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15 Best Essential Oils for Anxiety

Do you have anxiety? Do you like sweet-smelling fragrances? Wouldn’t be great if you could ease your anxiety symptoms with the help of delicious scents of essential oils? Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues that most people face sometime during their lifetime. There are many ways to treat and manage anxiety, and one of those ways is with the help of essential oils. And here I would like to share with you the best essential oils for anxiety.

What are essential oils?

Plants have been used for thousands of years around the world for many purposes, one of their use has of course been through the power of healing. Essential oil is the result of the extraction of plants who then are compressed or steamed into an extremely concentrated liquid. It takes a high quality of plants or flowers to make essential oils, so you can imagine the abundance of qualities that can be then refined in those oils. For example just for you to have an idea of how much concentrate essential oils; to create only an ounce of lavender essential oil you would need at least 10 or 20 pounds of lavender flowers.

How Do Essential Oils Improve Mental Health?

Holistic healers have been using plants for hundreds or even thousands of years to alleviate a multitude of ailments. According to the National Institute of Health,

…written records about medicinal plants dated back at least 5,000 years to the Sumerians, who described well-established medicinal uses for such plants as laurel, caraway, and thyme [], archeological studies have shown that the practice of herbal medicine dates as far back as 60,000 years ago in Iraq and 8,000 years ago in China.

In fact, medicine was often made from plants prior to the rise of western pharmaceuticals. Essential oils are intense extracts taken from plants. Inside these extracts are chemical compounds that can positively affect the chemicals in your brain.

While plants can be eaten to heal your body from within, essential oils can be used through aromatherapy. Think back when you saw a beautiful landscape or heard your favorite song come on the radio, you most likely received an instant boost in mood. Essential oils can do the same by affecting your sense of smell, which is one of the most powerful senses we possess.

Learn about the best essential oils for depression

What’s the Best Way to Use Essential Oils for Anxiety?

Essential oils are recognized for their therapeutic qualities. Aromatherapy is one of the most used ways that you can benefit from the power of essential oils. Aromatherapy is the method of using specific fragrances to trigger specific body responses. Inhaling essential oils incites the limbic system of the brain which is liable for controlling stress. A lot of people use this practice to decrease symptoms of anxiety. Essential oils can also help you by boosting your mood, alleviate headaches, aid with better sleep, and even defeat nausea.

Research has been made to try to connect the link between essential oils and mood disorders, which concluded that many essential oils do promote health benefits. Not only you will benefit from aromatic and delicious scents when using essential oils, but you will also promote health and healing.

For example, did you know that frankincense oil can be good for boosting your immunity? Or that ginger essential oil can help your digestive system? And when you are struggling with your concentration, peppermint essential oil can help, because peppermint can increase the concentration of oxygen in your brain. But what are the best essential oils for anxiety? Our list will guide you through the options of aromatherapy for reducing anxiety.

You can use one of the options below or combine a few and see how it works for you.

1. Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula Angustifolia)

Lavender Essential Oil for Anxiety

Lavender is probably one of the most popular essential oils. The benefits of using lavender oil include a calming and relaxing impact. Lavender is also deemed as a nervous system healthful aid that can assist with emotional peace, sleep, anxiety, moody behaviors, panic attacks, etc.

Lavender essential oil is one of the best essential oils for anxiety, as it can ease the symptoms that can worsen your emotional health. In fact, a study has also concluded that Lavender essential oil has a place when it comes to the treatment of anxiety disorders, making this essential oil a huge help for anxiety.

2. Rose Essential Oil (Rosa Damascena)

Rose Essential Oil for Anxiety

Rose essential oil is very useful when it comes to emotional response, which places it as the second-best essential oil for anxiety right behind lavender. Rose essential oil is a very strong ally when you are facing anxiety, depression, grief, and even shock.

One of the studies that were performed to help assist this, was concluded in an Irian Medical Journal that witnessed how different groups of pregnant women react when receiving rose essential oil inhalation and footbath for at least 10 minutes, while another received the rose essential oil in a 10-minute bath, the findings of this study revealed that the women who received the rose essential oil through aromatherapy and footbath experienced a reduction of anxiety during active labor.

3. Bergamot Essential Oil (Citrus Bergamia)

Bergamot Essential Oil for Anxiety

If you like Earl Grey tea, you will happy to know that one of the main components that make this delicious drink is Bergamot. Bergamot oil is soothing and oftentimes is used to tackle depression. This distinctive essential oil can also help to reduce stress and promote relaxation and better sleep.

Research in 2017 examined whether bergamot essential oil could have the same influence on people who were waiting in a mental health treatment room. This study concluded that Bergamot aromatherapy had a positive influence in improving mental health and overall well-being feeling.

4. Chamomile Essential Oil (Chamaemelum Nobile)

Chamomile Essential Oil for Anxiety

Chamomile has been known for a long time as a calming scent, often consumed as a soothing tea. But chamomile has a bigger role in our health besides relaxing your mind and body. Chamomile can help with emotional balance, as well as aiding with the reduction of irritation, overthinking, and anxiety.

A study led at the University of Medicine in Pennsylvania found that chamomile essential oil may impact massively as an antidepressant. Chamomile oil is usually harmless, except for some little prospect of allergy, particularly to anyone who currently has ragweed allergy.

5. Frankincense Essential Oil (Boswellia Carteri or Boswellia Sacra)

Frankincense Essential Oil for Anxiety

Frankincense is great for treating depression and anxiety because it releases calming and peaceful energy. In aromatherapy, it supports quieting your mind which can also help you with managing and decrease chronic stress, for example.

There was an interesting study in Korea, that helped to understand that when mixing Frankincense with bergamot and lavender essential oils, this blend was observed to cause a positive impact on pain and depression in terminal cancer patients.

6. Clary Sage Essential Oil (Salvia Sclarea)

Clary Sage Essential Oil for Anxiety

When used in aromatherapy, clary sage essential oil can assist with alleviating stress by stimulating a feeling of overall well-being. Clary sage has been examined on both animals and humans to discover its inherent advantages as an antidepressant. And the results have been beyond positive.

One study that examined women who needed to undergo distressful medical tests, were able to feel relaxed and even witnessed their blood pressure drop when used Clary sage aromatherapy. Clary sage essential oils can help you to manage depression and even decrease stress.

7. Lemon Balm Essential Oil (Melissa Officinalis)

Lemon Balm Essential Oil for Anxiety

Lemon balm essential oil has the potential to defeat stress. This very helpful essential oil triggers the creation of a neurotransmitter known as gamma-Aminobutyric acid, and this acid induces the brain to respond quickly to stress. And because anxiety is often a direct response to stress, Lemon balm essential oil can be effective alternative management of anxiety. Lemon balm possesses antimicrobial qualities that could heal some disorders associated with stress.

Lemon balm also decreases stress-related reactions such as agitation, which can be a triggering factor on anxiety. For example, a new study uncovered that lemon balm aromatherapy granted short-term stress assistance to people suffering from coronary syndrome, which is a decline of blood flow to the heart.

8. Vetiver Essential Oil (Vetiveria Zizanioides)

Vetiver Essential Oil for Anxiety

Vetiver essential oil has a soothing, and calming steam often applied in trauma healing by inducing self-awareness, peace, and balance. A nervous system stimulant, Vetiver essential oil can help to decrease hypersensitivity, which is often experienced by someone who is suffering from an anxiety disorder. Making Vetiver essential oil incredibly helpful in shock, and panic attacks.

Further research needs to be made on the effects of Vetiver essential oil on the management of anxiety, but research made in rats, has concluded that Vetiver aromatherapy can decrease anxiety symptoms.

9. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (Cananga Odorata)

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil for Anxiety

This popular essential oil can tackle anxiety and depression thanks to its comforting and hopeful effects. Ylang-ylang essential oil promotes optimism, strength, enthusiasm while eases anxiety. It also may quiet heart disturbance and nervous trembles. Ylang-ylang also aids as a fairly powerful tranquilizer, which can support insomnia.

A 2014 study uncovered that ylang-ylang essential oil decreased anxiety and enhanced self-esteem when used as aromatherapy or even applied topically.

10. Holy basil Essential Oil (Ocimum Tenuiflorum or Ocimum Sanctum L.)

Holy basil Essential Oil for Anxiety

Holy basil essential oil has been proved to hold antidepressant and anti-anxiety qualities, that are very alike to antidepressant medications. Researches have confirmed that it can encourage people to feel more comfortable with social encounters and feel less anxious. Holy basil is also powerful in antioxidants and supports your body to detox. Researches reveal that holy basil essential oil can shield your body from toxic elements.

There’s a reasonable number of reports that point out that holy basil essential oil can be helpful for people that have to deal with stress and anxiety. A recent study observed many cases that concluded that holy basil essential oils can help to boost your mood and decrease the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

11. Orange Blossom Essential Oil (Citrus Aurantium Var. Amara)

Orange Blossom Essential Oil for Anxiety

Orange blossom essential oil is incredibly valuable for anxiety. Even though many people often consume orange blossom as a tea, many don’t realize the soothing and tranquilizing benefits that orange blossom essential oil provides you. Orange blossom can aid you with many things, which includes better sleep, and even with certain mental issues, such as anxiety.

There’s not much research done on orange blossom essential oil, there’s one study that concludes that orange blossom helped to reduce the feelings of anxiety that women in labor commonly experience.

12. Valerian Essential Oil (Valeriana Officinalis)

Valerian Essential Oil for Anxiety

Valerian essential oil is also known as “nature’s valium,” contains Valerian acids and iridoid glycosides that create a comforting influence. Valerian helps to control the nervous system to generate anxiety-lessening results.

To our advantage, there’s quite a lot of research to support the impact of Valerian health benefits. For example, there’s a study that shown that Valerian can promote a relaxing feeling, helping with insomnia, one of the anxiety side effects.

13. Cedarwood Essential Oil (Juniperus Virginiana)

Cedarwood Essential Oil for Anxiety

Cedarwood releases a woody fragrance evocative of purely fresh air that smells like it came directly from the middle of a forest. When used for aromatherapy, cedar-wood essential oil can produce a calming and well-balanced influence.

One research implies that the wood of cedar trees has the potential to assist with lessening the symptoms of anxiety and stress mainly due to its cedrol concentration.

14. Rhododendron Essential Oil (Rhododendron Anthopogon)

Rhododendron Essential Oil for Anxiety

Rhododendron essential oil possesses a woody and herbal fragrance that can provoke a very calming and soothing feeling.

Research from 2010 concluded that rhododendron can be used as an anti-inflammatory. While a vast range of research when it comes to the benefits of rhododendron is not yet available, Himalayan aromatherapy indicates that this essential oil can promote relaxing feelings, which can battle anxiety and stress.

15. Damask Rose Essential Oil (Rosa Damascena)

Damask Rose Essential Oil for Anxiety

Rose essential oil is distinguished known by its floral and sweet scent. But this is only a fraction of what this essential oil can bring to your health. You should also keep in mind that Damask rose essential oil, is much more concentrated than rose oil, those two oils are not the same, therefore they also provide different amounts of healing properties.

For example, a study uncovered that Damask rose oil, has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and reduce cortisol levels.

How to Use Essential Oils for Anxiety?

Essential oils generally can be used in two distinct ways; aromatherapy, and topically.


Aromatherapy is a very popular and safe way to use essential oils for anxiety. This is because our sense of smell can trigger extremely powerful emotional reactions. As you may have noticed we tend to store a lot of information through our sense of smell that can trigger particular reactions to specific situations.

When we use essential oils through aromatherapy, the properties of each essential oil enter our nasal cavities and spores mental responses. Those responses can manage stress or inducing calming replies. Aromatherapy can be used in a bath, as well, as the steam of the hot water will induce the same results as infusers. However, you should always ensure that you are not allergic to a specific essential oil before trying. Nevertheless, aromatherapy diffuses are usually one of the best and safest choices when it comes to enjoying the benefits of essential oils.

Topical Application

Some people rather prefer to enjoy the benefits of essential oils by simply apply them directly to the skin or hair. This is usually because when the oil gets in contact with the skin, it gets absorbed quickly. Yet, because essential oils are so strong, it is important to remember that you should dilute them with another oil such as almond or coconut oil before applying it to your skin.

You must do enough research on the essential oil before trying to apply it to your skin, to prevent allergic reactions or even to avoid damaging your skin. This is why aromatherapy is perhaps one of the best and safest choices when you are not sure.

It’s always important to check if an essential oil is safe around infants, pregnant women, or anyone with health issues before trying to use essential oils.

Final Thoughts on Essential Oils for Anxiety

Essential oils are a powerful tool that can manage and reduce anxiety. Essential oils are a gift from nature, making them a perfect solution to conventional medicine. The next time you experience signs of your anxiety creeping in, try to pause and breathe.

Thank you for reading our article on the 15 best essential oils for anxiety. Essential oils through aromatherapy can be a great holistic approach to reducing symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. While more studies are needed, research is showing promising benefits of essential oils for depression.

Although anxiety can be treated, there is no “cure.” Remission is the goal of treatment by trained and licensed professionals. Remission varies from person to person. Some people may have few to no symptoms remaining, while others may still experience some of the symptoms outlined in the DSM-5.

If you need help, there is hope! Reach out to a licensed mental health professional that treats anxiety. If you are in need of immediate assistance, please dial 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255.

Take our Anxiety self-assessment

Anthony Bart
Author: Anthony Bart

Anthony Bart is a huge mental health advocate. He has primarily positioned his marketing expertise to work with mental health professionals so that they can help as many patients as possible. He is currently the owner of BartX, TherapistX, and TherapyByPro.

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The world's largest therapy service, 100% online.
  • $65 to $90 per week, billed every 4 weeks
  • Receive therapy via messaging, phone, or live video
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Take 15% off your first month

Great option to find a online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
  • $40 to $88 per week, billed monthly
  • Receive therapy via live video, messaging, and worksheets
  • Multi-faceted program includes videos, journaling, and yoga

Take 20% off your first month


Great option to find a large network of online therapy and psychiatry services.
  • $69 to $129 per week, billing flexible
  • Receive therapy via messaging, phone, or live video
  • Psychiatric services and prescription management available

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