The essential oils in aromatherapy activate the smell receptors in your nose, which send messages directly to your brain’s limbic system. The limbic system affects your emotions, memory, learning, appetite, and sex drive. Inhaling essential oils stimulates different bodily responses, such as breathing patterns, blood pressure, and heart rate.
You can treat a wide variety of mental and physical problems with aromatherapy. Whether it is alleviating pain, improving focus, promoting restful sleep or aiding in digestion, there are essential oils that can help with the healing process. Aromatherapy can be used in the following ways: direct inhalation, vaporizer, humidifier, perfume, and aromatherapy diffusers.
It’s also important to note essential oils are powerful and need to be diluted before use. This is why they are combined with carrier oils. The most common carrier oils include avocado oil, almond oil, coconut oil, and olive oil.
The beauty of essential oils is that they typically perform more than one function, so by knowing the benefits of each you can find (or create) a personalized blend to meet your mental and physical health needs.
To help you navigate the world of aromatherapy, we’ve created a guide of the ten healing benefits along with the best essential oils for each.
Top 10 Healing Benefits of Aromatherapy
1. REDUCES STRESS
Stress is part of life and affects everyone in different ways. While it’s nearly impossible to avoid, there are ways to manage it.
Best Essential Oils for Stress: lavender, lemongrass, geranium, jasmine, and chamomile
2. RELIEVES ANXIETY
In a study by the American College of Healthcare Sciences, patients were given hand massages once a day for one week with an essential oil blend, which consisted of lavender, bergamot, and frankincense. Patients reported less pain and depression, and results confirmed that massage with this essential oil blend has stronger healing power when it comes to pain and depression management compared to massage alone.
Best Essential Oils for Anxiety: rose, lavender, bergamot, chamomile
3. BOOSTS ENERGY
Do you often experience the dreaded 3pm afternoon slump? The coffee has worn off and you’re losing steam. Rather than reach for your fourth cup, why not try a natural alternative to caffeine?
The good news is there are essential oils that can give you that pep in your step. All citrus oils, especially lemon, are filled with antioxidant terpenes such as limonene, which have naturally energizing effects.
Best Essential Oils to Boost Energy: peppermint, lemon
4. IMPROVES FOCUS
Best Essential Oils to Improve Focus: rosemary, basil, and sage
5. REDUCES PHYSICAL PAIN
Best Essential Oils to Reduce Physical Pain: eucalyptus, turmeric, chamomile, thyme, and ginger
6. IMPROVES SLEEP
Best Essential Oils to Improve Sleep: chamomile, ylang ylang, and bergamot
7. AIDS DIGESTION
Best Essential Oils to Aid Digestion: ginger, peppermint, fennel, juniper berry
8. STRENGTHENS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Best Essential Oils to Strengthen Your Immune System: oregano, ginger, myrrh, eucalyptus, frankincense
9. BALANCE YOUR HORMONE LEVELS
Best Essential Oils to Balance Your Hormone Levels: sage, geranium and thyme
10. BOOSTS HAIR HEALTH NATURALLY
Best Essential Oils for Hair Growth: tea tree, rosemary, myrrh, and helichrysum