Lavender Essential Oil for Anxiety

by Catherine Lawson last updated -

Anxiety can be a debilitating medical condition for 18.1 percent of people in the United States that experiences it. Globally, this figure is thought to be as high as almost one in every three people. Fortunately, there are natural ways to help manage your anxiety symptoms. This includes using lavender essential oil for anxiety.

Lavender essential oil for anxiety is beneficial due to the various calming and sedative properties of lavender itself. Additionally, many people like to use essential oils to help manage their anxiety symptoms because it doesn’t have the side effects that they can get with medications. [1]

Benefits of Lavender Oil for Anxiety

There are several science-backed benefits of using lavender essential oil for anxiety. We’ve rounded up the top five benefits for you. This will give you a good understanding of how important this oil is for medicinal use.

A flat-lay picture of lavender oil and lavender flowers

Lavender essential oil promotes relaxation and treats anxiety. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Stress Reduction

Did you know that having a lot of stress in your life on a daily basis can trigger anxiety or an anxiety attack? A topical application of lavender oil to your wrist or diffusing it in your home can help. One study showed that lavender oil preparation or Silexan was far more effective when it comes to reducing stress than certain prescriptions or placebos. It works to calm the nervous system. [2]

Natural Antidepressant

Almost half of all people that are diagnosed with anxiety also have depression. Lavender oil can actually enhance your body’s serotonin levels. This is the feel-good chemical in your body, and it can help to regulate the neurotransmitters that deal with it. Additionally, a 2013 study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal says that lavender oil can also improve serotonin activity throughout your body. This means that you can feel a significant decrease in your depression and anxiety symptoms. [3]

Improves Sleeping Patterns

People with generalized anxiety or anxiety disorders can have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep through the night. This can fluctuate depending on how high the anxiety levels are. However, the lavender essential oil has sedative effects and calming properties. Diffusing this oil in your bedroom can help promote deep and restful sleep. It can help slow down any racing thoughts you may have that are keeping you awake. [4]

Pain Relief

It’s not uncommon for people with anxiety to experience aches and pains throughout their bodies. These aches and pains can come from tense muscles, headaches, stiffness, or chronic pain. Lavender oil has natural pain-relieving properties that work when you apply it topically to the painful area in question. It can help to desensitize overactive nerve endings, calm your immune system down to reduce the inflammatory response, and help to relax any stiff or sore muscles. [5] [6]

Brain Function Support

One of the main causes of anxiety or an anxiety disorder is a neurological imbalance or issue. According to a research study by Dr. Elizabeth Martin from Emory University US, an imbalance or issue in your neuralgic system can lead to a decrease in the number of hormones or chemicals that help to regulate the feeling of anxiety. Lavender oil can help because it helps to support and protect your neurological pathways. In turn, this can help to regulate the chemicals and hormones in your system that are responsible for triggering anxiety. [7] [8]

How to Use Lavender Oil for Anxiety

Lavender oil is one of the stronger smelling essential oils that are currently available. This makes it relatively easy to use it in a variety of ways to help ease your anxiety symptoms. You may want to experiment until you find the way that works best for you.

  • Diffuser: Add a few drops of lavender oil to your diffuser and let it run in your bedroom before bed.
  • Smelling salts: Add a few drops of lavender oil to a small vial of Epsom salts and take it with you.
  • Topical application: Apply a small amount of lavender oil right to your problem area.
Lavender essential oil drop bottle with a blurred background

Lavender essential oil is one of the most popular and versatile oils used in aromatherapy. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Buying Lavender Oil for Anxiety

Lavender is a small flowering shrub or plant. You can find lavender all over the world with Bulgaria being one of the top exporters in the world of this flower. There are a total of 47 species of lavender available. This is what manufacturers use to make lavender essential oil through a distillation process. There are two different types of lavender oil available:

  • The essential oil made by distilling lavender flower oil is insoluble in water and colorless.
  • The second type of essential oil is made by distilling the lavender spike herb. They use steam distillation to produce lavender oil because it creates a larger amount of oil.

Both varieties are available online as well as in drug stores and health food stores. The essential oil variety is different from lavender oil which is sold as perfumes. Lavender oil has been a hallmark in the perfume industry for decades. It has a very light floral scent that can trigger a relaxation effect on your nervous system. This is what makes it such an excellent natural remedy for anxiety, and it’s a leading reason why it’s gaining popularity among anxiety sufferers around the world.

Word of Caution: Lavender essential oil is thought to be relatively safe to use. However, you want to avoid using it topically on your boy children if they haven’t reached puberty. Some research suggests that it can disrupt their hormones and cause breast growth. [9]

You also want to avoid using lavender oil if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding because there isn’t enough research available to definitively tell if it’s safe or not. Also, avoid lavender oil for two weeks before any surgical procedure. It slows down your central nervous system. This slow down could potentially cause complications with anesthesia. Protection Status
About the Author

Catherine is the chief editor at Wellness Aromas, a community of passionate aromatherapy advocates, where you’re guaranteed access to the best advice and guidance to balance your body, mind, and spirit with essential oils. Save the flavor of better health & wellness!

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