Which Essential Oil is Best For Anxiety And Depression?

Essential oils and aromatherapy can be helpful for anxiety and depression. And there are a lot of scents to choose from. But the question is which scents are helpful and how? Some scents do different things.

The best essential oils for anxiety and depression are:

  • Lavendar
  • Lemon
  • Jasmine
  • Chamomille
  • Peppermint
  • Bergamot
  • Frankincense 

How to Use Essential Oil

While essential oils can be helpful, it is important to remember that essential oils should only be used as a supplement. Essential oils are not a substitute for conventional medicine like therapy and medication. Used together, essential oil and medicine can help alleviate your depression and anxiety. These oils can be added to candles or you can buy the candles pre-scented. Some people apply them to their skin or use diffusers. You should talk to your doctor before adding essential oils to your anxiety treatment plan.


Which Essential Oil is Best For Anxiety And Depression?

Lavender is a common essential oil used in anxiety treatment. It can help you create a relaxing atmosphere in your home or office. There have been studies showing that lavender affects many of the things that cause anxiety. It helps regulate the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system regulates things like heart rate, blood pressure, and other things that get elevated during a high-stress situation. Lavender helps your parasympathetic nervous system get back to normal and in turn, decreases your anxiety.

Sleep, or lack thereof, is another factor in anxiety and depression.  According to the Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep and anxiety can go hand-in-hand. They tend to feed into each other. Research has shown that lavender can improve sleep which can, in turn, improve anxiety as well as other aspects of your mental and physical health.

Sometimes, anxiety can be amplified by external triggers, such as an environment where fear is common, such as emergency rooms. A study done by the British National Health Service showed that there was a reduction in anxiety in intensive care units. If you are running a business where anxiety among customers can be common (such as a dentist’s office), having some quality lavender in the air can help calm people down. 


Lemon is another common essential oil used for stress relief. It has a relaxing scent but like lavender, some science points to it being a good supplement to anxiety treatment. In mice, it has been shown to reduce anxiety. 

It can also help reduce depression. A major cause of depression is a lack of serotonin in the brain. The brain needs serotonin to function properly. Lemon (and some other citrus fruits) contain a compound that can increase the production of serotonin (when coupled with standard medicine).

Sometimes, the best way to deal with anxiety and depression is to attack the root cause. While there may be chemical imbalances in the brain that cause it, there are things in life that can exacerbate anxiety. In teens and college students, test anxiety can be a constant problem. Reducing test anxiety can be a good way to lower overall anxiety. Lemon oil has been to reduce test anxiety. This will help your teen study better and get their test scores up, thus lowering their anxiety levels. Plus, achieving goals, such as raising test scores and grades, has been shown to increase endorphins levels, which can also help relieve depression and anxiety. So the right candle can help you multitask in the anxiety relief department.

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Throughout Asia, jasmine has been used as a natural anti-depressant and anxiety reliever. Studies on mice have shown that jasmine helps them calm down, with many of the mice falling asleep. Studies on humans have shown that jasmine can help improve sleep as well. This is because jasmine impacts the brain and nervous system and helps your body relax. Jasmine in the air helped people get a more restful sleep with less tossing and turning than with sleeping medicine alone.

Additionally, jasmine has other effects on other depression and anxiety symptoms. If your depression is making you feel lethargic, some studies have shown that jasmine can help boost energy, particularly during the late afternoon when your body is winding down. If you are in a situation where you need to relax without falling asleep, such as watching a small child, it might be helpful. Jasmine also helps your brain get more oxygen which can improve your overall health.


Chamomille is a common remedy. It’s been used for thousands of years in teas and some people kept them as plants. While many people now drink it just for the taste rather than for medicinal value, there is an increasing body of evidence that chamomile oil has a positive effect on anxiety and depression.

In 2017, a study was done to test the effectiveness of chamomile on generalized anxiety disorder. The two-month study found that nearly 60% of the participants had a measurable reduction in anxiety symptoms.

Chamomille is also good for depression. A study showed that over two months, chamomile helped participants reduce their depression symptoms. Chamomille can be even more effective when combined with other oils. When combined with lavender, chamomile can be even more effective. 

Sometimes, depression and anxiety can be caused by chronic pain. Chamomille oil can help with chronic pain symptoms, particularly when combined with standard medicine. If you’re having trouble sleeping, chamomile can help you improve your sleep, which can help you improve your anxiety.


Which Essential Oil is Best For Anxiety And Depression?

If you’re stressed, peppermint oil can be helpful (plus, it’s a good smell to have around during the holidays). Studies have shown that peppermint can improve cognitive functioning. If your anxiety is caused by something that requires cognitive functioning (such as writing papers or studying for tests), you can use peppermint oil to help you through it. 

Peppermint can also help improve your mood. The smell of peppermint is relaxing and can help relieve the restlessness caused by anxiety. If you’re the type that can get frustrated or anxious when doing difficult tasks, peppermint can help you stay on tasks that you find difficult. If you have problems staying out of a depressed mood, the scent of peppermint may help.

If your anxiety is giving you tension headaches, the menthol content in peppermint can help relieve your headache. If you are in circumstances where you can’t take over-the-counter headache medicines (such as an allergy) or you don’t like to use them a lot, 


Bergamot is a type of citrus fruit. It has been used in traditional medicine and scientists are starting to understand the benefits of bergamot. When your body is stressed, it releases hormones like cortisol. While necessary for actual high-stress situations (like times when your life is in danger, these hormones can be harmful when your body has too much of them for an extended period. Anxiety disorders make your body release these hormones for no discernible reason, thus creating a chemical imbalance.  Bergamot, when mixed with water vapor has been shown to decrease stress hormone production. This decreases anxiety.

When combined with lavender oil, bergamot has been shown to reduce depression symptoms and increase motivation. While bergamot alone does have some effect, you should combine it with lavender for best results.

However, if you intend to use bergamot oil on your skin, you should know that it increases your sensitivity to sunlight. If you are prone to sunburn or have an increased risk for skin cancer, you should stick to the vapor or candle versions of bergamot.


Frankincense has been used since ancient times, often thought to be the most valuable oil in the ancient world. Famously, it is said to be one of the gifts that the Three Wiseman gave to Jesus. While it may have religious significance in some cultures, frankincense also has some scientific benefits.

Frankincense oil can be a good natural sleep aid that can help you deal with sleep-deprivation-induced anxiety. If you are concerned about the use of over-the-counter sleep aids, or you have bad reactions to them. They can be helpful if you are worried about becoming dependent on sleep aids (which can itself be a major source of anxiety).

Science is also learning more about frankincense’s effect on anxiety and depression. According to a study done by Johns Hopkins University and Hebrew University in Jerusalem, frankincense has strong psychoactive effects. The reasons for this aren’t well understood. It is thought that frankincense activates a protein common in mammals called TRPV3. This protein is known to help your skin’s perception of hot and cold, but it may help your body feel more relaxed and better able to process the world.

Many kinds of essential oils can help you with your anxiety and depression, as well as their underlying causes. You can even mix and match them to amplify their effects.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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What should I beware of when shopping for essential oils?

While many websites sell essential oils, the industry is largely unregulated. You’ll have to be careful that you buy from reputable sites. Some unscrupulous sites sell oils that are not what they say on the bottle.

Are they any safety concerns?

That depends on the oil and the person. If you are concerned about things like allergies talk to your doctor before using essential oils or if you have an allergic reaction.

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