A Japanese study found that inhaling essential oils can modulate your sympathetic nervous system activity. Certain oils were found to be stimulating, while others were found to be calming. For example, according to Dr. Mercola:
- Black pepper, fennel, and grapefruit oil caused a 1.5-to 2.5-fold increase in sympathetic nervous system activity (as measured by an increase in systolic blood pressure)
- Rose and patchouli oil resulted in a 40 percent decrease in sympathetic nervous system activity
- Pepper oil induced a 1.7-fold increase in plasma adrenaline concentration, while rose oil caused adrenaline to drop by 30 percent
- Other oils have been shown to measurably decrease stress hormones—inhaling lavender and rosemary were shown to reduce cortisol levels.25
When purchasing essential oils, keep in mind that they are not the same as synthetic fragrance oils, which in most cases are not safe to use on the skin. Pure essential oils are always natural.
Many oils also need to be diluted with a “carrier oil” such as coconut oil which serves as a base to add a few drops of essential oils to.
Always use a carrier oil when using essential oils on babies and children since their skin is much more sensitive to the effects.
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Lavender essential oil can treat anxiety disorder as well as drugs such as Lorazepam: