Aromatherapy and Stress

There is so much to be said about aromatherapy and it's many uses. It is interesting to note that although the practice has only been around for thousands of years, people have been using essential oils for centuries.

History reminds us, as in the Christmas story, of the 3 Wise Men that brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Frankincense is known for it's ability to calm the mind and encourage the release of oppressive feelings. Myrrh is used to lift feelings of weakness and raise consciousness, but it also has healing properties and was commonly used in Bible times as a medicine.

Today, people use essential oils to help promote a sense of well-being and to promote a positive mental state. This positive mental state also effects the body. Research shows that when essential oils are inhaled or smelled, it changes the brain waves in your brain producing different effects.

Have you ever wondered why certain smells make you feel physically sick and may even give you a headache, while other smells can create a sense of peace and tranquility or sensuality? Our sense of smell is a powerful thing!

Different essential oils are used to promote different moods. For example, lemon oil is commonly used to stimulate the mind to bring clarification and focus, while lavender oil is commonly used to calm and balance strong emotions such as anxiety, panic, nervousness, frustration, irritability and insomnia.

Essential Oils

There are many different essential oils that are used for so many different things. (Definitely too many to list here on this page) However, below you will find some of the most commonly used essential oils used for stress, anxiety and mild depression.

  • Lavender - anxiety, frustration, irritability, anger, hysteria, insomnia
  • Vanilla - anger, frustration
  • Lime - anxiety, apathy, depression
  • Bergamot - anxiety, compulsiveness
  • Lemon - emotional confusion, mental fatigue
  • Orange - negative thoughts, depression
  • Patchouli - nervousness, depression
  • Grapefruit - optimism
  • Jasmine - nervousness, confidence
  • Chamomile - patience, relaxation, worry
  • Eucalyptus - energy, emotional imbalance
  • Clary Sage - euphoria, elation, creativity
  • Ylang Ylang - irritation, impatience, anxiety
  • Cinnamon - exhaustion, weakness
  • Rose - melancholy, sadness, sorrow, heartache and depression
  • Peppermint - mental fogginess, focus, nervousness

Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils - What's the Difference?

Most commonly, people often use aromatherapy products such as candles, diffusers, body sprays, soaps, bath salts, oils, shampoos, conditions and lotions. However, not all aromatherapy products are the same.

Essential Oil Facts:

  • There are well over 100 unique essential oils.
  • They are pure and natural.
  • They have a therapeutic effect.
  • They are extracted from plant parts - such as bark, seeds, roots, berries, skins and rinds.
  • They are more expensive than fragrance oils.

Fragrance Oil Facts:

  • They are not pure.
  • There is no therapeutic effect, they simply just smell good.
  • They are mixed with other synthetic oils and substances.
  • They can cause unwanted adverse effects such as dizziness and headaches.
  • They are less expensive.

It is important, when using aromatherapy for stress, anxiety and depression, to use products that contain pure essential oils. Synthetic oils will not produce the same effect and you must know this beforehand. There are many products on the market today, such as candles, diffusers, body sprays, soaps, bath salts, oils, shampoos, conditions and lotions that contain pure essential oils.

It is always best to use high quality essential oils. 100% pure essential oils will always vary in pricing depending on the oil. While lavender oil is quite common is pretty affordable, there are oils, such as jasmine that can be quite costly. Real jasmine is never cheap!

Basic Ways You Can Use Essential Oils

There are simple ways to use essential oils that make aromatherapy easy. Here are some suggestions for usage:

  • Bathtub - add approx. 10 drops of essential oil to bath water
  • Body Oil - add 12-15 drops per 1oz. body oil (such as jojoba)
  • Body Lotion - add 50-60 drops per 16oz. unscented body lotion
  • Body Mist - add 10-15 drops per 1oz. distilled water in a spray bottle
  • Liquid Soap - add 35-45 drops per 8oz. unscented liquid soap for hands or body
  • Shampoo/Conditioner - add 10-15 drops per 1oz. of mildly scented shampoo or conditioner
  • Diffuser - add oil directly to an electric diffuser, warmer, or lamp ring
  • Room Mist - add 17-20 drops per 1oz. distilled water in a spray bottle
  • Mist your linens with the room mist or place 4-5 drops on a cotton ball and put in your dresser drawers or under the seat of your car.

When using essential oils for your body, it is important that you never apply them directly to the skin. Directly applying these concentrated oils to the skin may result in burning or irritation. It's always important to mix your essential oils with another oil to help them spread well and absorb into the skin more effectively. These oils are called carrier oils. You can use jojoba, vegetable oils, or any unscented or lightly scented body oils.

Recommended Reading:

For more information on the creative and safe use of aromatherapy and essential oils, this book comes highly recommended.
Essential Oils Natural Remedies: The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing

A Word of Caution:

When using essential oils, be sure to read directions before using. Some oils may cause skin irritation, should this happen, diffuse with vegetable or jojoba oil and rub in. Essential oils are not for internal use. So don't ingest them! Do not use them on infants. Keep away from eyes. If you are currently being treated for a medical condition, please contact your doctor before using.

Additional Resources for Aromatherapy

Wildflowers Aromatherapy and Gifts - We have many products that will also help relieve stress, our body wraps, spa wraps, warming blankets, stress mister and of course our famous warm up animals will help any one relax and help in stress relief.

Return from Aromatherapy to Types of Alternative Medicine

Sound-Mind.Org Homepage