When it comes to mental illness, I carry a diagnosis of major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD. I have a Master’s degree in psychology, and I believe strongly in talk therapy and medication, as appropriate, for mental health treatment. A year ago, could I have imagined a time when I’d be recommending essential oils for anxiety? Not really. I’ve been very skeptical of essential oils, especially when people try to hawk them as a miracle cure for something. I blocked a Facebook friend who was trying to suggest, while my father was still alive, that he shouldn’t be doing chemotherapy and radiation, but he should be changing his diet and using essential oils to get better.
But peppermint oil was my “gateway drug” into the world of essential oils. I’ve used it for over a year to address my various aches and pains. And then I recently became a Young Living distributor, and I’ve been experimenting wildly with various essential oil blends for what ails me.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and nothing in this post is to be construed as medical advice. I am only relating things that have worked for me and my own anxiety. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Essential Oils for Anxiety that Let Me Skip an Emergency Valium
While I currently have a prescription for Valium that has me taking one pill every night before bed – to prevent ruminations that contribute to insomnia – that prescription also allows for taking additional pills “as needed” to treat panic attacks or other acute anxiety.
At the time I’m writing this post, I had a screening mammogram and ultrasound a week and a half ago. After my previous breast cancer scare, the knowledge that this was a screening mammogram instead of a diagnostic mammogram was somewhat comforting. But that didn’t stop me from parking at Capital Imaging and starting to feel the panic rising…and I was still in a highly anxious state after I got home, even though they didn’t indicate that there was anything to be concerned about.
I was so anxious that I felt a panic attack was inevitable, but I also didn’t want to have to take a Valium unless that panic attack actually began. I remained on the edge of a panic attack for a few hours before I asked for advice on essential oils for anxiety among my fellow Young Living distributors. As it turns out, my Premium Starter Kit contained exactly what I needed: Stress Away. Adding a few drops of Stress Away to my diffuser was enough to bring me back to my baseline mental state without prescription medication. (Your mileage may vary.)
Stress Away is one of Young Living’s proprietary blends, but it contains:
- Copaifera reticulata (copaiba) oil
- Citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil
- Cedrus atlantica (Cedarwood) bark oil
- Vanilla planifolia (vanilla) absolute
- Ocotea quixos (ocotea) oil
- Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil
I am highly sensitive to smells, and while it is not my favorite scent, Stress Away is still quite pleasant. This is important to me, as I can’t tolerate beneficial essential oil blends if the scent turns my stomach.
For someone like me who has to take a lot of medication for a lot of different reasons, it’s a blessing to find symptom relief from natural remedies like essential oils.
Essential Oils for Anxiety when It’s Still Low-Level
There are a lot of essential oils that have calming effects and can help with low-level anxiety, at least from the books and websites I’ve consulted for my own research purposes. Again, none of this is medical advice, and the FDA doesn’t regulate essential oils, but this is information people have passed down from times before we had modern Western medicine. Here’s a list of some essential oils that can help with anxiety:
- Balsam fir oil
- Basil oil + !
- Bergamot oil *
- Clary sage oil +
- Frankincense oil
- Jasmine oil
- Juniper oil +
- Lavender oil
- Lemon oil *
- Lemongrass oil !
- Mandarin oil
- Myrrh oil +
- Neroli oil
- Orange oil
- Roman chamomile oil
- Rose oil +
- Sandalwood oil
- Tea tree oil
- Thyme oil ^
- Vetiver oil
- Ylang ylang oil
* avoid direct sunlight after use
+ not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
! may cause skin sensitivity
^ not recommended for people with high blood pressure
I have an Etsy store called Better Bath Blends which, at the time of writing this blog post, contains a single limited-run introductory product: SOOTHING Epsom Salt and Essential Oils Bath Blend. It contains Epsom salt, baking soda, and the following essential oils: Frankincense, Eucalyptus Globulus, Eucalyptus Radiata, Eucalyptus Citriodora, Myrtle, Black Spruce, Peppermint, Pine, Lavender, Marjoram, and Cypress.
How to Buy These Essential Oils for Anxiety
If you are interested in becoming a Young Living customer or distributor – distributors get to buy products at the wholesale price instead of the retail price – please use the links in this sentence. To become a distributor, you need to buy the Premium Starter Kit. The good news? The Premium Starter Kit contains the Stress Away and the bottles of oil you need to make my SOOTHING Bath Blend. (But I don’t give away the exact recipe for SOOTHING unless you sign up as a customer or distributor below me. It’s not hard to figure out which oils I use, but the balance is something I can help you with.)
Stress Away costs $39.14 (retail) as of December 2017. The ingredients for SOOTHING would cost $110.20 (retail) as of December 2017 if ordered separately from the Young Living catalog. The Premium Starter Kit that I bought (with the Dewdrop diffuser) cost me $160. If you’d like to experiment with your own essential oils for anxiety, it’s a lot more cost-effective to get the kit than it would be to buy the oils individually, as you get so much more. (So much more = 8 other bottles of essential oils, assorted product samples, some business supplies, and the diffuser, which retails for $83.88 as of December 2017.)
Am I trying to sell you something here? Well, yes. But I wouldn’t be trying to do so if I couldn’t personally attest to how much I’ve benefited from the specific products I called out by name in bold! Could you try buying other brands of essential oils based on the information I’ve provided here. Sure. But I can’t vouch for the quality of other brands.
Can Essential Oils Cure Anxiety?
Heck no! I’m still in therapy, and I still take multiple prescription medications for my anxiety, but essential oils have allowed me to personally reduce the amount of anxiety medication I’ve needed to take, and every little bit helps.