Using aromatherapy for anxiety

Long time anxiety sufferer Carol Smith* explains how anxiety made her life unbearable and after being on every type of prescription pill imaginable, she found relief from a mixture of several aromatherapy oils. 'I had a very difficult childhood that left me with debilitating anxiety, sometimes I used to vomit for hours from being anxious, other times I wouldn't sleep for nights on end. At times I even thought I was going to die.'
Carol never dreamt that something as seemingly innocuous as aromatherapy oils would bring her the most amount of healing and relief. Yet, in many cases research shows results parallel to the effect of prescription drugs. Aromatherapy oils are powerful and, used correctly, have no detrimental side effects. Carol found Lavender Wild Orange, Vanilla, Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang to be most effective for her. Bear in mind though, that it also depends on which fragrance you find most pleasing. Try out the 3 below or find your own unique formula. Lavender Lavender has a profoundly relaxing effect. You can add lavender to your body cream, deodorant, perfume and pillow. A study conducted by H. Woelk and S. Schl'fke, showed that food grade lavender taken orally over a 6 week period had results comparable to the popular anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam. This was a multi-centre, double-blind, randomised study of the Lavender oil preparation Silexan in comparison to Lorazepam for generalized anxiety disorder. (published in Phytomedicine, Vol. 17, no. 2 in 2010). Another study conducted by the University of Clinical Neurology in Vienna showed that ambient odours of orange and lavender reduced anxiety and improved mood in patients waiting for dental treatment. They used this study to support the opinion that fragrance can alter emotional states and reduce anxiety. Wild Orange Wild orange is a distinct mood booster that brings a sense of happiness and well-being. Get the food grade variety and you can add a drop to your herb tea or salad dressing. It's a great oil to have around the house. Bergamot Besides dissipating tension and stress, Bergamot is also great for the skin. It has a note of citrus in its scent and helps boost mood. Drop Bergamot in the bath at night and it will help you sleep. Add it to a carrier oil and use it on your body. Bergamot also treats headaches. TRY THIS: DEEP CALM: Mix Rosewood, Moroccan Chamomile and Frankincense in equal parts. This woody smell will bring on a calm and serene disposition. Moroccan Chamomile is said to be anti-inflammatory with antihistamine qualities. Frankincense has anti-depressive and anti-anxiety properties. An international team of scientists, including researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, describe how burning frankincense activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression. READY TO REST: Mix 3 parts of lavender, 1 of sweet marjoram, 3 ylang ylang, 2 sandalwood and 1 vanilla. All of these oils bring about a sense of calm and are good to bring on sleep. Ylang ylang has a sedative effect on the autonomic nervous system. CAUTION: Be aware that essential oils are highly concentrated and should not be used directly on the skin. It's almost always advisable to use a carrier oil like almond or jojoba on application. If you need to ingest any of the oils, make sure they are food grade standard.

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