Aromatherapy is one of the easiest natural stress relief methods. The most effective way to de-stress with aromatherapy is a massage with a qualified aromatherapist, but baths with relaxing essential oils are simple home treatments for stress symptoms.
Add around 6 drops of one of the following essential oils or a combination of up to 3 of the oils (but always total of 6 drops) into a bath. You can blend the essential oils with 1-2 teaspoonfuls of carrier oil, such as sweet almond, or with sea salt or full fat milk. Add the oils into the bath water just as you are about to step into the bath and mix them well into the water.
Top Essential Oils for Stress Relief
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): relaxes the mind and the body, eases muscular tension, promotes good sleep
- Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis): calms the mind and soothes the nerves
- Neroli (Citrus aurantium): for anxiety and sleeplessness, and for nervous tension before events (exams, meetings etc.)
- Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium): similar to Neroli, but cheaper and with a fresher scent: good for insomnia and anxiety
- Frankincense (Boswellia carteri): helps to regulate the breath and to calm the mind, Frankincense is traditionally burned during meditation and is a popular incense
- Vetivert (Vetiveria zizanoides): deeply relaxing for the body and the mind, Vetivert is called the “oil of tranquillity”
- Bergamot (Citrus bergamia): uplifting, gentle natural “antidepressant”, also very good for low moods and the winter blues
- Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata): can slow down over-rapid breathing or heartbeat, good for anxiety, use in blends with other oils (especially citrus oils) as the scent of this floral oil can be overpowering on its own
- Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea): a deeply relaxing oil for the mind and the body, relaxes tight muscles, but do not use it if you have been drinking alcohol as the combination can induce nightmares.
Experiment with a blend of 2 to 3 essential oils, or try these blends:
- Lavender and Chamomile
- Frankincense and Bergamot
- Ylang Ylang and Bergamot
- Lavender and Clary Sage
- Vetivert and Lavender
- Lavender and Petitgrain
- Petitgrain and Neroli
Many oils can also be burned in an aromatherapy burner or a diffuser. Frankincense, Petitgrain, Lavender and Bergamot are especially good for burners. Try a blend of Frankincense and Bergamot, or Frankincense and Orange essential oil in a diffuser.
Sources: Patricia Davis: Aromatherapy, an A-Z (Random House, UK, 2004)
Photo: Chamomile: H. Zell (Wikimedia Commons)