Those suffering from stress and anxiety can see a reduced performance in their professional career and academic studies. The immune system can suffer from daily stress, and having an all-natural solution that can boost the mood, relieve stress symptoms and lead to none of the side effects from synthetic mood lifters can make all the difference in the world.
Why Essential Oils for Relieving Stress Are so Effective
Essential oils are fragrant in ways that regular perfumes and air fresheners are not, and beneficial in ways that narcotics and conventional mood improvers wish they could be. The special aromatic molecules that tantalize your olfactory nerves can traverse the membranes of the body and benefit the brain, hair, skin, muscles, and organs as needed. When breathed in, these molecules can pass directly through the blood/brain barrier and affect the regions of the brain that regulate feelings of stress and anxiety. Even the stronger feelings associated with panic attacks and mood swings can sometimes be controlled through essential oil therapies for benefits that rival even big-name mood enhancing drugs. In one study 1performed at the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, it was concluded that essential oils have a direct effect on several biological factors including stress levels, immune function and breathing rates. If applied properly these effects can soothe the worst symptoms of panic and provide an escape from the mental torment even better than popping an antidepressant. Furthermore, essential oils are something reputed to be ‘adaptogens,” meaning their effects can be either calming or stimulating depending on the needs of the body. It is, admittedly, almost a magical effect. For example, Jane, who is twitching and restless with nervous stress, can be soothed and calmed by a whiff of Roman Chamomile Essential Oils. Jane can then pass the essential oil infused fabric to Jim, her downcast colleague, and provide him with an uplifting effect and optimistic outlook. Adaptogens quite literally adapt to the needs of the person using them.
The 12 Best Essential Oils for Relieving Stress
Due to their efficacy in improving the mood, dispelling confusion and calming the nerves, and the fact that this relief is provided without the side effects of synthetic medication or the threat of addiction, essential oils can be the best solution for symptoms of stress and anxiety for people of all ages. Of course, no two people with stress and anxiety are the same, nor can they be treated in the same way. Providing proper relief to conditions of stress and anxiety requires treating the underlying causes of these conditions. In order to provide this effective relief, the following book contains a comprehensive overview of what we believe to be the 12 most effective essential oils for relieving stress along with copious information on the benefits they provide and how they can best be applied.
Lavender Essential Oils (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender Essential Oil is one of the most popular and widely used essential oils in the world today, and also one of the oldest. The ancient Egyptians included the oil in their mummification process. When the expedition that excavated King Tut’s Tomb opened the ancient sarcophagus, they noted the smell of Lavender essential oils, proving a potency that can endure over 3000 years. Lavender essential oils are high in antioxidants and antimicrobials, but they are most valued for their soothing sedative values. These essential oils have improved sleep, calmed the nerves, soothed migraines and boosted the mood since before the dawn of traditional medicine.
Benefits of Lavender Essential Oils
Neurological Protection – More recently, Lavender essential oils have received much attention for their capacity to protect against neurological damage. A study 2 performed in 2013, published in the Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, explained how an 80 mg. a capsule of Lavender Essential Oil can improve sleep patterns and decrease depression with no adverse drug interactions or withdrawal symptoms when no longer supplementing. – PTSD Treatment – Lavender essential oil has been studied for its capacity to treat symptoms of those who suffer PTSD 3. The same 80 mg. supplementation was found to reduce depression by as much as 30%, improve sleep quality by diminishing disturbances, and improve the health of 47 people suffering from PTSD.
- Sleep Improvements – Perhaps the most common use of Lavender Essential Oil and the plant in general was and is to improve sleep and rest. In 2015, a study was performed on a group of 157 mothers who were experiencing the effects of Postpartum Depression and the severe lack of sleep that can accompany this condition. The study was done to observe the effects of an inhaled lavender treatment which was taken four times a week for eight weeks.
In the end, those who took the inhaled lavender essential oils were sleeping better, and lavender has been listed as a non-pharmacological treatment for this condition. 4 This is no isolated study; many similar studies have been performed on those suffering from emotional upheaval who have been able to regain their rest and ease their mind through the soothing power of Lavender essential oil. Inhaling lavender essential oils have actually been found to greatly benefit the mind and impart a sense overall well-being 5. These effects can be applied at any time of the day and through the night, for better rest, peace of mind and a moment of serenity. And, it is not even necessary to inhale the lavender into the lungs. Using a personal aromatherapy diffuser and merely breathing it into the mouth, and out through the nose can be sufficient, as that allows the active compounds to cross the olfactory bulb, providing the effect.
Using Lavender Essential Oils
- Aromatic Use – Lavender essential oils can be diffused around the room where you will sleep and even around your living space for a relaxing atmosphere while you are slowing down and entering your rest cycles. Essential oils can be combined for better benefit. For instance, you may wish to try mixing Lavender with Roman Chamomile and Magnesium oils for another sleep enhancer and mood lifter. Place a drop or two at the wrists and behind the ears for an enduring peaceful feeling.
- Topical Application – Lavender essential oils are gentle enough to be used topically (See the Section on “How To Use Essential Oils Safely and Effectively” at the end of this book) and a drop or two at the temples, behind the ears or rubbed into the chest will also deliver a soothing effect. The following treatment is also deeply soothing; draw a bath and add about 10 – 15 drops of lavender essential oil and a cup of Epsom salts to the warm water, your entire body and being will be lulled into a relaxing repose.
Orange Essential Oils (Citrus Sinensis)
Orange Essential Oils are taken from a specific orange fruit selected for its content and quality of the oil. These oils are found in the skins of the fruit and this has been one of the most highly-valued essential oils in ancient times, largely due to its capacity to boost the immune system and fight off the plague. And no, we are not suggesting that the use of essential oils should be relied upon to treat any such serious disease in the modern era. However, we are merely mentioning that for a long time, essential oils were the standard of care for many serious illnesses. Have you ever peeled an orange a little too close to your face and felt a sharp sting as orange oils are released from the skin and land in your eye? These potent oils are what must be collected and purified to create the highly-beneficial orange essential oils used for a variety of purposes. However, do notice from the above just how strong they can be, and understand that, as we will mention many times, most essential oils need to be properly diluted to be used safely. Orange oils have been used to address a wide variety of human needs from oral cleansers for better hygiene to treatments for conditions such as fatigue, poor digestion, and even low libido. It can even be crafted into an effective all-purpose home cleaner. Most importantly, for the purpose of this book, orange essential oils are an important antidepressant, which imparts a comfortable and natural feeling, and an aphrodisiac. It doesn’t take the scientific community to explain how a well-applied aphrodisiac can provide a zest in life and fight off depression, fears, and nervousness.
Benefits of Orange Essential Oils
- Total Relaxation – Orange and Rose oils were found to induce a notable level of relaxation on a physiological and psychological level, according to a study published in the Journal of Complementary Therapies of Medicine, at least in women.
This study was designed to gauge the effect these two special oils had on the activities of the Prefrontal cortex in a group of twenty women. These activities are indicative of the level of relaxation and stimulation occurring in the brain and throughout the body. The test group was exposed to a diffusion of Rose and Orange oils for 90 seconds and experienced a significant decrease in oxyhemoglobin levels when compared to the control group. This characterized by feelings of comfort and relaxation. 6
Using Orange Essential Oils
Orange oils are a highly versatile and can be combined with a large variety of other essential oils to create an infusion for mental clarity, a feeling of relaxation and even a massage oil to ease the body and sharpen the libido.
- Aromatic Use – Make a spritz bottle with orange essential oils diluted into water and spray the corners of the room. You can also place a drop or two in a diffuser for the same effects.
- MONQhaling – also known by the scientific term “retronasal olfaction” drawing a slightly heated mist into the mouth, holding it there for a few moments to allow for mucosal absorption, and then exhaling through the nose, allows for the aromatics to activate the sensory neurons within the olfactory bulb. Using any of Active, Forest, Love, Sexy, Vibrant or Zen MONQ essential oil diffusers will allow you to experience this with orange essential oil.
- Topical Application – Orange essential oils are very strong and need to be combined with a carrier oil before they can be applied to the skin. Coconut, Sweet Almond, and Jojoba oils all work well. Combine this with a drop of cinnamon, allspice, and ginger for a variety of different experiences in massage therapy. About four drops are all you will need to create a comfortable and soothing bath.
Grapefruit essential oils are a more recent development than orange essential oils and are a bit harder to come by. Although the oils are also taken from the skin of the fruit, a much larger amount of source product is needed, and hence grapefruit essential oils are considerably more expensive. The essential oils from citrus paradisi receive much acclaim for their cleansing, stimulating and uplifting effects. This oil is commonly used as a topical massage oil applied to eliminate toxins from the body; especially from the skin. But, the more mentionable effects of Grapefruit Essential Oils are a clarification of mind when feelings of pressure and tension are rising and an uplifting “feel good” outlook on the situation.
Benefits of Grapefruit Essential Oils
- Relaxation and Mood Improvements – Aromatherapy featuring grapefruit essential oils allows the body to engage its relaxation responses. This causes the brain to adjust its functions and helps alleviate blood pressure in preparation for repose. These effects are directly delivered through the blood to the brain. They begin to soothe emotional responses which are an important advantage when combating feelings that seem uncontrollable. The Journal of Japanese Pharmacology posted an article which studied the effects of essential oils on the brain and more specifically the sympathetic brain in normal adults.
The results showed that among a variety of essential oils including fennel, peppermint, rose and Estragon, Grapefruit essential oils greatly affected brain activity, and induced relaxation. The adults who were given an inhaled dosage of essential oils showed improved moods and reduced stress. Another side effect was a notable reduction in blood pressure in comparison to the control group who were administered an odorless inhalant. Other studies performed on the effects of citrus fragrances have supported the findings made by this study. In studies involving lab mice suffering from a low immune system caused by stress, the immune system was restored and they were relaxed by exposure to citrus fragrances. As a set of rats were warming up for a forced swim test, a group of these were provided with citrus fragrances before the competition. The results showed that those rats provided with the benefits of citrus fragrances showed an improved performance. Not only were they faster to react and complete the course but showed better alertness throughout the competition. The results of this study have shown that patients receiving essential oils treatments may do better without the support of conventional antidepressant medications. 7 Similar findings were studied by the experts at Kinki University’s Applied Chemistry, in Japan. Acetylcholinesterase activity, affectionately known as AChE operates within the neuromuscular junctions and brain synapses to hydrolyze an important neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This adversely affects the neurotransmissions and can bring on a brain cloud, depression and leave the mind open to these attacks by inducing fatigue and decreasing the capacity to focus. But, grapefruit essential oils can keep AChE and its active enzymes from completing their work and increases the duration and levels of neurotransmissions. This directly improves the mood, increases brain function and can fight off the conditions of mood swings and mental fatigue that plague the mind. 8
- Balance Cravings and Body Weight, thus assisting with weight loss – the diet plays a big role in the energy we have for optimal performance and the satisfaction of emotional needs as well. Stressful eating habits are easily led by the emotions and can lead to negative feelings about the self. This is another place where the mind-boosting power of Grapefruit Essential oils has been proven effective.
The sympathetic nervous activity initiated when inhaling grapefruit essences has been found to have a profound effect on the capacity to regulate body weight. Studies performed at the Ngata University of Medicine in Japan showed an important connection between this brain activity and the capacity to control body weight. The study exposed a group of lab rats to grapefruit essential oils and found that the sympathetic nerve activity had a boosting effect on White Adipose Tissue and increased lipolysis. Lipolysis is the activation of stored energy supplies (body fat) to be applied to energy for exercise and daily activities.
Using Grapefruit Essential Oils
The smell of grapefruit essential oils is both clarifying and uplifting while being deeply relaxing as well. It makes a great option for the busy fast-paced atmosphere of the office and also an invigorating yet soothing way to give the home atmosphere a relaxing touch at day’s end. Aromatic Use – Grapefruit essential oils can be diffused around the home, office or gym as well as inhaled directly from the vial for instant cognitive benefits and banishment of all brain fogs as they arise. Diffused grapefruit essential oils are also a great way to detoxify the body and release bloating, relieve headaches and also relieve feelings of tension and stress. Topical Applications – Grapefruit oils are concentrated and can burn the skin if applied directly. You will want to combine them with an effective carrier oil at a ratio of 1:1 before applying to the skin. Mixed with coconut or Jojoba, apply your grapefruits oils with a cotton ball to the temples, back of the ears or wrists for an aromatic aura that energizes the mind. An effective skin toning and invigorating massage oil can also be produced in conjunction with a variety of other essential oils.
Interactions and Side Effects of Grapefruit Oil
- Medication Interactions – While grapefruit essential oils are considered “safe” for use, there have been recorded instances of this particular essential oil clashing with the effects of antidepressants and other types of medication. If you are considering the advantages of this special oil you may want to speak with your medical provider first.
- Sunlight Reactions – when using this essential oil as a topical treatment, it is important to reduce exposure to sunlight. It is generally considered a good idea to wait for a full hour before heading out to the sun to allow the oils plenty of time to be fully absorbed into the skin. Furthermore, those with sensitive skin should read the section on “How to Use Essential Oils Safely and Effectively” at the end of this article, before beginning any self-treatments with the potent Grapefruit Essential Oil.
Cedar Wood Essential Oils (Juniperus Virginiana or Cedrus Deodara)
The Cedarwood source is a stately tree native to colder climates and higher altitudes and its essential oils are extracted from cedar wood chips in the age-old method of steam extraction. Cedarwood essential oils are known for their high-quality components including widdrol, cedrol, alpha cedrene and beta cedrene all of which increase the health value of this oil considerably.
Benefits of Cedarwood Essential Oils
- Improved Focus and Treats ADHD – two researchers from Brigham Young University performed a study that demonstrated how cedarwood essential oils could be used for improving the focus and concentration of children diagnosed with ADHD. The study included a group of 34 children who were all diagnosed with this condition and administered the T.O.V.A. and EEG exams.
Upon completion, each child was given a vial with a different essential oil. Some received, lavender or vetiver and other received blended oils. The subjects were then instructed to take three deep inhalations from their respective vials three times a day for the next thirty days. The children then took a set of examinations again, with remarkable results. The results showed an improvement by as much as 65% in the test subjects regularly inhaling Cedarwood Essential oils.
- Relief of Stress and Tension – while it may seem unexpected considering the spicy and invigorating aroma associated with cedar oils, they are actually powerful sedatives capable of relaxing the mind and allowing the body to initiate the resting and sleep cycles. This is the reason cedar wood bedroom furniture has been prized by royalty and the leisure class since their establishment eons ago.
But, science has discovered that cedarwood scents and oils can greatly improve the production of serotonin, the “feel good” drug that will convert to melatonin, the “sleepy time” drug. Proper production and regulation of melatonin allow for perfected rest cycles and a feeling of calm and peace. An interesting study was performed that establishes the benefits of Cedarwood essential oils. A group of rats was exposed to cedrol, one of the constituents of cedarwood essential oil. All of a sudden, most movement in the test subjects slowed to a minimum. Another group of rats juiced up on caffeine and categorized as “hyperactive” were also exposed to this element and instantly adjusted their activities to a relaxed pace. It was also noted that the sleeping rates of these rats were increased as well. 9
Using Cedarwood Essential Oils
Cedarwood aromatherapy has helped those with conditions of chronic stress and bipolar disorder, and it’s a solution as simple as whiff away.10 Cedarwood essential oils are also valued for their very pleasant aroma and are the central tone around which many exquisite fragrances can be built for both men and women. Aromatic Use – for an immediate relief to a cloud of doubt, slice through the fog with a deep inhalation of cedarwood essential oil and let your mind unwind. You can also place a drop at your wrists, your temples or the forehead between the eyes to enjoy a fragrant aroma that empowers the mind as you work or relax. You can also place a few drops into your diffuser to create a welcoming and relaxing ambiance in your home, or use a personal aromatherapy diffuser such as Ocean MONQ. Topical Application – massaging the temples, nape of the neck and center of the eyebrows has the power to banish tension and provide clarity. Another good way to enjoy the benefits of Cedarwood essential oils is to create a Homemade Vapor Rub to Apply to the chest and back for improved breathing and great relaxation.
Other Pertinent Uses for Cedarwood Essential Oils
- Hair Loss – Losing hair is an ailment common to the stressed out individual and can be a cause for more anxiety, hence more lost hair. But, it is possible to restore these luscious locks of hair with a little cedarwoods essential treatment. Only a few drops of essential oils should be added to regular hair conditioner or shampoo, or a specialized hair treatment can be created with cedarwood and a carrier oil, preferably Jojoba oil. Once applied to hair the cedarwood treatment needs to be massaged into the scalp and allowed an extra 10 minutes to become thoroughly absorbed so it nourishes hair follicles and roots. The result is a healthier head of hair and fewer chances of waking up with hair on the pillow.
- Homemade Men’s Cologne – The proper aroma can lend an air of confidence and serenity to your professional appeal, but most of the options on the market today are synthetic and contribute to the toxins the body works hard to be rid of. Rather than these toxic options, consider this all-natural fragrance that can be carefully adjusted to create your unique signature scent.
This Homemade Men’s Cologne is easily created in under 5 minutes and requires only a few basic essential oils no collection should be without. Once the idea is understood, the aromatic profile can be adjusted with juniper, jasmine, lemon, cinnamon, cypress, rose or lavender essential oils for an array fragrance with modern, woodsy, delicate, sensual, feminine and even fresh and spirited fragrances as needed. INGREDIENTS: –5 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil –3 drops of Bergamot Essential Oil –2 drops of Sandalwood Essential Oil –300 milliliters of 70% Alcohol or Vodka –Glass container or atomizer for application DIRECTIONS: Once the ingredients have been collected they only need to be combined in a suitable glass container and allowed to sit for an hour or so. Glass is the best and only option for containing essential oils as many of them have strong properties that can eat through plastic containers and adversely affect your product.
Rose Essential Oil Profile (Rosa Damascena)
Anyone considering the natural properties and benefits of the herbal realm will be amazed by the substances found in roses and the constituents of rose essential oils. Roses are a beautiful and iconic herb with a fragrance reminiscent of young loves and pristine friendships experienced in the serenity of a garden. Rose essential oil offers one of the most impressive arrays of health and mental benefits on the market of natural remedies. For thousands of years since the beautiful blossom was first distilled into its essential oils, they have been used to address some of the most persistent human ailments from acne to anxiety. The smell of roses has inspired the greatest minds and rose flower water has been a hallmark of delicate purity and refined tastes. Roses are a traditional expression of care and affection and it’s hard not to get a wistful feeling at the sight, let alone the nostalgic smell, of a bouquet of roses exchanging affectionate hands. Yes, receiving and giving such a gift may be one of the greatest stress-relieving acts known to medical science and it also releases powerful endorphins that can leave the depression in the dust. But, it doesn’t take a qualified doctor to know you will invariably witness an emotional shift in someone after presenting them with a flower, and if that flower is a rose the effect is increased 100X. It seems the sights and fragrances of flowers are hardwired into our psyche and something we naturally crave and exchange when faced with depression in ourselves or those near to us.11
Benefits of Rose Essential Oils
Addresses Depression and Eases Conditions of Anxiety
a study was made on the effect of aromatherapy and its results printed in the Journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. The study was performed on a group of 28 postpartum women divided into control and test groups. The test group would receive a 15-minute aromatherapy treatment featuring a rose and lavender solution two times each week for 28 days. The women in both groups were examined for conditions of postpartum depression and general anxiety disorders (GAD) at the beginning and end of the test and the results were predictably positive. Not surprisingly, the women of the test group experienced a significant reduction in their depression scores and an improvement on their GAD ratings as well.12
Improves a Libido Suffering from Stress
It could be that rose essential oil is a more romantic gesture than the blossoms themselves. As an effective anti-anxiety treatment, rose essential oil may be the best thing to soothe a lover feeling stressed from the pressures of life to the point that their sexual performance could be suffering. In the Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, there was an exhaustive study of various treatments for SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction as it is experienced by men suffering from Major Depressive Disorder. The study included a double-blind placebo-controlled test in which essential oils from R. Damascena were applied to men suffering from both MDD and SSRI-SD. The results showed that the treatment directly impacted the dysfunction and soon after libido and performance improved, and stress and depression levels diminished. 13
Using Rose Essential Oils
Rose essential oils have a smell that simply can’t be ignored and are powerful and delightful enough to lift the spirits and improve the mood. Those struggling with stress and anxiety day in and day out can place a few drops of rose essential oils in a nightstand diffuser. This can also be used to set up a romantic escape from the troubles of daily life – just for two.
If you are planning on using rose essential oils to set a mood and possibly increase performance through stress relief, nothing beats an atmosphere diffused with roses and a massage to match. Rose essential oils can be combined with a carrier oil – not so much to avoid the strength as to economize on the pricey ointment – to create the ultimate stimulating and stress relieving massage ointment that will deliver nourishing, soothing and sensual properties to the mind and body.
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum Nobile)
This herb has become a household name for its delectable and healthy tea enjoyed by millions of people each day. Roman Chamomile is one of the oldest medicinal herbs in existence and the essential oils it produces have healing properties that can soothe an upset mind, reduce inflammation, improve the skin and digestive organs and provide many other benefits as well. More importantly, Roman chamomile can be categorized as a mild sedative that stimulates the emotional responses in the body and calms the nerves after an episode of negative or positive excitement. The best way to make use of this important benefit is by diffusing the essential oil throughout the environment. The fragrance of chamomile has a direct effect on the brain and can be used to trigger an emotional response. Extensive research proves that this effect has been known for centuries and chamomile as an herb has been used by civilizations ranging from Sardinia to South Korea. 14
Benefits of Roman Chamomile Essential Oils
Fights Anxiety and Depression
to truly ascertain the soothing and restorative benefits of this essential oil, experts needed intensive research. So, the effects of Roman chamomile as an essential oil in aromatherapy were tested on patients in the intensive care unit of a hospital and compared against conventional nursing intervention. The results, as published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal, showed that aromatherapy consisting of Roman chamomile, lavender and neroli effectively reduced anxiety levels and improved the sleeping habits in ICU patients better than conventional nursing approaches can. 15
Helps Alleviate PMS Symptoms
Roman chamomile has a selects set of beneficial properties that make an effective relief to the various discomforts and symptoms of PMS. As an effective mood booster, chamomile helps alleviate mood swings that can be prevalent at this time. Chamomile also contains antispasmodic properties which can soothe the bloating and cramping and general body aches typically associated with menses. Finally, it has to balance properties that keep the hormones from going off the charts and can even soothe inflamed skin and clear up the visible presence of acne. 16
Reduces Symptoms of Insomnia and Reduces Stress
While a cup of chamomile tea before bed can help you sleep better through the night, essential oils from Roman Chamomile can improve the quality of sleep cycles and help even the most raging insomniac to get some shut-eye. This was established in a 2006 study on a group of volunteers that showed they experienced drowsiness and calmness necessary for beginning a proper sleep cycle when exposed to diffused essential oils. 17 In another study that supported this finding, chamomile extracts were found to produce results similar to benzodiazepine, a substance that fights the effects of anxiety, to an almost hypnotic degree. The sleep-disturbed rats who were introduced to a dosage equivalent to 300 mg. of essential oils per kg. of body weight would drift to sleep calmly and naturally, as if by magic.18
Using Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
If you feel clouded by depression, stress, and anxiety, you can improve your mood and lift your spirits by inhaling these essential oils directly from the bottle or dropping a bit into your diffuser. A Roman chamomile diffuser by your bed as you prepare for sleep can help you sleep well and awaken rested and positive. If you are suffering from nausea you can also find relief by inhaling the oils from the vial or rubbing a small drop on the temples. Small children can also be calmed and sedated by mixing your Roman chamomile essential oils with a carrier oils like coconut oils and applying a small amount to the wrists, temples stomach and the bottoms of their feet.
Roman chamomile essential oil is an excellent skin tonic and can be applied directly or with a carrier oil for those with sensitive skin. Chamomile oil can decrease an acne condition and nourish the skin to reduce premature signs of aging. Apply your chamomile treatment with a cotton ball and allow the healthy nutrients to soak deep into the skin.
many experts believe a drop or two of Roman chamomile essential oils placed under the tongue can promote health for the heart. It is always important to consult your dietician or medical provider before ingesting and essential oils as they can interact poorly with medication.
Sandalwood (Santalum Album or Santalum Spicatum)
If you are looking for a way to rise above the pea soup and gain clarity and perspective to an almost meditative state, sandalwood has been applied in temples and ceremonies for this very reason. Peace and harmony are the paths to greater clarity and sandalwood feature extensive therapeutic benefits to support you on your way.
History of Sandalwood
Sandalwood Santalum Album is a native of the Indian Subcontinent and has been valued since the time of ancient spice and incense traders for aromatic properties and therapeutic benefits. As an essential oil, sandalwood has seen applications in cosmetics and the production of many colognes, perfumes, and aftershaves with spicy potent overtones. It has a versatile and appealing scent that can be combined with many other fragrances for unique colognes and perfumes. But, Sandalwood is more than a pretty smell, it has benefits that engender feelings of peace and well-being while also contributing to mental health. In Eastern Traditions, sandalwood had a place of importance in many ceremonies celebrating a birth, marriage, and death and is considered a solemn fragrance.
Benefits of Sandalwood Essential Oils
Improves Moods and Sharpens Attention
The reason Eastern cultures and religions apply sandalwood to their ceremonies and meditation disciplines must be due to its capacity to enhance mental clarity and focus. A study printed in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health explained the effect that sandalwood and its special properties have on the mood and on alertness. The placebo-controlled test was applied to a group of healthy volunteers. When the test was completed and the comparisons made, the test groups who had inhaled sandalwood essential oils showed improved attention spans and cognitive clarity. Next time you are faced with a considerable workload and no time for a mini-freak out, reach for the fabric infused with Sandalwood essential oils for a trip above the clouds. 19
Non-Stimulating Brain Booster
Another important advantage of Sandalwood essential oils is the capacity to improve mental clarity and optimal function without stimulating the body as a caffeinated beverage would. Sandalwood also won’t induce a drowsiness as experienced from Roman chamomile or Lavender essential oils. When inhaled or rubbed on the skin, Sandalwood seems to impart a feeling of calm awareness and facilitates better focus on the moment.
Relaxing and Calming
Another study was performed on patients with some of the most threatening conditions, seeking palliative treatment. In the study, these patients received an aromatherapy featuring sandalwood essential oil right before being given their treatment. The results were patients who felt less anxiety during their treatment and also seemed more relaxed when compared to those who did not receive this aromatic support.
Important Ethical Considerations About Sandalwood Essential Oils
Santalum Album is the highest-grade variety of sandalwood and the most coveted for producing an essential oil like no other. Santalum Album is native to the Indian Subcontinent where they must mature to the age of 40 or better yet 80 years before it can be properly harvested for sandalwood essential oils. The older the tree the more potent the product. This makes the cost of Indian Sandalwood Essential Oils very high, it is one of the most expensive essential oils in existence. The problem is that due to the high costs and demands for Indian Sandalwood Oils the number of trees is dwindling and trees as young as 30 years or younger are being harvested to meet the high demands. As responsible consumers, it would be a good idea to ease the demands of this market and select essential oils made of Santalum Spicatum, the variety that is being cultivated in Australia, Hawaii and other tropical locations. While there is certainly a dip in the quality and potency of essential oils made from Santalum Spicatum, long-term sustainability is the goal and we can ensure that future generations are not deprived of Santalum Album by releasing the pressures on the market and allowing true Indian Sandalwood to make a recovery.
Using Sandalwood Essential Oils
Sandalwood essential oils are best applied to stimulating the mind and generating greater focus. At work, when stress levels are high and you feel that your focus is slipping, try inhaling straight from your Sandalwood essential oil vial or from an infused fabric. Rubbing a drop in the wrists or the back of the neck can also allow you to sharpen your wits and keep productive time. Before taking a regular yoga or meditation class/session is another good time to allow the soothing and meditative effects of sandalwood work by rubbing a small drop of this essential oil on the wrists or temples. Even writing daily journals or reading a book can be enhanced with a little sandalwood aromatherapy.
Sandalwood essential oils are gentle and feature an irresistibly sublime fragrance that can be mixed and applied as your creativity allows and always imparts a peaceful awareness. Sandalwood essential oils also have skin-healthy properties and can be applied in massage oils, perfumes, colognes, body lotions and top-shelf therapeutic muscle ointments too. Added to a conditioner, sandalwood fights dandruff and keeps the scalp and hair healthy and productive. Remember that the potency of your essential oils will change with many factors. Fewer drops of a high-grade Santalum Album oils are needed to accomplish the same effect as many drops of a Santalum Spicatum essential oil.
Clary Sage (Salvia Sclarea)
For an aromatic treatment loaded with essential benefits, Clary Sage has been a medicinal herb in apothecary cabinets all around the Mediterranean since the earliest medical records have been found. While the benefits of this herb and essential oil are good for everyone, it is best known for its capacity to bring balance, well-being, and peace to the female mind and body. Clary sage has special properties to improve circulation, eye health, support and active digestive system and has even been found applicable in the fight against leukemia. It is also an astringent, antiseptic, antifungal, anticonvulsive, antispasmodic, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory. Those last three benefits directly ease the discomforts of PMS and Clary Sage’s sedative properties can ease the mind when hormones are raging. Traditionally, clary sage has been prescribed to women of all ages to support hormonal balance, reduce discomfort and even reduce the severity and occurrence of hot flashes. While the medical community is still researching many of these claims, here is what we do know.
Benefits of Clary Sage Essential Oils
Relieves Maternal Discomforts
Studies have been performed that show exactly how clary sage essential oils can balance hormone levels and allow the natural bodily processes to take their course. Clary sage has been used since ancient time to reduce bloating, soothe cramping and aching and even dampen cravings and mood swings. Stomach aches, headaches, and muscle aches are also addressed by clary sage. It relaxes the nerves in ways that many OTC medications simply can’t. Best of all, these effects can be enjoyed while also enjoying a bit of relaxation and aromatherapy. According to a study performed at the Oxford Brooks University in the United Kingdom, the natural apprehension of labor and maternal anxieties can be effectively addressed with aromatherapy featuring clary sage essential oils. The study was actually performed on over 8000 women and spanned almost a decade in which the effects of 10 different essential oils were applied and their results carefully compared. In the end, clary sage took first place as the most effective treatment for pains, stress, and anxiety associated with motherhood, second place went to Roman chamomile. 20
Relieves Menstrual Discomfort
Another study attempted to measure the efficacy of aromatherapy against acetaminophen -an OTC pain medication and fever reliever-in addressing the menstrual discomforts in high-school girls. The aromatherapy included an abdominal massage with a special blend of essential oils including clary sage, ginger, marjoram, cinnamon and others with a carrier of sweet almond oil. After the therapy was provided and the acetaminophen tablets handed out, the subjects were reassessed the following day. The results showed that those who participated in the aromatherapy treatment experienced increased pain relief than those taking the OTC medications. 21 MONQ’s relieve blend helps you feel recovery with a natural solution to aches and discomfort.
Improves Hormonal Balance
Due to its content of phytoestrogens, clary sage has a balancing effect on hormones. Better known as “dietary estrogens”, phytoestrogens are found in plants and not synthesized by the endocrine system. Many health conditions today are caused by an imbalance in the levels of estrogen in the body; infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome and cancers from exceptionally high levels of estrogen, to name a few. Diets containing high-estrogen foods may be partial to blame. The phytoestrogens in clary sage allow this essential oil to balance out estrogen levels keeping the body and mind at peace and possibly preventing conditions that could turn health on its ends.
Reduces Cortisol (the Stress Drug)
Cortisol is released in moments of stress and anxiety. While a natural function, when cortisol levels are continuously high they can cause and contribute to undesirable conditions, weight gain being one of the most notable. Clary sage has been clinically proven to reduce cortisol levels and drastically improve thyroid hormone levels. A study printed in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research explained the results of a test performed on 22 women who had completed menopause and were also suffering from depression. The test subjects were provided with an inhalant containing clary sage essential oil and the result was a reduction in cortisol levels and mood-lifting effect on par with a conventional antidepressant.22
It may also be possible that clary sage essential oils can help beat back the jitters and apprehension associated with great tasks and high demands. It could be due to its uplifting benefits, or the mildly sedative properties it contains, but clary sage has helped rats being forced into a swimming competition. After a 2010 study into the benefits and effects of clary sage being conducted in South Korea, clary sage was hailed as a potent anti-stressor and anti-depressant appropriate for patients suffering from depression. 23
Relief from Insomnia
Those suffering from insomnia can also find a night of sweet sleep with a little clary sage aromatherapy. As a natural sedative, it can help the individual reach a point of peace and calm necessary to begin a healthy sleeping cycle. Some people don’t realize that sleeping cycles begin before you go to bed as the sun is setting and each leads to the next, either improving or detracting from the quality of sleep in general. When the mind is distracted and late hours of work have deprived the body of its capacity to produce melatonin, it can be difficult to get to sleep and sleeping can be fitful and restless. Whether the symptoms of insomnia spring from hormonal imbalance or high stress from academic or professional pursuits, clary sage essential oil can soothe the mind and body making it easier to nod off.
Using Clary Sage Essential Oils
The home and bedroom would be the best place to diffuse a few drops of clary sage essential oils. This will create a comfy, even cozying situation perfect for rest and relaxation at the end of the day. This will be especially effective when experiencing discomforts of PMS or other hormonal imbalances.
For a total refreshment of the mind and body inside and out, run a warm bath and add a few drops of clary sage essential oil to the water; a cup of Epsom Salts will perfect the experience. A caring mate can provide a massage with an ointment made with clary sage and a carrier oil, like Jojoba or coconut oils. This can do wonders in soothing and relaxing the lower back and abdomen in the throes of cramping. Fill a bowl with hot water and add a drop or two of clary sage essential oils, wet a facecloth with the warm water and hold over the face, lower back or belly (or all three) until the heat is gone, rinse and repeat till mind and body are clear and stress-free.
Jasmine Essential Oils (Jasminum Officinale)
The jasmine flower with its delicate fragrance and full-spectrum of beneficial properties has been a natural remedy for depression anxiety and emotional conditions in Asia for many hundreds of years. Jasmine oils and teas are a great instant remedy to panic and depression and provide that moment of reflection that imparts peace and confidence.24 Jasmine essential oils directly impact the nervous system when inhaled providing peace and well-being with its happy fragrance and clarity of mind. When used topically or aromatically, Jasmine essential oils also affect various biological processes including breathing rates, stress responses, body temperatures, heart rate and levels of alertness and attention. Jasmine also has a very seductive fragrance that is decidedly feminine, as an aphrodisiac, Jasmine has been called “Queen of the Night”. This name refers not only to the sensuality of the blossom but the fact that the flower’s fragrant features are more potent at night. Jasmine essential oils have long been respected and sought after for their libido boosting properties.
Benefits of Jasmine Essential Oils
- Relieves Depression and Anxiety – Jasmine essential oils can be used topically or aromatically to improve moods, fight away anxiety and even allow the user to get better sleep at night. On the other hand, it also has energizing effects that provide heightened concentrations as well. Studies have been done to demonstrate the stimulating effect of Jasmine essential oils on the brain.
In one study on the effects of Jasmine oils on the brain, participants underwent eight-week therapy in which Jasmine essential oils were applied topically. In the end, the participants experienced some overall improvements in mood and showed signs of increased mental stamina and physical energy as well. 25
- Increases Sexual Arousal – Jasmine oils have been found to improve the mood while also increasing sexual arousal, making the individual more alert in sexual activities -at least, that’s how it works for women. In a study performed on a group of healthy adult women, jasmine oils were found to improve physical signs of sexual arousals, such as increased blood oxygen levels, body temperatures, and breathing rate when compared to the placebo group. The women also mentioned they felt more vigorous about their activities. 26
- Decreases the Discomforts of Menopause – Jasmine oil can be used to reduce both physical and emotional symptoms of menopause. Either topically or aromatically, jasmine essential oils are a natural relief to the somewhat uncomfortable process of menopause. The Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine described a study in which a group of menopausal women was provided with topical Jasmine Essential Oil treatments over an eight-week period. When compared to the placebo-control group, the women on this treatment experienced less pain, depression, hot flashes and other conditions related to menopause.
Using Jasmine Essential Oils
Jasmine can be diffused in any environment for a pleasant and mentally boosting fragrance. For a direct interruption of negative thoughts, fears, and distress, Jasmine oils can be inhaled directly from the vial.
Try rubbing a small drop on the wrists or ankles before yoga, meditation or even personal time with the mind and a journal. Jasmine oils can also be combined with other essential oils, like orange essential oils and a carrier oil, to create a sensual massage ointment. A massage with this ointment will arouse a woman and create a night of enduring stress relief.
Other Pertinent Applications for Jasmine Essential Oils
Jasmine oils, with their feminine delicacy and sweet fragrance, can be combined with other oils to create a perfume of your very own design and expression. The following instructional has an easy to create Jasmine Perfume from essential oils. Once you have an idea of the tones and fragrances that best suit you can choose to combine your Jasmine oils perfumes with essential oils of rose, ylang-ylang, or sandalwood, all of which can work to keep you at ease throughout your day. Best of all, these carry no toxins your body must work to eliminate.
Jasmine Essential Oils Perfume for Women
- 30 drops of Jasmine Essential Oil
- 5 drops of Orange Essential oil
- 5 drops of Vanilla Essential Oil
- 5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
- 1 tablespoon Orange Blossom Water (or distilled water)
- 2 tablespoons 70% Alcohol or Vodka
DIRECTIONS: Combine all the ingredients in a glass container and allow the elements to combine completely on a shelf for about two days. Keep it safe from sunlight and store at room temperatures. Apply to the wrists, neck, and temples for a soothing and confident fragrance all day long.
Frankincense Essential Oils (Boswellia Carterii)
Sometimes referred to as “Olibanum”, Frankincense essential oils are derived from the Boswellia tree native to Somalia. This tree is known for being a hardy plant unlike many others and capable of surviving the arid climate and thriving in inhospitable conditions. The word “Frankincense” comes from an old French description “Franc Encens” which literally translates to “Quality Incense”. Frankincense has been a commodity of kings for thousands of years and was even one of the gifts the Magi brought to the child Jesus. As an aromatic treatment, Frankincense is valued for its capacity to soothe the mind and body from stress, anxiety, and depression.
Benefits of Frankincense Essential Oils
Helps Reduce Stress Reactions and Negative Emotions
When inhaled Frankincense’s aromatic properties access the body’s systems relaxing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure. While these essential oils have the same mood-lifting properties you can find in conventional medications, they are completely natural and won’t cause drowsiness or any of the other side effects these medications are known for. In one study, burning the resins of the Boswellia tree, from which Frankincense is derived, had antidepressant qualities for mice. 27
Functions as a Sleep Aid
While clinical evidence may be lacking, there are thousands of years’ worth of anecdotal evidence that proves Frankincense essential oils can help improve the sleep patterns and relieve the stressed mind of anxieties. Ancient practitioners swore by Frankincense and its capacity to control breathing rates especially at night and adjust body temperatures to favorable levels even when racked with fever.
Using Frankincense Essential Oils
Frankincense has been used as an incense for centuries, and its applications as an inhalant well attested to. Frankincense can be inhaled directly from the bottle for instant calm and refreshment for the mind. It can also be diffused for a pleasant atmosphere that is welcome in offices, yoga studios, homes, and boutiques as well. It can be used when blended in a personal aromatherapy diffuser such as Zen MONQ for a very relaxing effect.
when applied to the body, Frankincense essential oils have an even more relaxing effect and a good way to wrap up your day and relieve the mind as you prepare for sleep. You can drop a few drops into your evening bath water or mix essential oils with a carrier and massage the wrists, neck, and feet.
Peppermint (Mentha Piperita)
Another herb that has a long history as a medicinal support especially as recorded by European herbalists is Peppermint. According to ancient legends, the peppermint herb is actually the embodiment of a forest nymph named “Mentha.” She was transformed into herbal form by her admiring lover, Pluto so that posterity could also enjoy her delights. Other records show that Peppermint was used in herbology as far reaching as China and Japan Peppermint is most easily characterized by a soothing and cooling sensation when touched, inhaled or tasted caused by a 45% menthol content in this herb. This, along with its profound anti-microbial properties, makes Peppermint especially applicable in the fields of oral hygiene and halitosis treatment. The soothing effects of menthol found in Peppermint essential oils can also provide a fast-acting relief to symptoms of nausea caused by motion sickness, stress, fears and other conditions. Peppermint essential oils also have beneficial properties that soothe an upset stomach and can calm a spastic colon, also called IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).28
Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oils
Many people make the mistake or reaching for an energy drink when faced with mental fatigue, but the experts in herbology have suggested simply crushing the leaves of this plant between the fingers and inhaling deeply of the scintillating aroma. This is actually a clarifying and consolidating action used to gather focus, dispel fear and harness power in the preparation of spells as instructed by many established schools of magic and witchcraft. Peppermint essential oils can be used by the late-night worker needing an aromatic awakening. Those working late into the evenings can notice their minds begin to drift and their breathing beginning to slow to sleepy time levels. Inhaling Peppermint essential oils boosts the breathing rate and amount of oxygen reaching the blood supply. The more oxygen is taken to the brain the more awake and fresh the cognitive function. The same potent action allows a mind-beset by sadness from the past or fears of the future to be pulled almost violently back into the moment. It could be compared to the sweetest and softest “slap across the face” that snaps a wandering mind from its chaos and provides a moment of focus and clarity on the tasks at hand.
Soothing Stressed Stomach
Stress and anxiety can invariably lead to conditions of indigestion. It takes a calm mind and body to properly assimilate nutrients and energy from foodstuffs and after long periods of stress, the digestive system is bound to be affected. Peppermint essential oils have specific properties that soothe a stressed out digestive system and bring balance to the diet. Peppermint can make an important support when experiencing upsets in schedules or changes time zones where your daily eating plans are adjusted. In a study performed at Clayton State University, Peppermint oils were found to effectively address conditions of nausea in postpartum mothers, a condition more prevalent in those mothers who deliver via C-section. Post-op can be rough and the level of nausea experienced by post-partum women can interfere with their capacity to breastfeed their baby. The study showed that an aromatherapy based on peppermint essential oil soothed the vomiting better than traditional medications could.
Provides Control Over Panic Attacks
Shortness of breath, shallow breathing, nausea, these are all symptoms of a panic attack. When the walls seem to close in all around and even the clothes being worn feel suffocating the presence of strong anxieties can be relieved with a potent inhalation of Peppermint essential oils. Peppermint essential oils open the passageways of the lungs and throat allowing for deep unobstructed breaths. Those experiencing night terrors can also find respiratory relief in inhaling this essential oil.
Using Peppermint Essential Oils
Driver’s making their way around the roads late at night can keep themselves alert and alive by improving their awareness with a little aromatherapy. Infuse a fabric with Peppermint essential oils and leave it on the dashboard for a handy “wake me up.” This same tactic can be applied to staying cool and at ease in stressful situations or to control the urge to vomit if feeling a bit queasy. You can also diffuse Peppermint oils around your home for a fresh and cool scent promoting a mentally stimulating comfort.
To relieve headaches and refresh the mind, rub a drop of this essential oil on the temples, back of the neck or behind the ears. Peppermint can be combined with a carrier oil for an effective relief to stomach aches, bloating and other bowel conditions. Teething can be a painful condition, but the inflammation and discomfort can be eased by a drop of peppermint essential oils.
Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin)
Patchouli is a native of Southeast Asia and is cultivated in Brazil, China, India, and Malaysia where the superior “Cablin” variety can be found. The “Cablin” species of the plant provides a more therapeutic oil. “Patchouli” comes from the old Hindustan verb that means “to scent.” Fabrics, woodwork, and artifacts of all types were heavily scented with Patchouli Oils in the early 1800’s.
Benefits of Patchouli Essential Oils
Strong feelings of anger, fear and anxiousness have been treated successfully with a little Patchouli Aromatherapy. This essential oil is believed to impact the hormones and stimulate the production of dopamine and serotonin, which can improve a bad mood and banish depression. This is why patchouli oils are considered a sacred oil in some cultures and frequently applied in meditation and religious ceremony.
Improves Sleep Cycles and Quality
Without regular rest and proper sleep, the chances of waking up in a bad disposition are increased along with the chances the rest of the day will follow suit. Sleep cycles are important to the individual’s sense of well-being and capacity to function well. Patchouli essential oils have sedative properties and can aid those with insomnia in easing the body and mind and preparing for sleep.
Patchouli oils is the traditional and classic solution to conditions of lessened libido, sexual frigidity, impotence and erectile dysfunction. Patchouli’s beneficial properties can help men and women restore hormonal balance and return a spark of excitement back in the bedroom. Patchouli has been serving as a medicinal aphrodisiac in Ayurvedic Medicine for 5000 years.
Using Patchouli Essential Oils
To improve your mood, create an uplifting atmosphere and prepare the mind and body for better sleep, diffuse a few drops of Patchouli essential oils in your home and bedroom about an hour before you will lie down to sleep. Topical Application – Patchouli oils can be applied to the temples, forehead or wrists to create a mind-booting effect that endures. You can also soak in a tub infused with Patchouli and Epsom salts for a relaxing prelude to good night’s sleep. Furthermore, Patchouli essential oils have been used by artists, bikers and punk rockers as an alternative to conventional colognes and lotions since the 60’s if not longer.
How to Use Essential Oils Safely and Effectively
Essential oils have been around for thousands of years, but their proper application is still shrouded in misinformation and hype. Furthermore, there aren’t any well-established regulatory boards functioning to ensure each “Lavender Essential Oil” is alike in components and potency. Since so much depends on the source material taken from the ground and this year’s crop may be far more potent than next year’s, such regulations would be difficult to enforce. This means that the effects from one flask of essential oils can be very different to another of the same type. Nevertheless, beginning a treatment plan for stress and anxiety with essential oils can be done safely and confidently if the process is taken slowly and simply. This final section will provide an overview of some best practices to apply when treating physical and emotional conditions with essential oils.
Essential Oils are Versatile and Long Lasting
You will find that a single essential oil can be used to address a variety of conditions and a thorough research will reveal much. Begin with only what you know you need and take the time to learn the measurements and amounts that best suit your needs. You will find that a collection of four or five essential oils may be enough to address an extensive list of personal needs, at least at first. When used properly, essential oils can last for many years as the quantities required to craft lotions, creams, salves ointments and more are very small due to their high-potency. Sparing usage and conservation is an important part of responsible essential oil used as the source materials required to make a small amount of essential oils are quite large.
Begin Slowly and Safely
Imagine the sorrow after purchasing an extensive collection of essential oils and discovering severe sensitivities to most of them. To avoid this, it is smart, to begin with, a single essential oil and one selected for its mild properties for those with conditions of sensitive skin. This will allow the individual to gauge their reactions to essential oils in a controlled way. Even a “mild” essential oil can cause a bad reaction, so always try a minuscule amount on the back of the arm or leg where a reaction can go unnoticed if one should develop.
Using the Products During Pregnancy
As discussed earlier in this article, essential oils can affect hormonal balance directly. This means extreme caution should be exercised by pregnant women and those breastfeeding a child. There have been studies that show essential oils can traverse the body with comparable ease and can be delivered to the baby through the placenta. While some essential oils may cause no risk like this, it would be imperative to consult with a physician before pregnant women begin any treatment with essential oils. Rose, Clary Sage, and Rosemary Essential oils have been found especially dangerous to the unborn fetus. Others have been known to decrease the production of milk for breastfeeding mothers. We specifically recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding women do not use MONQ personal aromatherapy diffusers.
Essential Oils for Children
As a rule, twice the caution applied to administering essential oils to an adult should be applied to a child. Children have organs that are not as well-developed to handle toxins like an adult. It is always best to dilute your essential oils in water when ingesting and with a carrier oils when applying topically. The dilution should be doubled if the essential oils will be given to a child. Once again, it is a good idea to discuss plans for essential oil treatments for children with a qualified medical practitioner. If your child should accidentally ingest essential oils, encourage them to drink milk to neutralize toxins.
Essential Oils and Specific Body Parts
Essential oils can be harmful to the eyes and ears and may also cause complications if they encounter mucous membranes in the body. Many essential oils make good antiseptics and antimicrobials, but open wounds can also be very sensitive and direct application of essential oils can cause negative reactions. It is also important to consult your doctor about negative interactions between medications and essential oils you intend to use. If essential oils should meet the eyes, a drop of olive oil or sesame oil can help to wash the strong substances away.
Alternative Methods of Delivery
Recently personal aromatherapy diffusers have become available providing for convenience, professional blending and safety for a variety of stressful conditions. Using vaporizing technology, MONQ personal aromatherapy diffusers have been safely used for years, by hundreds of thousands of people around the world, providing them with significant stress relief in most instances.