9 Best Essential Oils for Reducing Fatigue

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Many people use essential oils for reducing fatigue, as they can work quickly and effectively, without causing many unwanted side effects. Fatigue can come in many forms – from slight tiredness in the afternoon following a meal to chronic exhaustion from a lack of sleep, illness, or injury. Temporary fatigue typically has a number of logical explanations, and can be remedied by improved diet, better sleep patterns, reduction in alcohol or substance use, and general awareness of your body’s signals. Chronic fatigue and exhaustion, however, may indicate a more serious underlying condition, such as kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, stress, obesity, depression emphysema or sleep apnea.

When you are feeling fatigued, it doesn’t only restrict your physical capacity, but also the energy that is available to your brain. In other words, the symptoms of fatigue are both physical and psychological, so this condition can affect your professional, emotional, personal and social experiences. Over time, you may experience additional muscle pains, poor sleeping habits, insomnia, cognitive malfunction, confusion, shortness of breath, heart problems and a generally reduced quality of life. While there are many pharmaceutical approaches to treat fatigue and chronic exhaustion, many people turn to more natural remedies, due to their availability and ease of use. Using essential oils for reducing fatigue is a popular choice due to various oils’ energizing, stimulant, antioxidant, sedative or soothing properties. [1]

List of Essential Oils for Reducing Fatigue

When it comes to the use of essential oils for reducing fatigue, few oils are more effective than rosemary, peppermint, lemon, black spruce, basil, geranium, eucalyptus, lavender and bergamot, among others. Some of these oils help overcome tiredness, while others ensure more restful sleep, which can eliminate fatigue over the longer term.

Bottles of essential oils stacked together on a table

Essential oils can be a great choice to prevent or remedy fatigue naturally. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Bergamot Oil

As one of the most stimulating oils available on the market, bergamot is commonly turned to by people suffering from fatigue and exhaustion, as well as anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. It can not only re-balance your Circadian rhythms and boost your energy, but also uplift mood and stimulate the production of key neurotransmitters.

How to Use – This oil can be diffused throughout the night to ensure restful sleep, but also inhaled directly for a rapid, energetic burst when you start to feel drowsy during the day.

Geranium Oil

Famed for its ability to balance hormonal levels and stimulate mood, this essential oil can aid symptoms of depression and anxiety, while also reducing stress hormone levels in the blood, which can reduce oxidative stress and promote more normal sleep patterns. [2]

How to Use – You can add a few drops of geranium oil to a pot of steaming water and then inhale deeply a few times, as the aromatic compounds can be very effective. However, this is an energizing oil, so it is best not to use it in the evening, as it can disrupt you sleep schedule.

Black Spruce Oil

If you want to recover from a period of chronic fatigue, the use of black spruce oil can calm the nerves and help promote a restful and re-energizing sleep. This oil can also lower inflammation and chronic pain, which can lead to poor sleep and relentless fatigue. [3]

How to Use – Mixing 5-6 drops of black spruce oil in a warm bath, simply soak in the tub for 20-30 minutes and let the active ingredients work their magic, along with the powerful aroma, which can relax the mind.

Rosemary Oil

The direct impact of rosemary oil on the central nervous system is why it is one of the best essential oils for reducing fatigue. It can stimulate energy production and invigorate cognitive function, improving concentrate, memory and focus, which often suffer when you are feeling tired. [4]

How to Use – Never use this oil in the evening, as its effects can often last for 4-5 hours. Steam inhalation is a popular form for using this oil, or you can diffuse it throughout the room for an energy boost that lasts all day!

Eucalyptus Oil

Increasing vitality and boosting mood is essential if you want to overcome fatigue, and eucalyptus oil can do just that. By promoting a healthy body through anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, this oil is able to counter negative feelings and improve blood flow, which will provide more energy to the organ systems and muscles. [5]

How to Use – This oil can be diffused throughout and entire home or room, or it can be added to a warm bath. The aromatic compounds are almost as effective as the topical application, leaving you feel energized and alert.

Lavender Oil

This oil can work in two different ways, both as a stimulant substance and one that can help you get the sleep you need to overcome chronic fatigue. Lavender oil will boost circulation, which can provide a revitalized feeling, but also will reduce inflammation and stress levels, which can help falling asleep at night much easier. [6]

How to Use – You can put a few drops of this oil on your pillow to ensure restful sleep, and can directly inhale this oil, or put it in a room diffuser, to provide uplifted feelings all day long.

Peppermint Oil

As mentioned above, fatigue can affect both the physical and psychological functioning of our body, and when your mind is tired, few things are more effective than peppermint oil. This stimulant oil can boost cognitive alertness and increase memory capacity, leaving you feeling awake and ready to face whatever challenges the day brings! [7]

How to Use – You can mix peppermint oil with another carrier oil and rub it directly on your chest or neck for a rapid energetic boost, or add some drops of this oil to a morning bath for an invigorated morning and proper energy levels throughout the day.

Lemon Oil

The limonene content in this essential oil can be a stimulant substance, but also provides antioxidant effects that reduce inflammation and discomfort. Therefore, this oil will increase energy, stimulate cognitive function, and treat the underlying cause of some fatigue conditions. [8]

How to Use – You can blend a few drops of lemon oil into your morning cup of tea, or simply diffuse this invigorating oil throughout your home for a slower, but more consistent boost of energy to overcome fatigue.

Basil Oil 

This mental stimulant can clear away the clouds of fatigue and exhaustion, while also stimulating circulation in the body, which can increase overall energy levels in the extremities and muscle systems. [9]

How to Use – Mix 10 drops of basil oil with one tablespoon of coconut oil and apply this topically to your chest, neck and wrists, as this will help to stimulate the body’s blood flow and improve energy levels.

A Word of Warning

Many people turn to essential oils for reducing fatigue, but there are some health concerns that potential users should be aware of. Essential oils, particularly when consumed internally, can have a number of side effects, due to their potency. This can include allergic reactions, skin inflammation, gastrointestinal upset, low blood pressure, low blood sugar and sedation, among others. Therefore, depending on your pre-existing conditions or other medications, you may experience unwanted reactions when using some of these oils. Speaking with your doctor about your specific case is important before using essential oils. Furthermore, chronic fatigue syndrome can have long-lasting impacts on your health, so if your at-home treatment of fatigue is ineffective, seek formal medical treatment and re-balance your energy levels!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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