I'm excited to share with you the 4 top essential oils for stress relief. We live in a society that is very much geared toward burnout. People are working like crazy to make money, to buy all sorts of things, and this has amplified the level of stress in our day-to-day living. Stress is prevalent and it is everywhere. As a long-time sufferer of anxiety and stress, I have many tools and techniques that I use to cope, and one of them is essential oils. Essential oils work incredibly well because the actual chemical components that are distilled from the flowers really resonate well with our bodies. The body actually accepts these as natural health products. These oils are not foreign or chemical materials, such as prescription medications. So, the body can more easily assimilate the chemical components that come from an essential oil than it might be able to with a pharmaceutical chemical that has been artificially created.
Some of the top stressors in life include buying or selling your home, coping with a death in the family, dealing with divorce, and financial hardships.
It is important to not disregard your stress, as this can compromises your immune system, especially for people with autoimmune disorders. Reducing the stress in your life as much as possible is extremely important. As we get older, our bodies cannot tolerate the same level of stress that we could when we were younger. So, as we enter into our 40’s, 50’s or 60’s, it is really important to create a life and a lifestyle that is supportive of us eliminating or reducing stress, and feeling more at peace.
I want to share something that I learned from a traditional Chinese medicine doctor. A friend of mine, Lainey, studied in Nelson British Columbia and now practices as an acupuncturist and a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor. A few years ago, we discussed one of her patients that had been dealing with Attention Deficit Disorder as an adult.
She told me that she had recommended Vetiver Oil for this patient. Vetiver Oil is distilled from the roots of the grass that grows in India, where it is called the ‘Oil of Tranquility. She recommended this oil to help calm his entire nervous system down.
I decided to buy Vetiver Oil to try it myself. The first time I smelled Vetiver, I actually felt everything sort of slow down. The chemical constituents in this oil, come from the roots of the grass. And roots are really about grounding, being in the earth. Sometimes you have to really think about the purpose of the part of the plant that’s been distilled.
Distilling Vetiver is actually a painstaking process because it is laboursome to collect.
2.) Ylang Ylang
Ylang Ylang can help increase your libido as a natural aphrodisiac and is often used in perfumes and healthcare products. It promotes thick shiny luxurious hair and heals split ends. It helps with frigidity and is also very good for anxiety. Being distilled from flowers, it has a very floral scent. You can apply Ylang Ylang topically, add it to your bath or diffuse it. You can also inhale it from the palms of your hands or buy it as a perfume.
I found a mix of Vetiver and Ylang Ylang really helped decrease my anxiety. Because Vetiver is a very strong scent, I usually use more Ylang Ylang, usually a ratio of 2 to 1 or 3 to 1. This blend also helps decrease motion sickness.
Grapefruit can be found in most health and food stores. Grapefruit can be very uplifting, and can also relieve anxiety. Grapefruit is not photosensitive like other citrus oils, so you can apply it to your skin without worrying about sun sensitivity.
Grapefruit oil is cold-pressed from the rinds of grapefruits, so it's usually very reasonably priced.
Lavender is considered the ‘Swiss Army Knife' of essential oils. A recent article published through the University Health News detailed a study analyzing women with anxiety, in particular, comparing the effects of Lavender Oil to Xanax, Prozac, and Valium. This study found that Lavender Oil is incredibly effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety in women.
While Lavender Oil by itself has no sedative effect, if you do take it in conjunction with Xanax, Prozac, or Lorazepam, it can increase the sedative effect of that drug. So, avoid driving a car or operating other machinery before noting how this combination impacts your body.
Lavender Oil is approved in the United States for internal consumption, so you can take one or two drops in a teaspoon of honey. You can also use dried lavender to make lavender tea, or simply add 6 drops of Lavender Oil to your tea. Some health stores also offer Lavender Oil in capsule form.
Ways to Use These Essential Oils:
Add 3 to 6 drops of oil to some Epsom Salts and add that to your bath.
- Alcohol Water Bath
Add 3 to 6 drops of oil to some alcohol, like vodka or some other grain alcohol. Add a couple of tablespoons, up to a quarter of a cup to your bath. Typically oil and water don't mix, so most oils won't disperse through water unless it’s first mixed with either salt or alcohol.
- Room Spray
Similar to the process for alcohol-water baths, oils will first need to be mixed with an emulsifier.
- Carrier Oil
Essential oils can be added to a carrier oil to use in a massage. You can also add a drop or 2 in your hands, I rub your hands together and take deep breaths. Oils can also be applied to a scarf or shirt, or behind your ears.
Note: Please check with your doctor if you have any concerns about using essential oils, especially if you are pregnant or nursing. Also, be sure to use common sense. If you buy therapeutic grade essential oils, they are like medicine and should be used with caution.
If you have questions about essential oils, you can reach Shyloe Fayad on Facebook, or email her at [email protected]. You can also join her Facebook group, “Happiness Habits by Shyloe”.
Shyloe Fayad is Okanagan-based and the CEO & Primary Wonderer at Radical Wondering Collective. She has been an essential oil user since the late ’90s and is now an essential oil educator. In this article, Shyloe discusses the 4 top essential oils to help relieve stress.