What causes stress and anxiety?
There are specific reasons, also known as stressors that are triggered by a certain situation or event that makes someone feel agitated and even feel anxious. It is the response of our brain and physical body to the pressure or demand that is placed upon us.
On the other hand, anxiety is the response from being stressed. It often leads to constant worrying and panic attacks.
People have their different strategies for coping up with stress and anxiety attacks, and one of the most effective ways of treating anxiety that is proven to help with stress is through the use of essential oils. Some essential oils for anxiety include lavender, chamomile and many more.
Essential Oils & Stress/Anxiety
What are essential oils? These are fragrant oils which are highly concentrated compounds that are naturally occurring from plants. These are often extracted from roots, stems, peels, barks, flower or seed of a plant through the process of distillation.
The process of distillation is done by steam or water, separating the components from the liquid mixture through selective boiling and condensation.
This process separates the water and the oil from a plant through steaming. The properties and characteristics of the plant that was extracted will then result in a highly concentrated oil containing aromatic volatile compounds which give the plants their distinctive smells.
Volatility relates to how easily a substance will evaporate at a room temperature, changing quickly from their solid or liquid state to gas.
This property is one of the very reasons why essential oils are very beneficial as it also serves as an aromatherapy for improving one's well-being.
These plants have their natural healing properties and characteristics as well as therapeutic benefits that are extremely helpful and can be used for different purposes.
Essential Oils are also referred to as an alternative medication for it is a natural remedy, unlike chemical medications which often give side effects.
Essential Oils Used As Aromatherapy
Essential oils are used as aromatherapy to help relieve stress for they are known to have a direct effect on our brain as it causes the release of neurochemical substances which regulates our emotions. As the essential oil is inhaled, it transfers to the sensory cells of the olfactory scheme which then transfers through the olfactory valve to the center of the brain.
These natural remedies can also be applied to certain places of the body, but it is recommended to dilute the essential oil as it is much safer than applying it concentrated on the skin.
According to the results of a pilot study conducted by Jennifer Edge, an occupational therapist back in 2003, essential oils applied by a massage session was shown to have a positive effect on both levels of anxiety and relaxation over a short period of time.
An effective way of using an essential oil is by using an essential oil diffuser. An essential oil diffuser is a device used that allows the essential oil to evaporate and disseminate the aroma throughout the environment. The essential oil diffuser distributes the molecules through the air, which will be inhaled soon.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender, having a highly concentrated volatile oil, can give a pleasing scent or aroma that is used as a sedative and antidepressant.
The extracts of this essential oil are usually taken internally through aromatherapy as a cure for stress and anxiety. Lavender is a great essential oil for anxiety because Its therapeutic effect regulates one's emotions as it calms down a person, relieving mild anxiety.
The essence of the oil was extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant.
Lavender oil relieves stress and anxiety as it can ease migraines, tension, and even headaches.
Lavender oil is not just commonly used for relieving stress and anxiety, it also has more benefits and purposes for different situations.
Another benefit of it is its antibacterial property which is effective for pain relief and even treating infections. It is also effective for people who are experiencing insomnia, as the lavender oil helps to induce sleep.
Ways to use it:
• Add lavender essential oil to your essential oil diffuser before sleeping
• Dilute with water and spray until it distributes throughout the environment • Place a few drops on your palms, rub and inhale
These are some of the ways to use lavender oil as a natural remedy: Rose Essential Oil
The Rose Oil, or also known as "Rose Otto" was discovered by the Persians and is known native to the Orient. They were introduced to some places around the world early on, for its therapeutic benefits and for other purposes.
It has been valued throughout history for its soothing nature, as well as their scent and its vibrant color.
Rose Oil is also known as the second most known essential oil after Lavender, known for its therapeutic compounds and properties which promotes healing, as well as easing anxiety and relieving stress.
There are two known major species of Roses which are cultivated and extracted for the production of the essential oil.
The Roma Damascena, also known as the Damask Rose, is found widely cultivated in some parts of the world such as Syria, Bulgaria, Turkey, etc, and the Rosa Centifolia, or also known as the Cabbage Rose, which can be found in Morocco, Egypt, and France.
The essence of the Rose is extracted from its petals through the process of distillation. Its essence has a strong aroma.
It is known to be extremely helpful for those who are battling with depression and anxiety as its components stimulate the mind, promoting peace and calmness of one's well-being.
It can also improve and balance hormones and it can also heal skin problems such as acne.
How to use:
- Add 5 drops of Rose Oil and another 5 drops of Lavender Oil in an essential oil diffuser before sleeping.
-Inhale directly by putting 1-2 drops into a handkerchief
-Rub 1-2 drops of oil directly to the wrists
Vetiver Essential Oil
Vetiver is native in India, also known as khus grass which has a heavy and earthy fragrance. It is widely cultivated mostly in tropical parts of the world and is considered as one of the aromatic medicinal plants, and traditionally, ayurvedic medicine.
It is derived from the Tamil word "Vetiveria Zizanioides" which means "hatcheted up" for its long, thin leaves and tall stems.
The essence of the oil is commonly extracted from the root of the plant, producing its exotic fragrance. It can be also extracted from its leaves and flowers through the process of distillation.
Vetiver Oil produces an essence that can calm the mind, easing tension, insomnia, panic attacks and also promotes sleep.
It is also known that it's qualities and properties serves as a sedative, stimulant and even as an antiseptic.
Vetiver oil is only taken and used externally.
Different ways to use it:
• Apply as a cream or lotion for moisturizing skin
• Dilute in the bath, as it also works as a vapor therapy
Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile Essential Oil was believed to cure fevers with its cooling ability back in the ancient times. Its plant and its essence were mixed with ancient perfumes and cosmetics beforehand.
It is a well-known herb in the Western part of the world. It is known to have a mildly sweet and fruity scent.
It is widely used because of its attributed properties are known to work as an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antidepressant and more.
The essence is extracted from the flower of a chamomile plant through the process of distillation, the oil having a deep blue color.
It removes toxic agents that cause infections in the body, it also relieves depression as it induces a calming effect, promoting hormonal balance and it also boosts the nervous system.
Chamomile Essential Oil blends well with Lavender, Jasmine, Bergamot and other essential oils including carrier oils.
Ways to use the Chamomile Oil:
-As vapor treatment can be used in bath
-Can be used by putting in an essential oil diffuser
-Can be diluted in a carrier oil as a topical treatment
-Can be inhaled by putting a drop or two at your palms or handkerchief
Frankincense Essential Oil
It came from the genus Boswellia and from a tree which is commonly grown from Somalia, the Boswellia Sacra Tree.
It is an essential oil which came from a tree, Boswellia Serrata, another native from India.
It produces special compounds that consist of an anti-inflammatory effect. It is also a very known essential oil used for aromatherapy because of the benefits it can offer.
Another benefit of this essential oil is boosting the Immune system, as it regulated multiple areas when under frankincense.
It is also believed to prevent and for treating cancer. It is believed to have seen a potential to fight cancer
Some ways to use it:
- Apply to the skin as it rejuvenates and nourishes it.
- it can be also used as vapor treatment which clears the nasal passageway, which also promotes and encourages easy breathing.
- Add the essential oil to an essential oil diffuser as a sedative which enhances mood.
Here are some recipes of essential oils for anxiety, stress, and depression:
Lavender & Chamomile Massage Blend
You will need:
- 10 drops of pure lavender essential oil
- 10 drops of pure chamomile essential oil - 2 ounces of grapeseed oil
Blend all the ingredients, dilute with water if necessary and massage it directly to the body. Do this 2-3 times a month.
Lavender Neck Rub
You will need:
-3 drops of pure lavender essential oil
-1 teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil or almond oil
Blend all the ingredients and use it to rub your neck for a natural anxiety remedy. It is much better to do this every night before sleeping.
Frankincense Massage Blend
You will need:
-4 drops of pure Frankincense Essential Oil
-4 drops of pure Jasmine Essential Oil
-2 drops of lemon oil
-4 teaspoon of carrier oil - jojoba or almond oil
Mix all the ingredients and use to massage the body.
QUICK DO'S AND DON'TS
It is known that essential oils have proven to have many therapeutic and natural components that are effective for different purposes improving one's well-being.
However, there is also a risk in using some of these essential oils. It is not advised to ingest any essential oils without medical supervisions.
It is also not advisable to apply undiluted to the skin as applying too much can harm your skin. It is advisable to dilute it with other fractionated or carrier oils before applying it.
Allergies may also occur depending on one's skin reaction. It is advisable to stop using if allergies occurred.
One should have enough knowledge to for proper and effective usage of the alternative medications. It is appropriate to consult a specialist or a professional first.