Relieve anxiety with essential oils
Studies have found that Millennials are the most anxious generation in history, but anxiety is not limited to young people. In fact, anxiety is common among people of all age groups. The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in US, with 40 million adults over the age of 18 – that’s 18.1 percent of the population – battling this condition.
Conventional treatments for anxiety include anxiolytics like Xanax, Ativan and Valium, or antidepressant medications like Paxil, Lexapro or Zoloft. These drugs, particularly the anxiolytics, are addictive, however, and all carry serious side effects including weight gain and sexual problems. Fortunately, there is a more natural way to combat anxiety. Studies have found that exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can work wonders in reducing anxious feelings, as can CBD oil. There is also solid scientific evidence that certain essential oils can be powerful weapons against anxiety.
The best essential oils for combating anxiety
Essential oils are generally safe, but many need to be diluted with carrier oils and some are not safe for use during pregnancy. It is, therefore, always best to consult a qualified aromatherapist before beginning a course of therapy.
That said, here are some of the essential oils that top the list in terms of beating anxiety:
Bergamot: This fragrant oil is extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange fruit. A 2015 meta-analysis by researchers in Brazil found that bergamot oil exhibits “certain clinical anxiolytic [anti-anxiety] actions” and that it can reduce anxiety in patients awaiting surgery.
Chamomile: This essential oil is extracted from the chamomile herb using steam distillation. A National Cancer Institute study found that Roman chamomile oil decreased anxiety in cancer patients.
Clary sage: The anti-anxiety properties of this medicinal oil are well documented. A study that considered the anxiety reducing properties of clary sage in women with urinary incontinence found that it significantly reduced blood pressure and respiratory rates in these patients.
Lavender: Aromatherapy oil extracted from this well-known plant is very commonly used by aromatherapists to reduce stress and anxiety. Several studies have confirmed its ability to reduce anxiety before surgical procedures. And anyone who’s ever had a bath with lavender bath salts knows just how relaxing it can be!
Neroli: This oil has the most incredibly beautiful smell and studies have found that it has a calming effect and can be helpful in the treatment of insomnia.
Fennel: In addition to adding flavor to foods, fennel also has anxiety reducing properties. It is especially effective in the treatment of anxiety in menopausal women. In addition, it also alleviates other side effects of menopause like hot flashes, sleep problems, and depression.
Vetiver: This essential oil, which is derived from a perennial grass commonly found in Asia, is less well known than some of the others listed here, but nonetheless has proven anxiety reducing properties. In fact, studies have found that vetiver can be as effective an anxiolytic as the drug diazepam.
So, if you’re battling anxiety take heart: Anxiety can be beaten through a combination of good sleep, regular exercise, talk therapy and the use of natural aromatherapy oils.
September 22, 2019