I recently came across an exciting article that discussed the top 12 preferred oils used by Aromatherapists to treat emotional upset, anxiety and depression. Though I had my own notions on what I believe works "best", it was very interesting to read about positive outcomes in the experiences of other trained practitioners.
In 2020, the Healing Fragrances School of Aromatherapy conducted a survey via social media intending to investigate whether "Aromatherapy Via Inhalation is a supportive method in helping individuals cope with stress, anxiety, depression, and emotional upset"
The survey concluded that out of 420 clients, 374 had "good to excellent results" with the most common oils used being Bergamot, Lavender, Ylang-Ylang, Vetiver, Sweet Orange, Sandalwood, Melissa, Roman Chamomile, Neroli, Frankincense, Rose and Mandarin/ Tangerine.
Let's take a closer look at those 12 and why it is that they come out on top...
Bergamot, Citrus bergamia
Expressed from the rind of the fresh fruit, bergamot has a delicate fruity, citrus scent with a herbaceous undertone. It contains the compounds d-limonene, linalool, and linalyl acetate, all of which are known for their anxiolytic and stress-relieving properties.
Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia
Produced by the steam distillation of the flowering tops, it could be called the mainstay of traditional aromatherapy. It's also one of the oils with the most scholarly data, being involved in countless studies. Its main constituents are linalool and linalyl acetate (do you see a pattern forming?) and it can be balancing or "adaptogenic" meaning that it is either calming or sedating depending on your needs. Lavender's beautiful, floral and herbal scent is unmistakable.
Ylang Ylang, Cananga odorata
The chemical profile of Ylang-Ylang has an affinity for quelling a racing heart during times of stress or panic. It may also help reduce blood pressure due to its relaxing effect on the sympathetic nervous system.Its full, floral scent is exotic and lends a unique base note to the blend, but can cause headaches when used in excess
Vetiver, Vetiveria zizanioides
Also known as the "Oil of Tranquility", vetiver is steam distilled from the plant roots. This thick, viscous, rich oil has a smoky aroma that is grounding and gently sedating.
Vetiver is lovely and effective for mediation or when extra focus is needed.
Neroli, Citrus aurantium var amara
Steam-distilled flowers from the bitter orange tree give us this precious essential oil used to comfort and console in times of situational anxiety, and also bring inspiration to the spirit. Its chemical profile brings linalool and d-limonene yet again making it an ideal overall tonic for the mind.
Sweet Orange, Citrus sinensis
Expressed from the fresh fruit peel, sweet orange brings brightness and positivity to any blend and has an overall balancing effect on the systems, especially the digestive system. Comprised mainly of limonene, sweet orange uplifts the mood and chases away negativity.
Melissa, Melissa officinalis
Steam distilled from the leaves and flowering tops, Melissa is another of nature's dear essential oils. High in b-caryophyllene, it brings anxiolytic and antidepressant qualities. Its high price point is due to the large amount of plant material needed to yield the essential oil, much like jasmine or rose absolutes. Melissa is renowned for its ability to calm the nerves and uplift during times of emotional exhaustion.
Sandalwood, Santalum album
Sandalwood is considered to be vulnerable/endangered so care and consideration are needed when choosing a supplier. Santalum album is now being replaced with Santalum spicatum or Santalum paniculatum, but the chemical profile remains similar as do its effects. Sandalwood gives us emotional stability and encourages depth of mediation and inner peace
Frankincense, Boswellia carterii
Gentle and extremely versatile, Frankincense gives us healing both outward and inward. It supports us during anxiety, grief, and crises of self. Enhances mediation and encourages transformation.
Tangerine, Citrus reticulata
Tangerine helps to revive stagnant energy, soothe and relieve times of stress, and brings support and comfort during grief or loss.
Rose, Rosa damascena
Like Melissa and Jasmine, Rose is precious and expensive. If afforded, Rose brings beauty and confidence both inward and outward. It soothes the emotions in times of shock, grief, or despair, connecting with our hearts on the energetic level to heal and console.
Roman Chamomile, Chamaemelum Nobile
Roman Chamomile with its apple-like aroma is renowned for its anti-inflammatory actions- this is also true in times of flared emotions such as anger and irritability. It's sedative and tonic to the nervous system, aiding in restful sleep and calming during times of worry or overthinking.
You can find the FULL article HERE if you'd like to read more.
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