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13 Essential Oils To Manage Your Anxiety and Stress

Updated: Jan 29

Bottle of essential oil

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Anxiety is a rapidly growing health problem that affects a significant number of children and adults. While there are a number of prescription medications on the market, they are not without potentially harmful side effects, including addiction.

Essential oils are considered to be one of the most effective natural treatments for anxiety and stress, and are a viable option for those who seek safe and alternative treatment remedies.

Here is a list of 13 essential oils to choose from for help with managing anxiety and stress:


Lavender is probably the most popular essential oil. It has a variety of uses, and is well known for its ability to aid in relaxation and calming. Lavender can help to relieve tension, improve sleep, reduce irritability, and calm stomach problems related to anxiety and stress. It is a safe and gentle alternative to other common anxiety treatments, without concern for unwanted side effects.


Chamomile is well-known for its use in tea. This lovely oil can help to produce feelings of tranquility and peacefulness. It can decrease irritability and can calm worrisome thoughts and anxiety. Studies have shown that chamomile contains both active antianxiety and antidepressant properties. Chamomile is considered to be generally safe, however those who are allergic to ragweed may also have an allergy to chamomile.


Bergamot is also a helpful oil for anxiety. It is commonly found in Earl Grey tea preparations, and has both a floral aroma and taste. Bergamot is recognized for its ability to provide calming energy and can be a helpful treatment option for depression and anxiety. Those who use bergamot find that it helps to reduce insomnia, and it can also reduce feelings of agitation.

Bergamot has photosensitizing properties, so it should not be used with increased sun exposure.


Some preliminary research studies have indicated that lemon essential oil contains anxiety-reducing properties. Lemon oil can help to reduce stress and fight depression. It can target fatigue and insomnia, as well as aid in the management of various physical health conditions including warts, varicose veins and acne. Lemon oil stimulates the immune system and is effective in reducing pain.

Two women smelling bottles of essential oils

Sweet Orange

Like lemon oil, another one of the citrus essential oils that helps to combat stress, anxiety and depression is sweet orange oil. Research has shown that patients diagnosed with depression were able to benefit from the use of smaller doses of antidepressants when used in conjunction with sweet orange aromatherapy oil. Orange oil can help to reduce anxiety and fears, and its usefulness has also been well-documented in cases of PTSD.


Perhaps one of the lesser known essential oils for treating anxiety is vetiver. Vetiver is understood to have a ‘grounding’ type effect on the body, producing a feeling of tranquility and calming energy. It has been referred to as a ‘nervous system tonic’ and is sometimes used with trauma patients to promote self-awareness, reduce anxiety and panic attacks, and achieve overall stability of emotions and behavior.


Like vetiver, frankincense is useful in the treatment of both anxiety and depression and contains similar properties to induce feelings of calmness as well as tranquility and grounding. When frankincense is used in aromatherapy treatment, it is believed to quiet the mind and can enhance meditation. Studies have demonstrated its positive effects with both pain reduction and management of depression in patients with terminal cancer.


Another anxiety-reducing essential oil is rose. Rose has a pretty, floral scent and can reduce feelings of nervousness and help to calm emotions. It can also help individuals who suffer from depression and panic attacks. Rose oil has been used effectively for individuals who suffer from grief and shock. It is safe for use in pregnancy and research has shown its effectiveness in decreasing anxiety for women during first time pregnancies.

Ylang Ylang

Like rose, ylang ylang has a sweet, floral scent. Its name means ‘flower of flowers’ and it is known for its healing properties. Ylang ylang acts directly on the brain so its positive effects on mood are nearly immediate. It can be used as an effective anti-depressant and anti-anxiety treatment. Ylang ylang also has a mild sedative effect and can help to reduce high blood pressure and a rapid heartbeat.


Eucalyptus is a refreshing essential oil that helps to combat stress and to boost energy. It produces a cooling effect and has the ability to alleviate headaches and fatigue, as well as to combat stress and anxiety. While eucalyptus is mostly known for its use in providing relief with colds and flu, it should be considered as a viable option to relieve stress and anxiety, as well as depression.

A little boy standing by a diffuser


Peppermint is another cooling essential oil that acts as a calming agent to decrease stress and anxiety. Peppermint has sedative-like properties and can help to calm the mind and to improve one’s mood. The menthol in peppermint helps to open up nasal passages, so it reaches the brain quickly to effectively relieve anxiety in a short amount of time. When peppermint is used in combination with other anxiety-reducing essential oils, it can be an extremely effective treatment to manage stress and anxiety.


Geranium is similar to rose, but with an added citrus scent. This is another oil to consider for the management of anxiety. Geranium is often more feasible than rose oil, but can provide the same level of effectiveness. It stimulates the lymphatic system to balance hormones and to relax the body. Geranium can help to boost one’s mood, decrease overall negativity, and increase open-mindedness.

Clary Sage

Studies have shown that clary sage essential oil is an effective anti-anxiety treatment for women, perhaps even more effective than lavender essential oil. Clary sage works to lower cortisol levels and to increase serotonin in the body, which results in reducing stress and improving mood. This essential oil has a wonderful aroma, and its use helps to improve self-confidence and overall feelings of well-being.

Whether you're new to essential oils or want to expand your knowledge base about how they can support wellness for your family, books like this one can be really helpful.

Plant Therapy is our one-stop shop favorite for essential oils for our family. We especially love their KidSafe line - Check them out!

Anyone who experiences regular feelings of anxiety knows how important it is to find effective relief. Medications for anxiety often come with unwanted side effects, and many people are interested in finding alternatives. Essential oils can be used as a natural and effective therapeutic tool to aid in the management of anxiety and stress for you and your family.

Two dark bottles for essential oils

All blog content shared through HealthSmart! Kids is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as medical advice. Always talk with your qualified health care provider for managing your health care needs.

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