The medical definition of anxiety refers to disorders that cause fear, nervousness, and worry. It is humanity to be anxious when we face difficult situations. However, what is not normal is when anxiety interferes with our ability to sleep and carry out functions in non-threatening situations. According to statistics, 50% of people diagnosed with general anxiety disorder, have relatives with the same condition. As much as genetics play a role in causing anxiety, biochemical factors contribute a major percentage as well. Studies suggest that the imbalance of chemical messengers in the brain known as neurotransmitters cause anxiety.
When neurotransmitters such as cortisol and serotonin are produced in large quantities in the blood, they cause anxiety. Their deficiencies as well have the same effect. This article will describe some of the best essential oils for anxiety.
How do essential oils work?
Chemical compounds in essential oils target the limbic system of the brain which rules emotions. The limbic system is directly connected to the medulla oblongata and the hypothalamus. The medulla oblongata is in fact responsible for controlling factors like the heart rate, blood pressure and any other action associated with the respiratory system. The hypothalamus is responsible for controlling stress levels and hormone balance.
Inhalation or direct application of essential oils on the skin sends signals to the limbic system which in turn, controls and stabilizes hormonal actions stimulated by anxiety. Below is a list of the best essential oils to treat anxiety.
- Lavender essential oil
Many patients who undergo open-heart surgeries suffer from anxiety. To treat it, doctors make them inhale lavender oil which drops down their levels of cortisol and keeps it in balance. As mentioned above, high cortisol levels cause anxiety. Lavender. The two primary components of the lavender oil are linalool and linalyl acetate. Linalyl acetate balances cortisol levels and brings about a calming effect that makes the anxiety go away. People with disturbed sleep patterns benefit from the linalool compound which has a sedative effect. Lavender enhances mental alertness and suppresses aggression.
- Peppermint oil
Menthol constitutes 44% of peppermint oil making it the primary component. When anxious, we tend to be tense and irritable. This has a direct effect on the body especially the muscles which tend to be painful. Menthol has antispasmodic effects which relieve muscle spasms caused by anxiety. It calms the nerves and eases nervousness. It also promotes mental clarity and alleviates the feeling of mental fatigue.
- Roman chamomile essential oil
Publication in 2003 of study in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, revealed that Roman chamomile essential oil reduces anxiety levels significantly. The component of this oil with sedative effects is myrcene which brings a relaxation effect promoting relaxation.
One of the chemical compounds of ylang-ylang is linalool which is present is in lavender as well. The chemical action of this compound is to bring about a calming and a relaxation effect. Ylang Ylang is an aphrodisiac in nature which enhances its relaxation property. It is also a euphoric which promotes a sense of wellbeing thus effective for social anxiety disorder.
If you have anxiety disorders, don’t let it disrupt your daily routine. You are not alone in this battle of anxiety. Is has and is still affecting millions of people around the globe. That is why scientists are continuously discovering new and better methods to curb anxiety, essential oils being among them. The oils mentioned here offer great relief from anxiety.