Can Essential Oil Therapies Reduce Anxiety? Let’s Find Out!
Essential oil therapies are becoming increasingly popular if recent trends are to be believed. Many massage therapists recommend essential oil massages to their customers for reducing anxiety and stress related pains, and lavender oil is particularly famous for this purpose. Essential oil therapies are used by many practitioners as an alternative to medicinal treatments aimed at treating anxiety, stress or sleep related issues.
What the Science Says
Let’s assess lavender oil to figure out whether it’s famous for a reason or just because of a supposed benefit which does not exist. Recent studies have found that sniffing a compound called Linalool, which is present in lavender oil, impacts the same part of the brain as any anti-anxiety medicine. This is able to reduce anxiety levels without adding any active substance in the blood. Linalool, if smelled in isolation, can have the same effect on the brain as when added in lavender oil.
Hence, people can reduce anxiety through natural means without worrying about the potential side effects of medicines. This research, however, was conducted on mice and its impact on humans is yet to be determined. Previous research studies aimed at assessing the impact of essential oils in reducing anxiety in humans have shown mixed results as well, so nothing can be said for sure.
Calm that Pre-Exam Stress
Another study was carried out on nursing students who were about to give their exam and hence were highly stressed. The study found that the use of rosemary oil and lavender oil reduced their pulse rate from an elevated to a normal level, and also their stress level before the exam.
Individually, lavender oil is considered to have a more calming effect as compared to rosemary oil. Although both these oils are used to reduce anxiety and stress, however the effect of rosemary oil is supposedly more stimulating in nature.
Rosemary in general is beneficial for people who are generally over-thinkers, as its consumption helps in achieving better focus by reducing the intensity of their thought-process. Lavender oil, on the other hand, is used for achieving relaxation.
An Accentuated Healing Effect, For Most People
Essential oils are also used in hospitals to generate a perpetual calming effect especially for patients undergoing chemotherapies or other painful treatment procedures. However, research suggests that essential oil therapy may not create any soothing effect for some people as its effects vary from person to person.
Essential oil therapies may create stimuli in the central nervous system differently for different individuals. Because of this, people are bound to have different experiences from the same aromatherapy. This is exactly why some people are annoyed by certain types of fragrances while others love them.
Try For Yourself
You need to introduce some essential oils into your lifestyle and assess their impact on your physical and mental health. The easiest way to do that is to either inhale through diffusers or sprinkle a few drops on your pillow before going to bed at night. Essential oils can also be mixed into some face/hand moisturizers or body lotions.
Other Oils You Should Try
Sweet Orange Oil
It contains the extracts of orange peel and is potentially beneficial for people who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. One study found that women who sniffed on sweet orange essential oil during labor experienced significant reduction in anxiety and stress.
Chamomile oil is extracted from the plant of chamomile. It is beneficial for people whose mind is always overactive due to racing thoughts. It produces a calming effect in the mind and is also used for the purpose of reducing anxiety and depression. Chamomile works best in treating symptoms of insomnia.
Research shows that inhaling Bergamot Oil can bring a tremendous change in your mood, leaving you refreshed and stress-free.
It is important to remember that essential oil therapies, however, should not be considered as an alternative to prescription medicines especially in the case of those who are suffering from serious anxiety disorders and need professional counseling for the treatment of their condition.
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