Oils for relaxation

10 Best Essential Oils for Stress in 2022

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  • Best for relaxation: Lavender
  • Best for sleep: Chamomile
  • Best for meditation: Orange
  • Best for anxiety: Sandalwood
  • Best for stress: Clary sage
  • Best mood lifter: Lemon
  • Best for diffusing: Bergamot
  • Best for topical use: Rose
  • Best for depression: Jasmine
  • Best for rest: Ylang ylang

Aromatherapy can be a natural remedy for stress relief. The practice involves inhaling the scent of essential oils, which are extracted from plants, in order to promote health and well-being.

Your olfactory system directly affects the part of your brain that regulates emotion. That’s why smells can trigger memories and elicit feelings — both negative and positive. Aromatherapy can help in reducing stress and anxiety to engage a general state of calm.

A 2016 review even found that aromatherapy was effective at reducing pain, when combined with conventional treatments.

Essential oils are highly concentrated, which means you should exercise caution when trying them for the first time. They should also be used in moderation, especially if being applied topically, since they’re absorbed into the skin.

There are several ways to use essential oils for stress, from applying topically to inhaling the scent after diluting with water. A general rule of thumb is to follow the specific instructions for each essential oil you try. If you’re going to apply it topically, it’s best to test the oil on a small area of skin first to identify a potential reaction.

We chose these essential oils for their stress-reducing and anti-anxiety properties. We also took a look at any studies that supported the effectiveness of these properties.

Essential oils are generally considered safe to use when used properly.

However, as with any substance you introduce to your body, it’s best to take several precautions. Essential oils require dilution to prevent adverse reactions. As a general rule, you should keep concentration levels of essential oils below 5 percent.

Pay attention to dosage, purity, application method, and any possible drug interactions. Some oils are considered safe if inhaled, but they may be irritating if applied to the skin in concentrations as low as 3 to 5 percent.

When diffusing oils, use these safety precautions:

  • Follow proper dilution guidelines.
  • Make sure you diffuse in a well-ventilated area.
  • Diffuse intermittently, typically 30 to 60 minutes on, then 30 to 60 minutes off.

Best for relaxation


Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils for beginners and aromatherapy experts alike. As one of the several essential oils with anxiolytic, or anti-anxiety, properties, lavender can create an overall calming effect.

In a 2013 study, aromatherapy using a 3 percent lavender oil spray on clothing was shown to reduce workplace stress.

Lavender emits a floral, aromatic scent and has many uses. You can add a few drops to a diffuser, apply it directly to your skin, or combine it with other products or oils.

Try this:
  • Gya Labs Lavender Essential Oil
  • Plant Therapy Lavender Essential Oil

Best for sleep


A popular ingredient in tea, the chamomile plant is known to have sedative effects. Chamomile essential oil is no different and has relaxation properties that can aid with sleep.

Chamomile essential oil has some solid research behind it. Over the years, it’s been used for a variety of ailments and conditions, such as digestive upset, anxiety, wounds, pain, and sleep problems.

A 2017 study found that, after 8 weeks, 58.1 percent of participants experienced reduced symptoms of moderate to severe generalized anxiety disorder when using chamomile extract.

A small 2018 study found that chamomile therapy helped reduce anxiety symptoms and increased morning cortisol levels.

Try diffusing or applying a few drops of Roman chamomile essential oil before bed to experience the calming effects.

Try this:
  • Rainbow Abby Chamomile Essential Oil
  • Ēsslux Chamomile Essential Oil

Best for meditation


Another essential oil with anxiolytic properties, orange essential oil is a citrus-based oil that can create a relaxing state.

A 2012 study found that participants who inhaled sweet orange essential oil didn’t have an increase in anxiety or tension during an anxiety-inducing situation, unlike those who inhaled a control aroma (tea tree oil) or a placebo.

The bright scent, however, can also heighten the senses and increase alertness that, when combined with the calming effect, can create a balanced mood that’s great for meditating.

Orange essential oil can be diffused or distilled with other products.

Try this:
  • Cliganic Orange Essential Oil
  • Sun Essential Oils Orange Essential Oil

Best for anxiety


Sandalwood oil comes from the wood and roots of Santalum album, or the East Indian sandalwood tree. This is one of the most valuable trees in the world.

Earthy and warm, sandalwood essential oil also features anxiolytic properties, which make it great for reducing anxiety.

A small 2006 study found that sandalwood oil was effective at reducing anxiety among participants. The sample size was too small to draw conclusive findings, but the results were promising.

The gentle and woodsy essential oil can be diffused, applied topically, or directly inhaled.

Try this:
  • Essence Lux Sandalwood Essential Oil
  • Gya Labs Sandalwood Essential Oil

Best for stress

Clary sage

Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) is a flowering herb that’s native to the Mediterranean basin. It’s best suited to address stress, because it can have an effect on cortisol, the stress hormone.

According to a 2014 study, clary sage was effective at decreasing cortisol levels and produced an antidepressant-like effect for menopausal women when inhaled.

Consider diffusing this essential oil to create a calming effect throughout a room, or inhale it directly when applied to a cotton ball or tissue. It can also be applied directly onto your skin when diluted.

Try this:
  • Rainbow Abby Clary Sage Essential Oil
  • Aura Cacia Clary Sage Pure Essential Oil

Best mood lifter


Lemon, sourced from the leaves of the lemon plant, have been found in preliminary animal studies to have sedative and anxiety-reducing properties.

Lemon essential oil is a natural mood lifter and stress-reducing oil with a bright aroma and many properties that can contribute to a positive mood.

According to a 2018 study, lemon essential oil had an effect on dopamine activities in mice. A 2005 study also found that lemon oil significantly enhanced the attention level, concentration, cognitive performance, and mood of students during the learning process.

Try this:
  • Artizen Lemon 100% Pure & Natural Essential Oil
  • Ola Prima Premium Quality Lemon Essential Oil

Best for diffusing


Bergamot is another anxiolytic essential oil with a citrus aroma. It’s sourced from the peel of a citrus fruit known as Citrus bergamia.

While research on the effects of bergamot essential oil is fairly limited, some studies show that the oil may help reduce stress and promote relaxation.

A 2017 study found that inhaling bergamot essential oil for 15 minutes improved positive feelings of participants in the waiting room of a mental health treatment center.

Bergamot is best when diffused or directly inhaled. However, this oil has photosensitive properties that cause it to react to the sun. When applied topically, bergamot can have a negative reaction to the sun and can potentially burn your skin.

Try this:
  • Healing Solutions Bergamot Essential Oil
  • Cliganic Bergamot Essential Oil

Best for topical use


Distilled from the flower, rose essential oil not only creates a gentle floral aroma, but it also carries stress-reducing properties.

A 2009 study found that rose oil caused a significant decrease of breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation, and systolic blood pressure when applied topically. The study participants also reported feeling much more relaxed after the oil treatment.

A 2014 study involving over 100 pregnant women found that rose oil lowered their anxiety levels during delivery.

Try this:
  • Essence Lux Rose Essential Oil
  • Rainbow Abby Rose Essential Oil

Best for depression


Jasmine oil is an essential oil derived from the white flowers of the jasmine plant, also known as Jasminun officinale. Jasmine essential oil is popular for its calming and uplifting properties.

A 2013 study examined the effects on brain activity when participants inhaled jasmine oil. Participants reported a significant decrease in negative emotions and an increase in overall mood.

A 2010 study that looked at jasmine essential oil found that, when compared with a placebo, jasmine oil increased blood oxygen saturation, breathing rate, and blood pressure. The participants in the jasmine oil group also reported feeling more alert.

The researchers concluded that the stimulating and activating effect of jasmine oil could be useful for relieving depression and improving mood.

Try this:
  • Rainbow Abby Jasmine Essential Oil
  • ESSLUX Jasmine Essential Oil

Best for rest

Ylang ylang

Ylang ylang is a yellow, star-shaped flower that grows on the Cananga tree (Cananga odorata). The tree grows in countries like India, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and parts of Australia.

Derived from the ylang ylang flower, preliminary research from 2006 suggested that ylang ylang can help decrease blood pressure and create a relaxing effect.

The sweet floral aroma is great for when you need to rest and relax, but you aren’t seeking a sedative effect.

Try this:
  • Gya Labs Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
  • Plant Therapy Ylang Ylang Complete Essential Oil

There are many essential oils with stress-reducing properties, whether you’re seeking a remedy for anxiety, a natural way to improve your sleep, or something to balance your mood during a meditation session.

If you’re experiencing severe stress or physical symptoms related to stress, it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional.

Sam Lauron is a freelance lifestyle writer based in Austin, TX. When she’s not writing about wellness, creativity, or personal development, she spends her time reading, listening to true crime podcasts, and soaking up the sunny Austin weather with her partner and their dog. Connect with her on Instagram or Twitter, or by visiting her website.

15 Best Essential Oils for Anxiety

One theory of how aromatherapy works is that essential oils can stimulate the smell receptors in your nose, which then sends messages to your nervous system. Some also believe that essential oils can have a subtle effect on the body’s chemical and energy systems.

Because of this, aromatherapy is often used as a natural remedy to help relieve anxiety and stress. Topical applications and inhalation are some common ways that essential oils can be used for aromatherapy.

Essential oils should never be ingested, despite claims on the internet that suggest otherwise. There’s not enough research on any one essential oil to prove it’s safe to swallow. Each essential oil is very different, and some are toxic.

It’s important to know that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate essential oils, so be diligent in your practice. You should only use therapeutic-grade oils that don’t contain synthetic fragrance and only purchase from a trusted source.

Once you have an essential oil picked out and on hand, you’ll want to make sure you consider who is going to inhale it.

Some essential oils are dangerous for children, others are not safe for pregnant and breastfeeding parents, and there are a number that are potentially toxic to pets. When applicable, consult a medical professional, like your pediatrician, OB-GYN, and veterinarian, before implementing use.

We had a few considerations in mind as we pulled together our list of the best essential oils for anxiety.

First, we looked for reputable companies that manufacture unadulterated, therapeutic-grade oils. While there isn’t an industry standard for that term, some companies use it to differentiate between higher quality essential oils, and others that are made synthetically or that come blended with carrier oils, which are made from nuts or seeds. (Note that if you apply essential oils topically, you’ll want a carrier oil to dilute it.)

We also prioritized essential oils that come with certifications about their purity. Typically, that means gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) testing to confirm botanical origins and detect contaminants.

Finally, we looked for companies that are transparent about their production methods and botanical sourcing. High quality essential oils that offer therapeutic value should be produced by steam-distilling or cold-pressed, and made with plant material only.

Price Guide

Prices vary depending on the amount of essential oil in a bottle. In our guide, we’ve listed the price per fluid ounce.

  • $: Under $25
  • $$: $25–50
  • $$$: Over $50

While research suggests there are health benefits, the FDA doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with a healthcare professional before you begin using essential oils and be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

Edens Garden Valerian Essential Oil

Price: $$$

Valerian is an herb that has been used since ancient times. Valerian essential oil comes from the roots of the plant and has a bold scent that may be described as woody, earthy, or musky. Some individuals may find this scent to be unpleasant.

Valerian is thought to contain compounds that promote sleep and calm nerves. It can have a mild sedative effect on the body. Because of this, it’s often used as a sleep aid.

A 2020 review looked at the benefits of valerian for sleep and other associated disorders. In this review, seven studies on valerian and anxiety were examined. Six of these studies observed positive outcomes when valerian was used as a supplement for anxiety.

We like the oil from Edens Garden because the company tests every batch of essential oils and makes GC/MS reports available to confirm purity and therapeutic value.

  • How to use: Add a few drops of valerian oil to an aromatherapy diffuser and inhale. Valerian may make you sleepy or relaxed.
  • Best used for: In addition to its uses for sleep and anxiety, valerian can also be used to help with headache, trembling, and heart palpitations.


  • It’s a 100 percent therapeutic-grade essential oil.
  • It’s well-reviewed by customers.
  • The company is women- and family-owned.


  • Valerian has a strong scent that many people don’t like.

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R V Essential Pure Jatamansi Essential Oil

Price: $$$

Jatamansi is in the same plant family as valerian. You may also see it referred to as spikenard. The essential oil is made from the roots of the plant and has an earthy or woody scent. Jatamansi is used in Ayurvedic medicine to calm the mind and encourage sleep.

According to a 2018 study in mice, a 7-day regimen of jatamansi extract had significant anti-anxiety effects. An increase in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and monoamine neurotransmitters were also observed in the brain, indicating that the anxiety-reducing effects of jatamansi operate through this pathway.

The jatamansi oil from R V Essential is therapeutic grade and made with no fillers, pesticides, or harsh chemicals.

  • How to use: Massage diluted jatamansi oil into your temples or forehead. Make sure to use it one drop at a time to prevent it from accidentally getting into your eyes.
  • Best used for: Jatamansi can be used as a sleep aid and to help ease symptoms of depression. It may also help relieve pain and inflammation.


  • Jatamansi oil has a long history in Ayurvedic medicine, and studies of rodents show it may have significant anti-anxiety effects.
  • R V Essential offers it in a few different sizes.
  • Oils from R V Essential are cruelty-free and lab-tested for safety and purity.


  • R V Essential may take a long time to ship the oil, which could mean you need to wait.
  • If you apply the oil to your temples or forehead, you’ll need to exercise caution to prevent it from getting into your eyes.

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Price: $

Lavender is one of the most popular aromatherapy oils. It has a sweet floral scent with a woody or herbal undertone.

Lavender oil can be used to calm anxiety. It also has a sedative effect and may help with sleep troubles, including if feelings of stress or anxiety are keeping you up at night.

According to 2012 research, lavender aromatherapy is thought to calm anxiety by impacting the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls emotions.

A 2019 review evaluated 71 studies that used lavender to ease anxiety. It found that inhaling lavender could significantly lower anxiety levels measured using a clinically validated scale. Massage with lavender oil was also found to help reduce anxiety levels.

Plant Therapy’s lavender oil is 100 percent pure and therapeutic grade. The company’s oils are lab-tested for purity and come with a risk-free, 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

  • How to use: Enjoy a relaxing lavender bath by combining several drops of lavender oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil, such as almond oil or jojoba oil, or an unscented bath gel. Stir the mixture into warm bathwater just before entering.
  • Best used for: In addition to helping lower anxiety, you can also use lavender oil for many other things. Some examples include as part of a skincare regimen to help with conditions like eczema, acne, and burns. It may also help ease muscle pain and headache pain.


  • Lavender oil works well in bathwater or for massages.
  • Batch-specific, third-party GC/MS reports are available for this oil.
  • The company offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.


  • Some negative reviews noted that the scent is unpleasant.

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Rainbow Abby Jasmine Essential Oil

Price: $

Jasmine oil has a gorgeous floral scent and is often used in perfumes and other cosmetic products. You may also see jasmine used as a base for various types of teas. According to a 2013 study, inhaling jasmine oil can promote a sense of well-being and romance.

Unlike some other essential oils used for anxiety, jasmine oil is thought to calm the nervous system without causing sleepiness. In fact, it can actually have a stimulant effect in some individuals.

A 2017 study looked at the effects of jasmine extract on rats. It found that lower doses of jasmine extract significantly lowered anxiety.

We like the oil from Rainbow Abby because it’s 100 percent pure jasmine oil with no additives or fillers.

  • How to use: You can inhale jasmine oil directly from the bottle, by adding a few drops onto a tissue and inhaling, or by placing the tissue in your pillowcase as you sleep. You can also allow the scent to fill the room through a diffuser.
  • Best used for: Jasmine can be used to help regulate your mood. It may also be used as an aphrodisiac.


  • Jasmine oil has a pleasing fragrance.
  • It has a calming, but not sedative, effect.
  • The Rainbow Abby oil has no additives or fillers.


  • It may have a stimulant effect in some people.

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Healing Solutions Organic Sweet Basil

Price: $

Sweet basil essential oil comes from the same herb that you use to make marinara sauce. It has a crisp, herbal scent.

In aromatherapy, sweet basil is thought to help calm the mind and relieve stress. Research into using sweet basil for anxiety is rather limited, with many studies focusing on animal models.

According to a 2015 study in mice, the phenol compounds in sweet basil oil helped relieve anxiety and had a sedative effect. These compounds were found to be less sedating than the anxiety medication diazepam.

A 2018 study, also in mice, looked at sweet basil extract’s effect on stomach ulcers. In addition to showing an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect, the mice that were given the extract also showed reductions in anxiety-like behavior.

Healing Solutions sweet basil oil is 100 percent pure. If you don’t love it, the company offers a money-back guarantee.

  • How to use: Add several drops of sweet basil oil to a room diffuser or inhale through an inhaler tube.
  • Best used for: Sweet basil oil may be used for digestive upset, skin care, and pain or inflammation.


  • Oils are lab-tested for purity, with results available to the public.
  • Healing Solutions offers a money-back guarantee.
  • This oil was found to help relieve anxiety in mice in one study.


  • Most studies about sweet basil oil for anxiety are limited to rodents, so it’s not clear whether people will experience the same benefits.

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Rainbow Abby Chamomile Essential Oil

Price: $

Chamomile oil comes from the daisy-like flowers of the chamomile plant. It’s well known for its relaxing and sedating properties and pleasant scent. In fact, you may often see it as an ingredient in herbal teas that aim to promote peaceful sleep.

There isn’t much research on chamomile essential oil for anxiety. A 2017 study looked at using chamomile supplements for individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Researchers found that chamomile supplementation reduced the symptoms of mild to moderate GAD. However, it did not reduce the rate of relapse of anxiety symptoms.

The chamomile oil from Rainbow Abby is therapeutic-grade quality with no synthetic ingredients.

  • How to use: Massage diluted chamomile oil into your skin or add it to a warm bath. It’s important to note that chamomile oil is strong, and a little can go a long way.
  • Best used for: Chamomile oil can also be used to help with digestive upset, healing of wounds or ulcers, and easing pain and inflammation.


  • Chamomile is well known for its relaxing, sedating properties.
  • The company offers certificates of analysis for purity and safety.
  • This oil is vegan-friendly and not tested on animals.


  • The effects of chamomile can be strong.

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Plant Therapy Rose Essential Oil

Price: $$$

Rose essential oil is extracted from rose petals. Roses have an enchanting sweet, floral scent known to relax the senses.

A small 2011 study looked at the effects of self-massage with a mix of essential oils, including rose oil, on menstrual pain and anxiety. It found that aromatherapy self-massage of the abdomen with the essential oil mixture was associated with lower levels of pain and anxiety.

A 2014 study examined the use of a rose aromatherapy footbath in pregnant women during labor. Women who used the aromatherapy footbath reported lower levels of anxiety than those who used a footbath containing warm water only.

The rose oil from Plant Therapy is undiluted with therapeutic-grade quality. Lab reports are available upon request.

  • How to use: Soak your feet in a basin filled with warm water and diluted rose essential oil. You can also add rose oil to your favorite non-scented moisturizer or shea butter and massage into skin.
  • Best used for: Rose oil may help lift mood or ease the symptoms of PMS, such as menstrual cramps. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and may help with wound healing. Some may choose to use it as an aphrodisiac.


  • The sweet fragrance of rose may help relax the senses.
  • Rose oil can be put in bathwater or mixed with lotions.
  • This is a high quality, undiluted oil, with lab reports available.


  • This oil has a higher price point.
  • To access lab reports, you’ll have to contact the company.

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Edens Garden Vetiver Essential Oil

Price: $$$

Vetiver may be less known than other essential oils, but it’s not less effective. You may see it referred to as khus oil. Vetiver oil comes from the grassy vetiver plant that’s native to India. It has a sweet, earthy scent.

Vetiver oil can help calm the nervous system and can help with sleep. As such, it may also help alleviate feelings of stress or anxiety.

Like other essential oils we’ve discussed, research into vetiver and anxiety in humans is currently limited. However, there are studies in animals that show that it can help reduce anxiety.

According to a 2015 study on rats, vetiver oil is used in aromatherapy for relaxation. The study showed vetiver has anti-anxiety abilities similar to the drug diazepam. Another 2015 study in mice also found that vetiver extract has anxiety-reducing properties similar to diazepam.

We like that the vetiver oil from Edens Garden is therapeutic grade and undiluted. Plus, the company prioritizes safety, quality, and education.

  • How to use: Enjoy a relaxing massage with diluted vetiver oil or add it to a diffuser.
  • Best used for: Vetiver oil may be helpful for boosting immunity and promoting skin health. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.


  • It’s thought to benefit the nervous system, which can be helpful for symptoms of anxiety.
  • Edens Garden batch-tests its oils for purity and safety, with reports available to customers.


  • Research is limited to rodent studies.
  • It’s a viscous oil, so it may take time to flow out of the dropper.

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Plant Therapy Ylang Ylang Complete Essential Oil

Price: $$

Ylang ylang comes from the yellow flowers of the tropical Cananga tree. It has a sweet fruity or floral scent.

Ylang ylang can be used in aromatherapy to help lift an individual’s mood. It can also have a calming effect and may help lower blood pressure.

Overall, research into using ylang ylang for anxiety is limited. According to a 2006 study involving nurses, inhaling a blend of ylang ylang, lavender, and bergamot lowered stress and anxiety levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and serum cortisol.

We like the ylang ylang oil from Plant Therapy because it’s undiluted and 100 percent pure.

  • How to use: Apply diluted ylang ylang to your skin, add to a room diffuser, or inhale directly.
  • Best used for: Ylang ylang can be used for its antidepressant properties. Some people may also use it as an aphrodisiac.


  • This oil may have a calming effect, which may help reduce blood pressure.
  • It’s available in multiple sizes.
  • Plant Therapy oils are third-party tested for purity.


  • Research on the effectiveness of ylang ylang essential oil is limited.

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Cliganic USDA Organic Frankincense Essential Oil

Price: $

Frankincense oil is made from the resin of the Boswellia tree. It has a musky, sweet aroma.

A 2019 study looked at the effects of topical frankincense oil on rats. Researchers found that the topical application of frankincense oil appeared to counteract the effects of stress in the rats. They suggest that using frankincense oil may be helpful for managing stress.

Few studies on frankincense oil and anxiety have been carried out in humans. A 2020 review notes that two studies of frankincense aromatherapy significantly reduced anxiety in women during labor.

The frankincense oil from Cliganic is USDA-certified organic and contains no additives or fillers. Plus, the company offers a money-back guarantee.

  • How to use: Massage diluted frankincense oil onto your hands or feet. You can also add frankincense to a diffuser.
  • Best used for: Frankincense essential oil may help ease inflammation due to arthritis and may also help with symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.


  • Some research indicates frankincense oil may be helpful for stress management.
  • This oil is USDA certified organic.
  • The company offers a money-back guarantee.


  • Research on the effects of frankincense oil is limited to rodent studies.

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Aura Cacia Pure Clary Sage Essential Oil

Price: $

Clary sage is different from the common herb used to make stuffing at Thanksgiving. It has a woody, herbal odor. The essential oil is derived from the leaves of the plant, which have a purple tint to them.

According to a 2015 systematic review, clary sage can help ease tension and help manage cortisol levels in women. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. High cortisol levels may increase your risk for anxiety and depression.

We like the clary sage essential oil from Aura Cacia because of the company’s commitments to fair trade and eco-friendly practices. Plus, its oils are lab-tested, vegan, and cruelty-free.

  • How to use: Inhale clary sage oil directly when you feel anxious or massage the diluted oil into your skin.
  • Best used for: Due to its calming abilities, clary sage oil is often used as an aphrodisiac. You can also use clary sage to help ease menstrual and muscle cramps. It may even act as an antidepressant.


  • There’s evidence that clary sage can help ease tension, which may help relieve symptoms of anxiety.
  • This oil is GC/MS tested for purity.
  • Aura Cacia supports fair trade and eco-friendly practices.


  • This oil is higher priced compared with many of the other options on our list.

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US Organic Patchouli Essential Oil

Price: $$

Musky patchouli is used in Ayurvedic medicine to address a variety of conditions, including stress and anxiety. It’s made from the leaves and stems of the patchouli plant, which is a type of herb.

Patchouli can be used on its own but is often combined with other essential oils such as lavender. It’s thought to promote calmness and relaxation, though most evidence is anecdotal.

A 2020 study assessed the effects of inhaled patchouli oil on emergency room nurses. Compared to the control group, nurses who inhaled the patchouli oil reported lower levels of stress and higher levels of compassion.

We like this oil because it’s USDA-certified organic and ultra-concentrated, so a little bit goes a long way.

  • How to use: To relieve anxiety, inhale patchouli oil directly or add it diluted to a warm bath or room diffuser.
  • Best used for: Patchouli can be used to help with depression. It may also have anti-inflammatory properties, help ease pain, and help to promote skin health.


  • There is evidence that patchouli may help lower stress.
  • This oil is USDA certified organic and steam-distilled with no additives.
  • It’s highly concentrated, so a little will go a long way.


  • Some reviewers found the scent unpleasant.

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Majestic Pure Geranium Essential Oil

Price: $

Geranium oil is distilled from the geranium plant and has a sweet, floral scent. It’s often used as a scent in soaps, cosmetics, and perfumes.

This essential oil has sedative properties. Due to this, it may be used to help reduce feelings of stress or anxiety.

According to a 2015 study on women in the first stage of labor, inhaling geranium oil effectively reduced their anxiety during labor. A significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure was also observed.

A small 2017 study looked at the effects of geranium oil on anxiety in individuals who had been hospitalized due to a heart attack. It found that people who inhaled geranium oil reported significantly lower anxiety than those who inhaled a placebo scent.

The geranium oil from Majestic Pure is steam-distilled, unfiltered, and undiluted.

  • How to use: Apply a few drops of geranium oil to a cotton ball and waft under your nose a few times.
  • Best used for: Geranium oil can also be used on the skin to help address inflammation, eczema, and skin aging. You can also use geranium oil to help with nerve pain and conditions associated with diabetes.


  • This oil comes in a generous size bottle.
  • Majestic Pure extracts its oil via steam, with no additives.
  • It’s a well-reviewed oil; customers generally like the brand.


  • One fluid ounce may be too much for some people.

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Artizen Lemon balm Essential Oil

Price: $

Lemon balm has a fresh, uplifting aroma that smells like lemons. Although it has the word “lemon” in its name, it actually comes from an herb. It also goes by the name Melissa. In aromatherapy, it has a soothing, restorative effect.

Most success stories on inhaling lemon balm for anxiety are anecdotal. But according to a 2011 study, taking lemon balm capsules may help people with mild to moderate anxiety disorders. It may also improve sleep. However, it is not recommended to ingest lemon balm unless it is under the guidance of a medical professional.

Additionally, a 2014 study investigated the effects of lemon balm in a beverage. The study participants that consumed a beverage with lemon balm extract reported mood improvement and lower levels of anxiety. Measurements of cortisol in saliva were also lower. Again, keep in mind that you should only ingest essential oils under the care of a medical professional.

The lemon balm oil from Artizen is 100 percent pure, with no dilution or additives. It’s also reasonably priced at less than $10 for one fluid ounce.

  • How to use: Lemon balm is a great oil to add to a diffuser for a fresh scent that covers an entire room. You can also inhale it directly.
  • Best used for: Lemon balm may boost cognitive function and help with digestive upset.


  • In aromatherapy, lemon balm is considered soothing and restorative.
  • This oil comes in a large bottle.
  • It’s considered moderately priced.


  • Studies about its effectiveness for anxiety are limited.
  • One fluid ounce may be more than some people prefer.

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Edens Garden Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil

Price: $$$

Sweet marjoram is a type of herb that’s native to the Mediterranean and is now grown in many parts of the world. The essential oil is extracted from the flowers of the plant.

A 2017 review notes that sweet marjoram has been used in traditional medicine for nervousness. However, there’s little scientific evidence to back up its effectiveness for anxiety.

Sweet marjoram is also used to ease headaches, a common symptom of anxiety. Despite the lack of scientific evidence, it’s a go-to folk remedy for many aromatherapists.

Edens Garden prioritizes safety and quality in its products. This oil is 100 percent pure and undiluted.

  • How to use: Dilute marjoram with a carrier oil (another oil, like jojoba or coconut, that is used to dilute the essential oil before you put it on your skin) and rub into your temples, using caution to prevent the oil from dripping into your eyes. You may also dilute and apply to your wrists or add to a diffuser.
  • Best used for: In addition to headache, sweet marjoram oil can be used for aches and pains, digestive upset, and asthma.


  • Marjoram is a common remedy among aromatherapists for symptoms of anxiety and nerves.
  • Edens Garden batch-tests all its oils for safety and purity.
  • This oil may help soothe headaches, a common symptom of anxiety.


  • It’s priced higher compared with many of the other oils on our list.

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Interested in other resources for mental health?

We’re here to help. Explore our evidence-driven reviews of top providers, products, and more to support your physical and emotional well-being.

It’s important to shop carefully for essential oils, as there may be potential risks with the use of these substances. You’ll want to consider an oil’s chemical composition and purity, as well as how you plan to use it.

Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Look for therapeutic-grade oils that are undiluted, with no fillers or additives. That means labeling that specifies “100 percent pure essential oil.” But don’t just go by companies that claim their oils are therapeutic or 100 percent pure. Double check the ingredient list, too — pure oils should only have one ingredient.
  • Check if the manufacturer is transparent. Are they forthcoming about production methods and sourcing?
  • Look at the packaging. Essential oils should come in dark glass bottles with a tight seal to preserve their integrity.

Essential oils must be diluted with a carrier oil before they’re applied to the skin. This reduces your risk for irritation. Some popular carrier oils are almond, coconut, and jojoba.

Dilutions are different for adults and for children:

  • For adults: Every 15 drops of essential oil should be diluted with 1 ounce of carrier oil.
  • For children: The mixture is much more diluted with a ratio of 3 to 6 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil. Use of essential oils in children should always be under the supervision of their doctor.

Because essential oils may cause an allergic reaction when used topically, it’s important to do a patch test on a small area of skin before use. To do this:

  1. Place a few drops of diluted essential oil on your wrist or elbow.
  2. Cover the spot with a bandage.
  3. Check the area in 24 hours. If you experience any redness, rash, or itching, the oil isn’t safe for you to use on your skin.

When inhaling essential oils, make sure that the room you’re in is well ventilated. This can help prevent potential side effects like respiratory irritation or headaches.

Essential oils are not safe for everyone.

Talk with your doctor before using essential oils if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an underlying medical condition. Some are not safe for children. Others should not be inhaled by pets, as they can even be toxic. You should also always consult your doctor, pediatrician, and veterinarian (when applicable) before using essential oils.

If you’re exploring ways to manage anxiety, it’s a good idea to see your healthcare provider, too. It’s particularly important to seek professional care if your symptoms of anxiety are impacting your ability to sleep or handle day-to-day responsibilities.

Where should you apply essential oils for anxiety?

In most cases, you can dilute an essential oil with a carrier oil and dab it on pulse points, like the inner wrists, behind the ears, on the ankles, over the heart, or to the temples. If you choose to apply it to your temples, take care to avoid having the oil drip into your eyes.

Do doctors recommend the use of essential oils for anxiety?

Generally speaking, doctors don’t recommend essential oils for anxiety. That’s because there haven’t been rigorous scientific studies that demonstrate their efficacy. At this time, most of the evidence for anxiety-relieving benefits comes from animal studies or small-scale trials.

What are the side effects of using essential oils?

If you enjoy essential oils safely, side effects are minimal. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for safely diluting or diffusing an oil.

It’s important to never ingest essential oils or apply them directly to the skin without a carrier oil. Doing so can cause irritation or burns. Prolonged exposure to essential oils without adequate ventilation may cause headaches or irritation to the eyes and mucous membranes.

Although research has shown that aromatherapy may help relieve anxiety, it’s no substitute for seeing a healthcare professional.

If you have a stressful day at work or you’re anxious because you have an important appointment, an aromatherapy session or two might be just what you need.

If you’re looking to find information on specific essential oils for anxiety or you need more information on aromatherapy in general, you can talk with a certified aromatherapist.

But if you experience chronic anxiety that interferes with daily activities, call a doctor or mental health professional. They can work with you to develop a management plan tailored to your needs.

Top 10 essential oils for relaxation and stress relief

Have you ever wanted to yell at someone? Or even (sorry, kitty) kick with all your might?

A holiday that is always with you

Of course, you try to restrain yourself, but you can't hide the truth: this world is full of stress. Problems pile up at every turn. Someone is trying to hinder or offend you. Sometimes I can't even sleep!

How to be?

The time has come for decisive action. It's time to say a resounding NO to problems! It's time to pull yourself together, relax and deal with stress.

And let these top 10 essential oils make your day a little better.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are extracts obtained from plants. They contain healing ingredients that will help you relax and give you strength. They are also used for cosmetic procedures and body care. Love quality beauty products and relaxants? Then essential oils - are your best bet (compared to artificial plant or perfume oils).

The best essential oils for relaxation and stress relief

# 1. Lavender

The scent of lavender has been considered an effective sedative for centuries. The "father of medicine" Hippocrates said that "lavender warms the brain, tired of the years." The richness of lavender oil components makes it the first choice for bath and body products. The botanical name is Lavandula Angustifolia.

Lavender oil is great for relaxation. It relieves stress and improves sleep at night. Eliminate overexcitation and tearfulness. It will help to calm down, deeply relax, and restore inner strength.

Lavender oil helps to calm down and deeply relax

# 2. Orange

Botanists know it as Citrus Sinensis. The hybrid obtained in antiquity is a mixture of pomelo with mandarin. Its smell is poetically called "the scent of the sun." Proven for centuries, classic and unique oil.

Good for relaxing and soothing. Helps relieve stress and get rid of frustration. Can be used by both children and adults.

Important: Avoid sun exposure immediately after use. However, orange oil is great for skin care, reduces inflammation, fortifies and stimulates blood flow.

Orange oil can be used by both children and adults.

# 3. Ylang-Ylang

The name is translated as "flower of flowers". Its bright, exotic scent evokes feelings of serenity and self-confidence. Considered an aphrodisiac.

Ylang-ylang essential oil will help you sleep after a hard day and fight night terrors in children. It will relieve emotional stress, relieve feelings of fear, anger and anxiety. Reduces symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Ylang-ylang oil will reduce the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

# 4. Geranium

The name comes from the Greek word geranion or geranios - "crane", as the fruits of geraniums resemble the beak of a crane.

Essential oil of geranium will help in solving the problems associated with menopause in women and relieve premenstrual syndrome. Balances hormones, good for mature skin care. Geranium calms the nerves, increases mental and physical activity, especially in the elderly. Causes a feeling of cheerfulness.

Geranium oil increases mental and physical activity

# 5. Frankincense

This oil has a very rich history. For example, in the Gospel, incense was one of the gifts brought by the magi to Jesus Christ, along with gold and myrrh. The botanical name is Boswellia Carterii.

Frankincense smoke contains incensol acetate, which has an antidepressant effect. Frankincense oil is a good way to soothe the body and soul. It relieves stress and relieves tension. Helps with insomnia and night terrors. Frankincense brings great benefits to those who use it.

# 6. Bergamot

This essential oil is also known as the oil of happiness. Botanists call it Citrus Bergamia and it helps energy to flow freely throughout the body.

Bergamot oil will help you cope with emotional problems, reduce the symptoms of anxiety, tension and depression. It is very useful (and pleasant, I will add from myself) to use for massage with skin fatigue.

Bergamot oil is useful for massage

# 7. Mandarin

It is believed that the mandarin got its name because its exquisite fruits were presented as a gift to the tangerines - the rulers of the country. As with orange oil, do not go out into direct sunlight immediately after applying it.

Even on cold winter days, its radiant warm scent will put you in a good mood. Tangerine oil will help you relax, relieve irritation and overwork, and calm your nerves. Remove the negative effects of daily stress, help deep, restful sleep. Gives you a sense of contentment and well-being.

# 8.


Peppermint based essential oil is known as Mentha Spicata. One of the most effective soothing and relaxing remedies. Good for mental health, helps bring the emotional state back to normal.

Fresh menthol mint aroma restores strength, eliminates overexcitation and depression. It can be used when you want to positively stimulate the body, especially after training or other physical activity. "Awakens" the skin, erases traces of fatigue and lack of sleep from the face. Peppermint oil is often used in baths and saunas.

Peppermint oil for deep effective relaxation

# 9. Rose

In the tenth century in ancient Persia, the great healer Avicenna conducted alchemical experiments, and accidentally invented a method for distilling essential oils. And rose oil was the first essential oil.

Premenstrual syndrome leads to hormonal imbalance, which causes severe emotional discomfort. Rose essential oil will help to cope with these problems.

The aroma of a rose causes a feeling of cheerfulness, increases efficiency, and normalizes blood pressure. Reduces anxiety, helps to relax and feel calm. It has a particularly favorable effect on women, instills in them self-confidence, faith in their own strengths and charm. Considered a powerful aphrodisiac.

# 10. Marjoram

Known as Origanum Marjorana. Marjoram oil is good for the heart, relieves stress very effectively and helps with insomnia.

The rich composition of its ingredients often makes it the oil of choice for experienced users. Warms the body and soul. Marjoram is great for insomnia, especially when combined with lavender in a warm bath before bed.

Bonus - # 11. Melissa

My favorite oil for the past three years. When I want to relax and relieve stress, I choose it. A few drops in the bath - work perfectly. Every time.

Melissa is considered an excellent honey plant because she is very, very fond of bees (the very right bees that make very good honey). The ancient Greek scientist Paracelsus called lemon balm oil the elixir of life.

Melissa oil will help eliminate insomnia and improve sleep. Relieve stress, anxiety and tension. Activates attention and creative thinking. It will help improve mood, drive away resentment and anxiety, and find inner harmony.

Paracelsus called lemon balm oil the elixir of life.

And now the most important question - what to do?

1) Find the oil that suits you. Try different oils and see which one you like best. Which causes the best effect - just for you, and not in theory. For your body, your mood, and your condition.

I have tried all the oils on this list and many more. Periodically, the taste changed, and the most favorite was either sage oil, or eucalyptus, or tangerine. But today my favorite relaxation oil is lemon balm, no question. When I pour a bath, add a few drops there, and take a deep breath, I immediately feel how I begin to calm down. I always have two types of oil on my table now - lemon balm and mint.

2) Choose the method you like best. You can add oils to the bath, use aroma lamps, add them to massage cream, apply them to the skin, etc. For example, I like to add oil to the bath and use it for massage. Experiment and find out what works best for you.

Experiment. Use different oils and ways, and find those that will help you find peace and serenity.

the best essential oils for stress relief and relaxation. Part 1

Sometimes you endure trouble one after another, and nothing. And it happens that someone stepped on your foot in transport, and immediately you rush into a scream. Let's be honest: stress happens. And in the life of each of us there are quite a lot of them. Stress accumulated over the years slowly but surely turns into depression. And to prevent this from happening, the tension must be relieved - immediately, as it arrives. Essential oils help with this.

Essential oils: what are they?

This is a natural product that kills viruses and affects our emotional and physical state. Essential oils are obtained from plants. In simple words, these are extracts. Often, aromatic oils are used in cosmetology and cooking. But we're talking about aromatherapy. It is she who will help say goodbye to negative emotions, put yourself in order and forget about despondency. We have selected the ten most effective remedies. Choose a natural product, and you will experience the positive effects of its use.

1. Orange

Imagine that an orange is the result of crossing a mandarin with an exotic fruit - a pomelo. Its scent is filled with warmth and freshness. A classic fragrance that has stood the test of centuries. Orange essential oil perfectly relaxes, has a calming effect. It is used as a cure for disappointments (but not internally). Orange extract is useful for both adults and children. By the way, orange oil is used as a care oil - it is applied to the skin in a diluted form. It saturates the skin with vitamins and stimulates blood circulation.

2. Lavender

In addition to its amazing aroma, lavender brings peace to the mind and relaxation to the body. The aroma is refined and refined. It is chosen as a sleeping pill, so baths are made with lavender oil before going to bed. It is applied mixed with base oil on the body and hair, used during massage. Lavender ether is recommended to eliminate irritability, tearfulness, it helps to restore strength and gain self-confidence.

3. Geranium

If you look closely, you will notice the following: the geranium fruit looks like a crane's beak. Therefore, translated from Greek, geranium sounds like a crane. Geranium is considered exclusively feminine essential oil. It is used for painful menstruation, as well as during PMS. Geranium ether favorably affects the hormonal background. It is also recommended for mature skin care. It tightens the epidermis, smoothes wrinkles. Pour a couple of drops of geranium extract into the aroma lamp, mix them with water, and you will feel how the nerves calm down and concentration increases. The scent of geranium is invigorating.

4. Ylang Ylang

An exotic and recognizable fragrance.

Learn more