When I was a child, I burned my hand. My grandmother saw the burn and didn’t hesitate. She grabbed a small glass bottle of lavender and broke a chunk off her Aloe Vera plant. Then, lightly massaged it into the burn. It was a burn that normally would’ve blistered, but it never did. It simply reddened and then, over the next day or two, disappeared.
I never forgot the lesson of that day: natural plants and herbs can provide some powerful benefits. But it would take me a lot longer to realize just how far-reaching those benefits are.
Years later, I was going through a season of incredible stress and anxiety. It was nearly paralyzing. I was familiar with natural remedies/medicinal plants and herbs, and I knew oils can often have unexpected results, not only affecting the body but also affecting the mind and soul. And so, went to aromatherapy to help my anxiety.
As research shows, there are a number of oils that have been linked to reduction of anxiety in animals as well as humans. And after incorporating several of them into my daily routine, I could sense a noticeable difference in my level of worry. So, what were the oils that helped me deal with my anxiety?
Chamomile: Chamomile is an herb that’s used to make tea as well as essential oil. Several years ago, a study was done on the power of chamomile to alleviate anxiety in cancer patients. It found that by using it as a massage oil, it made a noticeable difference in the way those patients felt about their circumstances. And if it can help people struggling with a major illness, just imagine what it could do for the everyday worries we go through.
Bergamot Orange: This is one of my favorites! When you cold-press orange rinds from the Citrus Bergamia tree, you end up with Bergamot Orange essential oil. And when you inhale that oil, you experience decreased levels of anxiety and worry. Several scientific studies (on humans as well as rats) have backed this up.
Lavender: Lavender is an all-around wonder oil. Not only does it help with minor burns, it’s also effective at decreasing inflammation, relaxing muscles, and relieving anxiety. A 2017 study suggested that lavender oil could help reduce anxiety in people who were awaiting surgery or found themselves in an intensive care unit. And since its effects are well known, you can find a wide variety of products that incorporate it, from lotion and soap to massage oil and more.
Aromatherapy and usage of natural plants, herbs, and oils are such powerful tools in our pursuit for holistic health because it can be used in so many different ways. You can diffuse an essential oil, breathing it in and allowing it to take immediate effect. You can mix it with a massage oil and enjoy the benefits of massage along with those of the essential oil. Or, in the case of chamomile, you can get some of its benefits by drinking it as a tea.
And when you combine those different ways, you multiply its power. This is how you can use plants and herbs for your anxiety.