The Best Essential Oils for Anxiety Relief

Updated: May 26

My panic attacks always come out of nowhere. Whether it’s from something I see on T.V., or one of my kids accidentally drops something and it makes a loud noise, or simply from physical pain due to my back injury; an anxiety attack tends to come on faster than I can stop it. My whole body tightens up, my chest hurts, I feel like I can’t breathe, and worst of all I feel paralyzed. If you also struggle with anxiety, you know just how intense an attack can feel, and how greatly anxiety in general can impact otherwise simple tasks.

It’s during the most intense panic attacks that I have no choice but to breath through it and wait for it to pass. I feel exhausted afterwards, sometimes irrationally afraid, and it takes a while for my body to calm down.

Though over the years, I’ve learned to at least manage the anxiety. I’ve chosen to take a natural and holistic approach through a combination of mental exercises, a healthier diet, physical therapy for my back, herbal remedies, and aromatherapy. I’ll cover all of these tips more thoroughly in a series of blog posts, but for this blog, I want to focus on which essential oils are best for easing anxiety.

It’s commonly known that lavender helps with anxiety, but there are several other scents that can help promote a sense of calm and relaxation.

The Top Essential Oils for Anxiety Relief

  • Lavender Essential Oil - Lavender has long-been used to reduce stress, alleviate insomnia, and calm agitation. It’s very effective when breathed in or applied topically. This makes a bath and body product or aromatherapy roller ideal for applying lavender.

  • Chamomile Essential Oil - Ingesting chamomile can have a sedative and tension-relieving effect. When inhaled, the scent of chamomile can lift your mood, promote a sense of calm, and may promote more restful sleep. A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology found that chamomile relieved mild symptoms associated with general anxiety disorder. While a cup of chamomile tea is best for relaxing your body, a chamomile essential oil that you can smell more strongly is best for alleviating anxiety.

  • Clary Sage Essential Oil - Clary Sage is an antidepressant and an effective natural remedy for anxiety with no associated side effects. A study on the antidepressant effect of multiple essential oils concluded that clary sage essential oil had the strongest anti-stress effect as well as the potential to increase dopamine levels. This can have both a relaxing and mood boosting effect.

  • Ylang Ylang Essential Oil - The floral-scented ylang ylang essential oil can quickly bring a sense of calm, which makes it great for alleviating anxiety in the moment. Use it in an aromatherapy roller for portable and instant relief.

  • Geranium Essential Oil - There are numerous benefits of geranium essential oil. In regards to anxiety and depression, geranium can improve mood and mental function. When some level of anxiety is always present, it can certainly affect concentration and work performance. Geranium is ideal for adding to a lavender and/or clary sage aromatherapy blend to help you stay both calm and more focused.

  • Melissa Essential Oil - Also known as lemon balm, Melissa essential oil has been traditionally used to treat conditions like insomnia, migraines, anxiety, hypertension, and more. Its mood-boosting and sedative properties can create a sense of peace and calm.

  • Fennel Essential Oil- While it's most commonly known for it's ability to help with a number of digestive issues, fennel essential oil can also be used to relieve stress and anxiety. Similar to the geranium essential oil, fennel can help improve mental clarity and focus and promotes a sense of tranquility and peace.

  • Palma Rosa Essential Oil - There are many health benefits of palma rosa, but when used specifically in aromatherapy this essential oil relaxes muscles and nerves, which can greatly help with alleviating anxiety.

While I love to take a relaxing bath to help with tension and anxiety, or to massage with a scented body oil in the evening, I prefer the immediate and convenient benefits of using an aromatherapy roller during the day. And while I can't always prevent a panic attack, I do know that whenever I keep my overall anxiety levels down, my panic attacks are less frequent and less intense.

My favorite aromatherapy roller for everyday use as well as for immediate relief is the De-Stress Rescue Roll-On essential oil blend by La Bohemia Natural. It has a wonderful light floral scent and contains every one of the essential oils mentioned above, and it's the perfect size to fit in a small purse!

Whether you prefer to incorporate essential oils with a bath or massage, a diffuser or a roller; go beyond traditional lavender and add in some of the other oils mentioned above for more effective anxiety relief.

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The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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