10 Essential Oils to Reduce Anxiety: Breath In, Breathe Out


1. Bergamot

This essential oil is made from bergamot oranges which are a mix of bitter oranges and lemons. Inhaling berg' may help reduce anxiety symptoms.

According to a 2019 review, breathing in Bergamo may reduce stress better than rest.

A 2013 study found that bergamot and other essential oils can relieve anxiety by telling your brain to release the "happy hormones", serotonin, and dopamine.

Use it: Apply a few drops to a cotton ball or handkerchief and then inhale deeply. When you feel anxiety coming on, pull the item out and inhale deeply.

2. Jasmine

There is not much research on the use of jasmine essential oils for anxiety. It is often used in fragrances, lotions, and sexual wellness products. It smells sweet and musky like you're in a tropical garden on a warm night in Tahiti.

Science has shown that jasmine's scent can increase your sense of well-being. Research also confirms that jasmine has been used for centuries to induce calm feelings.

Diffusing jasmine can help with anxiety if you feel like your anxiety is the opposite of calm and happy.

Use it: Simply open the bottle and inhale that wonderful scent. You can also add a few drops to your pillowcase before you go to bed.

3. Holy basil

Holy basil or tulsi is the name of this minty, spicy essential oil. It could be your panic-preventing sidekick. According to research, tulsi consumption could result in a 31% to 29% reduction in stress levels for some people.

Anxiety can cause panic attacks, worry, hypertension, and anxiety in anyone. Stress can be relieved by using holy basil to get rid of it.

Use it as an aromatherapy diffuser: Add 2-3 drops to your diffuser, and let it run for the entire day. This scent is powerful, so start small.

4. Rose

Want to soothe anxiety and smell like an enchanted forest? Relaxing rose essential oil is your best friend.

An older 2014 study found that pregnant women who used rose oil in a footbath had less anxiety than those who used water.

An analysis from 2017 concluded that although more research is needed to confirm the relaxing and anti-anxiety properties of rose oil.

Use it: Mix a few drops with rose oil to make a non-scented shea butter or lotion. Apply it to your skin and take a deep inhale. You can also use warm water to soak your feet. Ahhhh...

5. Frankincense

Frankincense essential oil is made from Boswellia tree sticky resin. It smells woody and warm. It may also contain musk notes.

Frankincense oil, like many other anxiety treatments, is supported more by anecdotes rather than science. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that it won't reduce generalized anxiety. The jury is still out.

2020 Review found that aromatherapy with frankincense significantly reduced anxiety in women giving birth.

Use it: You can diffuse it! For an anxiety-soothing massage, you can also use diluted frankincense oil to bathe your feet or hands.

6. Clary Sage

Clary sage has been used for anxiety treatment for many years. However, there aren't many studies that have shown how this essential oil works.

Here are our findings:

Inhaling clary-sage essential oil, a 2017 study showed that it increased oxytocin levels, a hormone linked to trust and security.

It can also regulate cortisol which is a stress hormone. A 2015 study found this.

The bottom line: Clary Sage might not be able to eliminate all anxiety but it can help you feel more secure and calm.

Use it: Place it in the diffuser, and take deep breaths.

7. Patchouli

Most people associate musky patchouli with and '60s Hippie culture. Traditional Ayurvedic medicine uses patchouli to treat high stress and anxiety.

Research on patchouli and anxiety, as with many of these oils is limited. However, the oil is well-respected for its ability to promote relaxation.

2020 Study: Nurses who inhaled patchouli oil reported lower stress levels than those who did not.

Use it: Take a few drops out of the bottle and inhale deeply. You can also add a few drops to your diffuser. Some people prefer to diffuse patchouli oil with lavender oil.

8. Orange

You are so happy that this refreshing scent can help you chase away the most frightening things.

The orange essential oil can be inhaled to reduce anxiety, and may even help with depression. Sweet, right?

It's important to keep in mind that there are still many studies to prove essential oils can be used to treat anxiety. If the smell of oranges makes your heart smile, it may help with anxiety.

Use it: Simply add a few drops to your diffuser, and take deep breaths.

9. Peppermint

Are you feeling anxious about your stomach? You can either pop a peppermint or diffuse some of the oil.

Studies have shown that peppermint's zippy aroma can help ease anxiety and pain in patients who are about to get hooked up to an IV. This is a big deal, as a large portion of the population is afraid of needles.

It is also well-known to reduce nausea and pain with peppermint oil. Although it is not the same thing as reducing anxiety, you may feel better physically. This could also help with your mental health.

Use it: Apply diluted peppermint oil to your temples for instant relaxation.

10. Lemon

The uplifting scent of lemon oil may make you happier and more relaxed. One 2008 study found that aromatherapy using lemon oil could boost norepinephrine in participants' moods, which is a brain chemical associated with motivation.

A 2016 small study also found that patients who had undergone surgery experienced less anxiety after using lemon oil.

Even though the evidence is not conclusive, it does have the potential to reduce anxiety symptoms.

Use it: To promote positive vibes, add a few drops of the oil to your diffuser.