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May 08, 2018

Essential oils are thought to provide many health and mood-altering benefits. As with any therapeutic product, make sure you are choosing high quality oils from a reputable provider for maximum benefit. Some oil products on the market are “fragrance oils” which smell good but are formulated differently than essential oils and have different use instructions/safety standards.

There are two main ways to use essential oils: (1)

  • Inhale/diffuse: Most essential oils are safe to inhale, either straight from the bottle or by using an oil warmer/burner or a diffuser. Oil warmers/burners use gentle heat to release vapors, while diffusers use water. Oil diffusing jewellery is also becoming quite popular: some portion of these decorative pieces will be porous (e.g., a wooden or lava bead) so that you can apply a drop of oil to the jewellery and the scent will be released over several hours.
  • Apply topically: Depending on the oil, you may be able to apply it directly to your skin. Essential oils are very concentrated so most need to be diluted by mixing 2-3 drops with a vegetable-based carrier oil. Not diluting essential oils can damage your skin, so be careful and make sure to read the instructions before using.

Life can get busy sometimes, but it’s important to take time out for yourself! Here are 5 essential oils that will help you relax and de-stress. (2, 3)

Lavender oil

Lavender is one of the most widely used oils because it is thought to offer relief for many health conditions and is an excellent choice for relaxation. Research suggests that using lavender oil in aromatherapy calms the nervous system by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature while also transitioning brain waves into a more relaxed state. (3)

Rose oil

Extracting rose oil is a labor-intensive process so this essential oil is generally on the more expensive side, and it offers a variety of health benefits. (Roses are also great for skin, but I won’t go into that here!). Studies have shown that inhaling rose oil is calming and relaxing, lowers blood pressure and breathing rate, and provides relief from anxiety and depression. (2)

Lemon, yuzu, or bergamot oil

All three of these are citrus fruits and have similar benefits, so choose the one you think smells best! Lemon and yuzu lower heart rate, soothe stress, and reduce anxiety, while bergamot (a hybrid fruit that falls somewhere between a bitter orange, a lemon, and a lime) is thought to relieve tension and anxiety, reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, and may even reduce chronic pain. (3)

Ylang ylang oil

Ylang ylang oil comes from a flowering tropical tree native to southeast Asia, and has been shown to decrease blood pressure, calm the nervous system, and lower heart rate. (3) Its scent is soothing and can help relieve stress, anxiety, and help with depression. (2)


Clary sage oil

This oil is derived from clary sage (a close relative to garden variety sage) and boasts antidepressant and sedative properties. (2, 3) If you suffer from migraines, anxiety, nervous tension, stress, or insomnia, inhaling clary sage oil may bring you relief! (2) Using this oil in aromatherapy may also help with depression. (3)


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