Is it possible to relieve stress with essential oils and aromatherapy? People have different ways of trying to deal with the stress of their daily lives. The stress from life, work, schedules, child-rearing, and a host of other problems can lead to mental and physical exhaustion and even illness.
Some people turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with stress. Some people may develop addictions to pornography or other things to help them relax. But what if I told you there is a completely natural way to reduce stress and help your mind and body heal from dealing with the stresses that come from modern life?
There are a number of essential oils we use in Aromatherapy to reduce and relieve stress. The chemical compounds in these essential oils are diffused into the air of the home or office, and you can breathe in the small molecules of the essential oil. It is the very same process I used as a Respiratory Therapist to deliver drugs to patients. In health care, it is well known that inhalation is the second fastest route of drug delivery into the body. Only direct injection into the bloodstream is faster. In respiratory therapy, we used a nebulizer. In aromatherapy, we use a diffuser that uses ultrasonic waves to create a fine mist of water and the essential oil. When you breathe in the mist containing the essential oil the chemical compounds in the oil work directly in the body. Depending on the oil being diffused, the effects of the compounds within the oil create different reactions in the body. Some of these oils are well known for relief of stress and relaxation, as well as affecting the mood of the person using the aromatherapy oils for inhalation from a diffuser.
You can use aromatherapy at home or at the office. Since the office can produce a large amount of stress, many people have begun purchasing diffusers for use at work as well as at home to relieve stress and allow them to relax and function better. Essential oils can not only relieve stress but they can also clear your mind, boost creativity, and boost your productivity. They really are miracle substances straight from nature.
Here are a few essential oils I recommend to use if you need to relieve stress and relax. Why not try a natural solution to your stress that won’t have the side effects of chemical relief?
- Lavender– Lavender is probably the best-known stress-relieving essential oil. Lavender can be added to a diffuser, added to a bath, or add a few drops to your pillow to breathe in the relaxing vapors and help you fall asleep and get a restful night. Lavender has a fresh floral aroma that not only relaxes and refreshes you, it can also adapt to your mood and provide a pick me up if you need it. Lavender is effective at not only relieving stress but for treating insomnia, calming agitation, and improving mental concentration. It has many other uses as well, like it’s healing properties for burns, etc. If you only could have a few essential oils in your home, this one would be at the top of the list because it is so versatile.
- Cedarwood– Cedarwood is effective at calming stress and relieving tension. It has a calming effect on the mind due to its biological effect of stimulating the release of serotonin. Using cedarwood in a diffuser at night can also act as a natural sedative, as the darkness promotes the conversion of serotonin to melatonin, which helps you sleep. Cedarwood has a woodsy scent that reminds you of walking in a forest.
- Orange– The aroma of any citrus fruit essential oil has an uplifting effect that can melt away stress. In a Japanese study, it was shown that patients taking antidepressant medications were able to significantly reduce the doses of medication they were prescribed by using Orange essential oil. Our sweet orange essential oil smells amazing and reminds you of a freshly peeled orange.
- Sandalwood– Sandalwood has a fresh woody aroma that works directly on the limbic system of the brain. Sandalwood is well known for helping to give you mental clarity and focus. Sandalwood is excellent for balancing the emotions, which is very useful when you are stressed. If you need to find peace and harmony try diffusing sandalwood along with meditation.
- Ylang Ylang– Like Lavender, Ylang Ylang essential oil is adaptable to the emotions of a person. It can be calming to relieve stress, and it can also pick you up if you are feeling mentally exhausted. This essential oil has also been used to induce feelings of passion, and the flowers are spread on the beds of newlyweds in the far east to promote a passionate wedding night.
- Clary Sage– Clary Sage not only smells wonderful but in studies on mice, it was found to stimulate the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the brain chemical responsible for feeling happy and content. Clary Sage is a natural antidepressant and stimulates uplifting feelings, boosting your mood and relieving feelings of anxiety. It also has the added benefit of boosting your self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Jasmine– Jasmine essential oil is one of the most prized and hard to extract essential oils in the world. It is well known for its heavenly aroma and fragrance. It is also one of the more expensive essential oils on the list. However, it is also better than some of the more popular drugs for calming the nerves and reducing stress. This oil has been used for centuries to alleviate anxiety, treat depression, treat insomnia and cure decreased libido.
- Frankincense– Frankincense essential oil has been prized since biblical times. It was one of the gifts brought by the wise men to the baby Jesus. Frankincense essential oil has the ability to pass through the blood-brain barrier and is effective in helping with anxiety and depression. It is also believed to increase intuition and spirituality.
- Lemongrass– Using Lemongrass essential oil in aromatherapy is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety, as well as agitation and insomnia. Lemongrass can help you relax, and a recent study showed that in mice it actually stimulated a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation.
When you’ve had a really hard day and you are stressed out, nothing is better than coming home to relieve stress with essential oils.
A word of caution is needed here. Whether you buy your essential oils from us or another source, be sure and buy 100% therapeutic grade oils. Avoid fragrance oils as they do not have the effects of therapeutic grade oils. They also may contain solvents or other chemicals. You also want to look for the name of the plant species and genus on the label. For instance, Lavender is Lavandula angustifolia. This is a sign of a quality oil.
It’s also important to note that each essential oil may not have the same effect on each person. We are all biologically unique, and just as some drugs work for some and not for others, essential oils can work for some and affect others in a different way.
Finally, I get asked frequently why essential oils cost so much? It’s true that a bottle of essential oil can look expensive at first. But when you look at the fact that it takes many pounds of plant material to make a few ounces of essential oils, the value becomes a little clearer. Also, you can consider that a 15ml bottle of essential oil will last you for a very long time because you are talking about using only a few drops at a time. Typically you will add 4 or 5 drops to a diffuser. So a bottle of essential oil will last you for months, even if you use your diffuser daily.