Aromatherapy Stress Relief

Stress is part of life. It has a powerful effect on the body and takes its toll on both mental and physical well-being. It can cause headaches, nervous indigestion, or heart palpitations. Medical research now says that stress may be largely responsible for causing or at least promoting more serious disorders such as heart disease and allergies.

Stress also overworks the adrenal glands. Repeated release of an overabundance of adrenaline from these glands eventually disrupts the delicate balance of your brain chemistry and hormonal production. Initially this will make you feel like you are always on edge. Eventually, the adrenal glands become exhausted and the opposite reaction occurs. You become tired, sluggish, listless, and emotions may easily fly out of control.


It is not always easy to avoid stress, but there are ways you can cope with it better. Fortunately, aromatherapy offers some of the best types of natural prescriptions for easing stress. There are many relaxing fragrances listed below in this article. For starters, incorporate these scents into your life in as many ways as possible. Then explore further and use the ideas and recipes available from our general Aromatherapy page.

When applying the oil formulas, give yourself several minutes of slow, deep, even breathing while you imagine how, with each breath, the oil molecules are entering your bloodstream, and spreading throughout your body, relaxing tight muscles and alleviating tensions and strain. These moments will soon become one of your favorite times of the day.

Lavender, bergamot, marjoram, sandalwood, lemon, and chamomile were found (in that order) to relax brain waves. Doctors Giovanni Gatti and Renato Cayola discovered that the most sedating oils for their patients were neroli, petitgrain, chamomile, valerian, and opopanax (which is similar to myrrh). In fact, neroli, valerian, and nutmeg are included in a blend patented by International Flavors and Fragrances, Inc., for easing stress in the workplace. Aromatherapists find ylang ylang another potent relaxant. Need even more ways to relax? See Insomnia.

Essential oils that relax and sedate: bergamot, chamomile, lavender, lemon, marjoram, neroli, orange, sandalwood, ylang ylang


To learn more about Aromatherapy and other alternative medicines, see:

  • Aromatherapy: Here you will learn about aromatherapy, how it works, what part essential oils play, and how to use aromatherapy.
  • Essential Oils Profiles: We have collected profiles of dozens of plants that are used to produce essential oils. On these pages, you will learn the properties and preparations for the most popular essential oils.
  • How to Treat Common Conditions With Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy can be used to treat a number of conditions, from asthma to depression to skin problems. Here you will learn how to treat some common medical problems with aromatherapy.
  • Home Remedies: We have gathered over a hundred safe, time-tested home remedies for treating a wide variety of medical complaints yourself.
  • Herbal Remedies: Herbal remedies and aromatherapy can be very similar, and they stem from similar historic roots. On this page, you will find all of our herb profiles and instructions for treating medical problems with herbal remedies.

Kathi Keville is director of the American Herb Association and editor of the American Herb Association Quarterly newsletter. A writer, photographer, consultant, and teacher specializing in aromatherapy and herbs for over 25 years, she has written several books, including Aromatherapy: The Complete Guide to the Healing Art and Pocket Guide to Aromatherapy, and has written over 150 articles for such magazines as New Age Journal, The Herb Companion, and New Herbal Remedies.This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.