Essential Oils for Anxiety: Which are Effective and How to Use Them

Essential Oils for Anxiety: Which are Effective and How to Use Them
Page content

Recognizing Anxiety

What is it like to have anxiety? This condition can manifest as panic attacks, ranging from mild to severe, in which a person experiences trouble breathing, sweating, heart palpitations, dizziness, and feelings of disorientation or impending doom. Depression, insomnia, tension, muscle aches, and twitching are all signs of chronic anxiety.

This is not only a troubling psychological condition, but a physically debilitating one as well. It stresses the cardiovascular, glandular, nervous, and immune systems, and can be a foundational cause of chronic ill-health. Alternative remedies such as essential oils for anxiety, offer a safe, natural solution to encourage a state of relaxation rather than stress.

Soothing Essential Oils

The following essential oils can be safely used to uplift mood and calm the nerves.

  • Lavender is good for anxiety, nervous tension, and depression. It also is helpful for treating headaches.
  • Jasmine restores energy and a positive outlook.
  • Chamomile gently calms and soothes nerves.
  • Rose acts as a mild sedative with anti-depressant properties.
  • Sandalwood is a calming, balancing essential oil. It is good for chronic anxiety and stress.
  • Frankincense promotes relaxed, deep breathing. It calms anxiety and encourages the mental release of past problems.
  • Neroli relieves anxiety, especially in cases of shock and severe stress.
  • Ylang ylang is a very calming, sedating essential oil. It will lower blood pressure and quell rapid heartbeat during anxiety attacks.
  • Clary sage reduces anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
  • Patchouli balances emotions and encourages positive feelings.

Treating Anxiety with Aromatherapy

To use essential oils for anxiety, the oils need to be diffused into the air and inhaled, or absorbed into the blood stream through the skin. There are many diffusers on the market, such as electric heat and fan diffusers. A simple method to use essential oils at home is to add oils to a bowl of hot water, or even to inhale the aroma molecules directly from the bottle. Keep a small bottle of ylang ylang or lavender essential oil in your purse or knapsack for quick anxiety relief.

Another excellent method for using essential oils is a hot bath. The medicinal properties will be absorbed through the skin, and inhaled through the nose. To make a bath, use ten drops of any combination of essential oils. Mix in a carrier, such as one cup of milk or water, or one ounce of almond or jojoba oil, and add to running bath water.

Aromatherapy oils are very powerful, yet their potency will diminish with heat, light, and exposure to air. Always keep bottles tightly sealed, and store in cool, dry, dark places. Essential oils are generally safe for everyone, but if pregnant or on any type of prescription medication, it is important to talk to a health care professional before using this alternative remedy.


Balch, Phyllis, CNC. “Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition.” (The Penguin Group, 2006).

Esoteric Oils

Photo Credit

photo by: Active metabolite (CC/flickr)


Please read this disclaimer regarding the information you have just read.