Health Topics

How Aromatherapy may Help Reduce Feelings of Anxiety

Health Description

The definition of Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Anxiety can come about after stressful events. Because of these past events anxiety may be triggered by any future related events. For some, a word, a song, a person, a place, or thing can trigger anxiety if it relates to a stressful or traumatic event in their past. Some anxiety can be “untrained” and prevented. Some symptoms of anxiety can be reduced by using essential oils and aromatherapy.




Suggested Protocols

Please note: The information provided below is a compilation of suggestions made by those that have used essential oils and has NOT been scientifically verified with clinical tests nor reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious medical concerns please seek professional medical attention.

Essential Oils to use for Anxiety:

Oils & Blends: a Joyful Blend, Frankincense, Lavender, Peppermint, a Calming Blend

Suggested protocols:

Topical application of one of these oils to the chest and/or wrists during the day.  Some people rotate the oils other find one is best.  During evenings, topically apply Lavender to the bottoms of the feet for improved sleep.  For an anxiety attack use a cup and inhale method to get immediate relief. The cup and inhale method is simply putting a few drops in a your cupped hands or a cup and inhaling the aroma. It is best to use a glass cup because citrus oils can break down plastic and styrofoam. 

Experiences & Testimonials

Please note: The information provided below is a compilation of the experiences of others who have used essential oils and has NOT been scientifically verified with clinical tests nor reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious medical concerns please seek professional medical attention.

Becky –  I have been suffering from depression and anxiety for many years, and have been on medication for it. I weaned myself off the medication and was doing ok for a while, but relapsed. I then learned about (…), and have been using the oils to help keep me out of a slump, and also to calm me when I’m anxious.

I apply a joyful blend to my chest in the morning most days. If I’m feeling anxious I’ll apply a calming blend to my wrists, and at night to help me sleep I apply the Lavender to the bottoms of my feet.

I have had much more stable moods since. If I start to feel something in the middle of the day, I’ll reapply, and I feel calmer within a few minutes. Otherwise I just do the morning & evening things. I’m amazed at how well the oils keep me balanced.

Jackie – I have a friend who has experienced anxiety attacks?  They have been keeping her up at night- any suggestions?

Patricia – My friend uses a grounding blend and Lavender and has been able to get her panic/anxiety attacks completely under control.

Kathy – I have heard Bergamot and Lavender also Frankincense help for strong anxiety attacks.

Brooke – I have a friend also who’s whole family has serious anxiety issues.  How, and where, and how often, would you suggest putting the oils – especially on children?

Roberta – Peppermint!  I have the same thing… now, as I feel them come on, I put about 3-4 drops on my hands, rub them together then apply with a light massage over my chest and heart, then cup an inhale the aroma from my hands for a few minutes. It’s awesome-effective.  I have also added a couple drops of Frankincense to the mixture as well…. very effective for me.

Patricia – I have heard this also. Last night I had a friend setting next to me at our meeting and she suffers from extreme panic/anxiety attacks. I had applied Lavender, and I could tell the way she kept swinging her foot that I had not hit on the right oil. Right then Wendy started talking about Frankincense, so I slipped it out of my container and applied it to the back of her neck and the bottom of her feet. Within a few minutes her foot was relaxed and she was feeling better.

Thanks Kathy for reminding me about the other oils for anxiety, you are great.

Kathy – I only know from Christy – I know her kids take the clay pendants to school but not sure which oils they use on them.? Some of her kids missed a lot of school in the previous years as their anxiety has been so bad and they are all doing great with these oils and their clay pendants!? I know one uses Peppermint but am waiting for her to get back to me of the other oils and how much they use.

Brooke – It’s so helpful to hear how people are reacting to different applications!

Debbie – I have massaged a respiratory blend of oils over my chest and heart for anxiety with great success.

Kathy – Respiratory blends often have Peppermint in it – that may be why it worked!

Debbie – Peppermint alone works for me too.  I have taken that at night as well to calm down from the day’s events and especially to get my mind to quit! It is also good to do start calming your mind down an hour before bed by creating a checklist for things you need to do the next day. Peppermint is an interesting oil.  It calms you down and peps you up.

Science & Research

Effects of fragrance inhalation on sympathetic activity in normal adults.

Japanese journal of pharmacology, November, 2002;  Haze S, Sakai K, Gozu Y.

Abstract

We investigated the effects of fragrance inhalation on sympathetic activity in normal adult subjects using both power spectral analysis of blood pressure fluctuations and measurement of plasma catecholamine levels. Fragrance inhalation of essential oils, such as Pepper oil, estragon oil, Fennel oil or Grapefruit oil, resulted in 1.5- to 2.5-fold increase in relative sympathetic activity, representing low frequency amplitude of systolic blood pressure (SBP-LF amplitude), compared with inhalation of an odorless solvent, triethyl citrate (P<0.05, each). In contrast, fragrance inhalation of Rose oil or Patchouli oil caused a 40% decrease in relative sympathetic activity (P<0.01, each). Fragrance inhalation of Pepper oil induced a 1.7-fold increase in plasma adrenaline concentration compared with the resting state (P = 0.06), while fragrance inhalation of Rose oil caused a 30% decrease in adrenaline concentration (P<0.01). Our results indicate that fragrance inhalation of essential oils may modulate sympathetic activity in normal adults.

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