Stress has become an integral part of our lifestyle today. It can result in a series of health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, insomnia, depression, loss of appetite and sex drive. It has an adverse effect on the overall health and wellness of an individual. While use of sedatives and anti-stress medications seems to be the only feasible treatment for stress, we can seek relief from some alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, meditation and aromatherapy.
In the last therapy, aromatic essential oils are used for inducing relaxation and relieving stress. These essential oils are called “adaptogens” in medical terminology, as they can restore mental balance. Essential oils are derived from aromatic plants, which carry anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They can be used for massage, bath or even smelling, all of them bringing relaxation to body and brain.
List of Essential oils for stress relief
Aromatherapy is a natural therapy, which has shown benefits such as lowering of blood pressure as well as heart rate, thereby inducing stress relief. A number of essential oils have been identified to be effective for stress relief. Listed below are 10 essential oils for stress relief:
1) Lavender Oil (Lavendula Augustifolia)
Lavender oil is considered as an effective essential oil for relieving stress and anxiety. Extracted from the flowers of lavender plant, the oil is sweet smelling and has a calming effect. It slows down the fast brain wave activity, when inhaled or massaged to the temples. Other benefits of lavender oil include relief from joint and muscular pains and antiseptic action on wounds, cuts and insect bites. Almond oil is used as carrier oil for lavender oil.
2) Rosemary Oil (Anthemus Nobilis)
The essential oil of rosemary induces relaxation by stimulation of nerves. It has the ability to bring down the cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone. It is also advantageous for digestive system and immune system. It is also used along with carrier oil to massage for muscular pain.
3) Peppermint Oil (Mentha Piperata)
Another effective essential oil for stress relief is peppermint oil. It is known to provide relief from headaches and also promotes digestive health, helping alleviate problems like bloating and indigestion. Peppermint oil also provides relief from chest congestion.
4) Orange Oil (Citrus Sinensis)
The aromatic essential oil of orange is helpful to restore the balance of endocrine system and nervous system. One needs to be careful about avoiding exposure to direct sunlight for two hours after topical application of this oil.
5) Sandalwood Oil (Santalum Album)
Sandalwood oil is another essential oil for stress relief. The oil, with its sweet, woody aroma, has the capability to balance mood and boost immunity. It is also considered useful for reducing overall anxiety and treating insomnia.
6) Ylang Ylang Oil (Cananga Odourata)
Besides inducing mental relaxation, the essential oil of ylang ylang is considered as natural aphrodisiac. Inhalation of this essential oil can lower blood pressure as well as stimulate blood circulation in the body.
7) Chamomile Oil (Matricaria Recutita)
Chamomile oil is another essential oil for stress relief, which has anti inflammatory and soothing effect on the nerves and promotes digestive health. It comes in two forms, Roman and German; the Roman oil relieves stress and anxiety, while the German oil treats skin ailments.
8) Rose Oil (Rosa Damascena)
Another essential for stress relief is rose oil, which is very costly because of its complicated extraction procedure. Amazingly, more than 60000 roses are used to extract an ounce of rose oil. Besides promoting stress relief, rose oil is useful for treating menopausal problems and skin problems such as eczema.
9) Lemon Oil (Citrus Lemon)
Lemon oil is another essential oil, which induces mental relaxation and relieves stress. It has the ability improve concentration and treat wounds and infections. Lemon oil also has natural deodorizing properties.
10) Eucalyptus Oil
Next on the list of essential oils for stress relief is the strong smelling eucalyptus oil. It not only relieves anxiety, but also reduces mental fatigue and joint pains.
A word of caution
Essential oils are very strong in action, which necessitates their dilution using carrier oils such as almond or jojoba oil. They should not been used for a long period of time, without consulting a professional aromatherapist. These should be avoided during pregnancy and by people suffering from asthma and allergies.