Essential Oils Used in Aromatherapy to Treat Anxiety

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There are many natural alternatives formulated for anxiety like a variety of herbs such as St. John's Wort and Passion Flower which can support a calm mood while uplifting your spirits. Reducing stress will be helpful in treating anxiety naturally. Yoga, meditation, relaxing with music and a good book all help reduce stress.

A wonderful compliment to yoga and meditation are essential oils used in aromatherapy to treat anxiety. The following list of essential oils used in aromatherapy to treat anxiety and depression include;

Anise (Pimpinella anisum) has a fresh, sweet, spicy, licorice-like aroma. Anise seed has a long history of use as a spice and medicine. Raki, a popular drink in Turkey, is flavored with the seed. Anise benefits health problems like asthma, bronchitis, indigestion, coughs, cramp, flatulence, insect bites, nausea, stress, headache and digestive system. Used as aromatherapy it blends well with bay, black pepper, ginger, lavender, orange, pine and rose. Do not confuse Anise seed oil (Pimpinella anisum) with Anise Star oil (Illicium vernum) which is produced from the fruit of a tree. Anise seed oil will crystallize at cool temperatures due to the anethole content in the oil. Avoid in epilepsy, and while pregnant or breast-feeding. May cause skin irritation.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) has a fresh, warm, spicy and herbaceous aroma. Basil is a sacred plant in India, and used in ayurvedic medicine. It has been used as a strewing herb to reduce odors, and has many culinary applications. Basil is used for abrasions, anxiety, bronchitis, colds, coughs, depression, flatulence, fatigue, infection, insect bites and repellant, sinus infection, whooping cough. Basil can be added to a hair tonic to help stimulate growth. Basil blends well with bergamot, citronella, citrus oils, clary sage, geranium, hyssop, opopanax and rosemary. Avoid in epilepsy, liver problems, and while pregnant. May cause skin irritation.

Bergamot (Citrus aurantium) has a fresh, spicy, floral, citrus aroma. Bergamot has been used as a remedy for fever in Italian folk tradition, and has a long history of use in potpourri and perfumes. It benefits abscess, acne, anxiety, boils, bronchitis, carbuncles, cold sores, colds, colic, cystitis, depression, eczema, fevers, flatulence, halitosis, herpes, insect bites, intestinal parasites, nervous tension, oily complexion, psoriasis, respiratory tract infections, sore throat, varicose veins. Add bergamot to a massage blend for indigestion; remember to rub the abdomen in a clockwise direction. Bergamot blends well with chamomile, citrus oils, coriander, cypress, geranium, helichrysum, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon balm, neroli, nutmeg, rose, sandalwood, vetiver, violet and ylang ylang and is generally considered safe.

Cedarwood, Atlas (Cedrus atlantica) has a woody, balsamic smell with rich dry overtones. Traditionally the oil has been used for bronchial and urinary tract infections. Cedarwood also has a long history as an incense and perfume. The wood was burned by the Greeks and Romans to fragrant the air. Cedarwood benefits acne, air purifier, anxiety, arthritis, bronchitis, cellulite, coughs, dandruff, dry skin, fungal infections, immune stimulant, insect repellant, nervous tension, rashes, rheumatism, ulcers. Cedarwood is a good addition to a hair tonic, and gives the aroma a long lasting undertone. Cedarwood blends well with bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, jasmine, juniper, lavender, neroli, palmarosa, petitgrain, rosemary, sandalwood, vetiver, ylang ylang. Avoid using while pregnant. May cause skin irritation.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) has a fresh, woody, spicy, balsamic aroma with a citrus top note. Traditional use of Frankincense has a long history as incense. It was burned by the Egyptians and is used in many religious ceremonies. Traditionally it has also been used for skin ailments from acne to wound healing. Frankincense benefits acne, anxiety, asthma, blemishes, bronchitis, colds, coughs, dry skin, flu, nervousness, rheumatism, scars, skin ailments, stress, ulcers, urinary tract infections, wrinkles, wounds. To take advantage of some of the skin healing properties of this oil it may be added to skin creams or toners. Blends well with bergamot, black pepper, camphor, cinnamon, cypress, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, mandarin, neroli, orange, palmarosa, patchouli, pine, rose, sandalwood, vetiver, ylang ylang. Frankincense has many other names that it is known as. Most commonly you will see it as frankincense, olibanum, or boswellia and is generally considered safe.

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) has a fresh, tangy citrus aroma and traditional use: The oil is used in the fragrance industry, and medicinally it has been used as a stimulant and antidepressant. It also benefits acne, anxiety, cellulite, chills, colds, depression, exhaustion, fatigue, gall bladder, hangovers, headaches, jet lag, muscle fatigue, nervous exhaustion, obesity, oily hair and skin, poor circulation, stiffness, stress, tones the skin and tissues, water retention. To help with fatigue, stress, or exhaustion this oil may be diffused into the air, or added to a salve which can be applied to the temples and nape of the neck. Blends Well With: Bergamot, black pepper, cardamom, clary sage, clove, cypress, eucalyptus, fennel, frankincense, geranium, ginger, juniper, lavender, lemon, mandarin, neroli, palmarosa, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, ylang ylang. Avoid while pregnant. Phototoxic.

Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) has a warm, rich, deeply floral aroma. Jasmine has a long history in perfumery including Cleopatra and Louis XVI. It has also been used for headaches and skin problems. Benefits: Bronchial spasms, cough, depression, dysmenorrhea, eczema, headache, labor pains, laryngitis, memory stimulation, menstrual problems, prostate problems, skin irritation, stress. Try adding Jasmine to a blend to use while studying, and see if it helps with your memory. Blends Well With: Bergamot, clary sage, clove, coriander, ginger, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, neroli, orange, palmarosa, patchouli, petitgrain, rose, sandalwood, ylang ylang. It takes approximately 2,000 lbs of jasmine flowers to produce 1 lb of oil. This oil will darken with age. Avoid while pregnant or breastfeeding. May cause skin irritation. Not for internal use.

Marjoram (Marjorana hortensis) has a bright, sweet, balsamic aroma and is utilized both as a culinary and medicinal herb. It is considered a comforting herb, as it soothes digestive, respiratory, nervous complaints. It benefits; amenorrhea, anxiety, bronchitis, bruises, colds, constipation, coughs, dysmenorrhea, flatulence, headache, head congestion, hypertension, insomnia, leucorrhea, menstrual problems, muscular aches and stiffness, sore throats, strains, vertigo. For muscle aches and pains, and as a relaxing agent, add marjoram to a massage oil blend. Blends well with basil, bergamot, black pepper, cedarwood, chamomile, cypress, eucalyptus, eucalyptus lemon, fennel, juniper, lavender, lemon, orange, peppermint, pine, rosemary, tea tree, thyme. The Greeks referred to this plant as the joy of the mountains and considered it a symbol of happiness. Avoid while pregnant.

Neroli or Orange Blossom (Citrus aurantium) has a light, sweet-floral fragrance, with a terpeny top note. In perfumery neroli is used as both a base note and a top note depending on the oils that it is blended with. It is also known for its calming effects. Benefits; anxiety, colds, colic, depression, flatulence, flu, general skin care, headache, insomnia, oily and dry skin, poor circulation, scars, sensitive skin, shock, slow digestion, stretch marks, wrinkles. The sedative effects of this oil make it a good addition to a bath for all ages. Blends well with benzoin, chamomile, clary sage, coriander, frankincense, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon, mandarin, myrrh, orange, palmarosa, petitgrain, rose, sandalwood, ylang ylang. It takes approximately 100 lbs of blossoms to produce 1 lb of neroli essential oil. Generally considered safe.

Essential oils are very strong therefore you should never use them undiluted, or take internally unless working with a qualified practitioner. Keep essential oils away from children. After you have diluted the oil in an appropriate carrier oil you should always perform a small patch test on an exposed part of the body, like the top of the arm, not to skin that is sensitive.

Rebecca Shelly investigates alternative methods of treating depression and anxiety naturally. For more information visit Prescription Drug Alternative or for more information on where to purchase quality aromatherapy oils visit Aromatherapy and Anxiety.

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