Essential oils can be used in three different ways: aromatherapy, ingestion or topically.
Aromatherapy for anxiety is very popular because our sense of smell triggers powerful emotional responses. We process so much information through our sense of smell — in particular, in an area of the brain adjacent to the limbic region, according to “Freedom from Anxiety: A Holistic Approach to Emotional Well-Being” by Marcey Shapiro and Barbara Vivino.This is the area of emotional processing and memory recall.
When the scent of an essential oil is inhaled, molecules enter the nasal cavities and stimulate a firing of mental response in the limbic system of the brain. These stimulants regulate stress or calming responses, such as heart rate, breathing patterns, production of hormones and blood pressure. Aromatherapy can be obtained by using it in a bath, as direct inhalations, hot water vapor, vaporizer or humidifier, fan, vent, perfume, cologne, or — one of my favorites — through aromatherapy diffusers.
Many essential oils can be ingested by the mouth; however, it is critical to make sure that the oils you use are safe and pure. Many oils on the market may be diluted or blended with synthetics that are unsafe for ingesting. The Food and Drug Administration has approved some essential oils generically for internal use and given them the generally recognized as safe designation for human consumption.
The most effective way to consume them, according to “The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy,” is to add a drop of oil in a glass of water or in a teaspoon with honey. You can simply add a drop or two underneath the tongue.
This is beneficial because the blood capillaries are so close to the surface of the tissue under the tongue, allowing them to pass more quickly into the bloodstream and travel to the different areas of the body where they’re needed.
Other oral application options include capsules, adding a drop or two to your favorite beverage, making a tea, and cooking.
Many prefer topical uses of essential oils. Topical application is a process of placing an essential oil on the skin, hair, mouth, teeth, nails or mucous membranes of the body. When the oils touch the skin, they penetrate rapidly.
Since they are so potent, it is important to dilute and blend with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond, jojoba, olive, avocado or coconut oil. You can apply the blend directly to an affected area, on the bottoms of the feet, rims of the ears, using compresses, in baths or through massage.
Essential Oils Recipes for Anxiety
Easy Lavender Neck Rub
- 3 drops pure lavender oil
- 1 teaspoon fractionated coconut oil or almond oil
- Blend the lavender oil and coconut or almond oil in your palm and rub onto your neck for natural anxiety relief. You can also rub onto the bottoms of your feet. This is perfect for anytime or just before bed.
Here are some more essential oils for anxiety recipes:
- Homemade Men’s Cologne
- Frankincense and Myrrh Lotion
- Lavender Soap Bar
Risks of Essential Oils for Anxiety
Never ingest any essential oils or apply undiluted to the skin without proper training or medical supervision. It is critical to understand how best to use them. Always consult a specialist and test the area, proceeding with caution as they may react differently to different individuals, especially children and pregnant women.