Essential oils come from the “essence” of plants. Oil is derived from bark and leaves, roots and stems, and other plant components. That oil is then either applied topically to humans, pets, household items and garden plants for health advantages, insect avoidance, cleaning and other benefits. With more than 300 essential oils currently catalogued and in common use, the wide-ranging benefits of these natural healers are seemingly endless.
Multiple EOs have shown to be very effective for stress-relief. This has a lot to do with how your brain is connected to your sense of smell. When you smell anything, a message is immediately sent to your brain. If you have encountered a specific aroma in the past and you smell it again, your brain pulls out its reference chart to see exactly what your experience was with that aroma.
This is how smelling smoke leads to an extreme stress response, followed by a fight or flight signal transmitted by your brain. Accordingly, some smells, like that of Lavender oil, trigger stress-relief. They cause a production of chemicals and hormones that produce positive feelings and elevate happiness. At the same time, when your brain recognizes that you have inhaled certain anxiety-relieving essential oils, the production of stress-causing hormones like cortisol is lowered.
Put simply, your body and mind are hardwired to respond in very specific ways to different scents and aromas. The following oils have been used for centuries, and in some cases thousands of years, for stress and anxiety-relief.
Lavender oil improves how your nervous system responds, restoring it and promoting feelings of calm and peacefulness. Vetiver essential oil calms your mind and lowers stress levels, and is often used to soothe panic attack sufferers. Ylang Ylang has an uplifting, soothing effect, and Bergamot has been used at least since the Middle Ages to effectively treat depression and boost energy levels.