxiety Management

Essential oils may help reduce stress hormone production and boost calming neurotransmitters. Let’s take a closer look at the four best essential oils for anxiety:

  1. Lavender

Lavender comes up top as the queen of anti-anxiety oils and there is a mountain of evidence to prove it. Over the years, lavender essential oil has been studied as a treatment for wounds, burns and seizures, but recent research suggests it may also have a strong anti-anxiety, mood-stabilizing and calming effect. It can also be consumed as a lavender herbal tea.

Here’s what research on lavender essential oil says for anxiety:

  • A 2013 meta-analysis study shows that lavender may promote the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA and reduce glutamate, which tends to be overactive in anxious individuals.
  • According to a 2012 study published in the journal Phytomedicine found that lavender can reduce anxiety by acting on acetylcholine – the primary neurotransmitter involved in higher thinking.
  • Inhaled lavender can affect the limbic system by targeting the hippocampus and amygdala: the emotional center of the brain.
  • Animal studies show that inhaled lavender can reduce cortisol – the most important hormone associated with chronic stress and anxiety.
  • In a 2014 human study, researchers decided that oral lavender oil may surpass the anti-anxiety paroxetine prescribed in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Although the FDA does not officially recognize lavender oil as a treatment for anxiety disorders, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) does. Recent research shows that lavender oil can also reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and slow heart rate.

  • Bergamot

Bergamot is another highly researched essential oil that can reduce anxiety, pain, stress, and inflammation. According to a 2011 rodent study published in the journal ‘Phytotherapy Research’, “both BEO [bergamot essential oil] and diazepam [prescription drug] exhibited anti-anxiety behavior and reduced HPA axis activity by reducing the corticosterone response to stress”. This proves that bergamot treated stress and anxiety by calming the stress response. Furthermore, human studies are also promising. A 2017 pilot study showed that aromatherapy with bergamot oil can improve positive emotions in the waiting room of a mental health treatment center.

  • Rose

Studies have shown that rose petal oil can balance hormones, reduce stress, and treat anxiety. Here’s what researches says about the health benefits of rosemary oil:

  • In a 2007 Japanese study, rose oil aromatherapy effectively reduced cortisol levels in both female and male volunteers. It also reduced testosterone in women but had no effect on testosterone in men.
  • According to a 2016 clinical study, patients undergoing hemodialysis treatment can experience a reduction in anxiety with rose oil aromatherapy.
  • On a similar note, a 2014 study indicates that inhaling rose oil can increase the feeling of comfort by inhibiting the activity of neurotransmitters in the prefrontal cortex.
  • According to another 2014 study, rose oil foot baths may be significantly more effective at reducing anxiety than regular foot baths.

The most important factor to note is that rose essential oil also contains Eugenol, one of the most powerful antioxidants in the world.

  • Chamomile

Chamomile tea is widely used as a natural sleep aid and this is because the plant contains several therapeutic phytochemicals, including the sedative compound chamazulene. These properties also make chamomile suitable for reducing stress and anxiety.

Both chamomile aromatherapy and oral chamomile have proven to be equally effective. In a 2009, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers at Pennsylvania State University tested the effect of oral chamomile capsules on 57 patients with mild generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Compared to placebo, the participants experienced a statistically significant reduction in anxiety symptoms. According to the authors of the study, “These findings suggest that chamomile may have modest benefits for some people with mild to moderate GAD.”

At the same time, a 2013 aromatherapy study found a significant difference in the anxiety score between the chamomile group and the control group. Finally, chamomile tea contains several terpenes and flavonoids that are able to treat gastrointestinal inflammation and reduce pain.

Tips To Know Before Using Essential Oils For Anxiety Other anti-anxiety essential oils to look at are sage, frankincense, geranium, and orange oil. It is good to be aware not to consume essential oils without first making sure they are food-grade quality. Many oils are made with synthetic fragrances that can upset and irritate the stomach. If you have a history of serious medical conditions or are currently taking prescription medications, be sure to consult with a specialist before adding essential oils to your regular health practice. Lastly, many people have found that aromatherapy and other essential oil applications are very helpful in reducing anxiety and perhaps you too can benefit from it.

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