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Friday, October 30, 2020

Essential Oils: Aromatherapy and Anxiety

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It would not be a thing of a surprise to see an article or news report that talks about how the smell of lavender can help relieve anxiety.

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The use of aromatherapy and essential oils is nothing new as alternative medicine practitioners have made use of them for hundreds of years in the treatment of insomnia, stress, and even pain.

According to a recently published study in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, simply sniffing on a specific compound in lavender known as linalool has the same impact on the brain that an anti-anxiety drug has. The only difference between this compound and the anti-anxiety drugs is that linalool doesn’t impair movement.

Linalool was discovered to affect the brain just by sniffing it without any contact with the bloodstream. This discovery is terrific considering the fact that a lot of people are not comfortable with taking medications because of potential side effects.

The catch here though is that the research was carried out using lab rats and it’s yet to be tested on humans. This means that scientists are not certain what the results would be when humans try it out. However, studies on the use of essential oils to deal with anxiety in humans that had been carried out in the past had ended with mixed outcomes.

Nevertheless, a study carried out in 2009 revealed that there was a link between the use of rosemary and lavender essential oil by graduate nursing students and reduced stress levels and pulse rate during examination period.

While lavender had always been considered as possessing a relaxing quality, rosemary oil has been credited with stimulation. Experts say that the effect of rosemary on a person depends on the kind of anxiety the person has.

In some cases, rosemary might activate a person’s brain and make their anxiety worst. However, if a person often has racing thoughts and the smell of rosemary help to clear the person’s mind, then it just might help with their anxiety.

Some other studies have revealed that some nice smells can help people in hospitals feel better.  These people include women in labour, people going through chemotherapy, old people in hospice, and other people going through stressful situations.

Some other researches have shown that there is no way aromatherapy can help with combating anxiety. According to a year 2000 study, the report claimed that though the effect of aromatherapy on humans are transient and mild, they are not strong enough to be prescribed as a treatment for anxiety.

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This means there isn’t one particular bottom line for the connection between aromatherapy and anxiety cure. Some people have claimed that using essential oils worked to make them feel better while many others have claimed that it did nothing for them.

However essential oils work better when people use them as prescribed. There can bet some hazardous side effects if ingested or used directly on the skin in some cases.

Some of the primary reasons why people seek aromatherapy include insomnia, anxiety, stress, and pain. To understand how a particular scent would work for you it is advised that you consult a registered aromatherapist.

The easiest way to make use of essential oils is by inhaling than. You can easily inhale these beautiful smells by using a diffuser that sprays they oil into the air, allowing you breathe it in.

It is also possibly to use essential oils by putting a few drops on upset pillow before going to bed so you breath in the nice smell you sleep. Essential oils are used in some body lotions, applied directly on the skin, and even used for bathing. However, if they are not correctly diluted, they can cause some skin irritation.

Lavender essential oil is the most researched oil, but it is not the only oil that aromatherapists prescribe for the treatment of anxiety. Other oils like sandalwood, sweet orange oil, and even bergamot have allegedly worked for some people.

One fact that we know for sure is that a person’s reaction to aromatherapy is highly individualised. Insert of these things that make aromatherapy effective is house a person’s central nervous system and the brain responds to it. So in the case of aromatherapy, what works wonders for one person might not be so good for another.

Also, if a person has had a bad experience associated with any of the essential oil smells, it may not be relaxing for them. You may have developed a love for the use of essential oils, but no matter how relaxing it is for you, it should never replace professional mental health therapy for anyone who is seriously struggling with their mental state.

People often worry about shipping for essential oils as no regulation helps to guarantee that what the label claims is precisely what is in the bottle.

To get the best quality of essential oil, look out for a reliable brand that has the Latin name and origin of the plant written clearly on the bottle. And also make sure to check for the production date and contact information of the producer.

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If you are thinking of what essential oils to buy to help relax you and maybe reduce your anxiety, check out for these:

1. Lavender essential oil

Since this oil had been used over the years to help people relax, it just might work for you. When you want to purchase a bottle of this essential oil, look out for one distilled directly from the flowers of the plant called Lavandula angustifolia plant.

2. Rosemary essential oil

If you are looking to relax with the use of essential oil, then this one might not be the right oil for you as it stimulates the brain. But if you need to engage in activities like reading and maybe reduce stress levels while you are at it, you can go ahead and get rosemary essential oil.

3. Sweet orange essential oil

This oil is derived from the peels off the orange fruit and had been discovered to improve markets of post-traumatic stress disorder in mice. It allegedly worked well to relieve stress in women in labour so it just might work for you.

Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.
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