Best Calming Essential Oils – Top 5 List

Calming Essential Oils

The simplest definition of aromatherapy is that it is the practice of using various parts of plants – most notably their essential oils – to enhance physical or psychological well being. Though essential oils uses include a wide range of medicinal applications through ingestion and topical use (neither of which should be partaken in without a discussion with a medical professional), aromatherapy itself may be just as old, with it documented as far back as ancient Egypt, among other great civilizations throughout history. Calming essential oils are the most popular used in this application, but there are also energizing and stimulating essential oils that have purported psychological benefits as well.

Because today aromatherapy is generally regarded as an alternative type of treatment, there are not as many studies in existence on its effectiveness as there are other types of treatments. One area where the effects of calming essential oils have been more thoroughly studied is in the realm of insomnia, where individuals ranging from childhood to late adulthood were shown to have an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep with the use of calming essential oils in aromatherapy than those who did not. This was also true in the case of a test group of the elderly with specific types of heart conditions, furthering the use of oils with calming benefits in those with serious and terminal illnesses.

However, there are also those in the medical community that believe that the mind clearing and mood calming effects achieved with the use of aromatherapy are related to a placebo effect, where the individuals feel calmer because they want to feel calmer. This is an unusual way to look at using calming essential oils because if the intended purpose is to feel more relaxed, then regardless of how precisely that occurred should, in theory, not matter. The existence of a placebo effect in terms of aromatherapy use is therefore somewhat challenging to prove – but since results of aromatherapy success are equally challenging to prove, it is unlikely that one view will ever gain much ground over another.

There are many studies that have demonstrated the positive benefits of using calming essential oils. Because of the alternative nature of the practice however, studies will likely continue to be limited. Plant oils are incredibly powerful; and, many of their medicinal benefits, such as antiviral and antifungal properties, are slowly being uncovered. In time, it is possible that once-celebrated medicinal use of plant oils will become more commonplace. In the meantime, aromatherapy remains one of the most popular uses for essential oils, including the best five natural calmers found below.

1. Lavender Oil: It is worth getting this over-popular oil out of the way, since it remains one of the most prolifically used essential oils, thanks to its purported universal properties. Lavender’s success in research as a natural calming agent in aromatherapy is certainly deserved, although that does not necessarily mean it is the most effective – perhaps just the most thoroughly studied. While lavender essential oil is no doubt one of the best calming essential oils, it shares the qualities of versatility and pleasing aroma with another natural calmer – rose, which is thought to be just as effective and a natural remedy for depression symptoms, too.

2. Vanilla Oil: The pleasing scent of the vanilla bean is one of the most well known, and while it is certainly a scent that people either love or hate, those who enjoy it almost always find it boasts calming properties. It has been suggested that there is a very fundamentally human reason why this is and why vanilla essential oil may be one of the best calming essential oils. Vanilla is suggested to be the closest scent to breast milk, suggesting a natural relationship to the warming scent.

3. Frankincense Oil: Though it has made big news recently for purported anti-cancer benefits, one of the best known uses of frankincense essential oil mentioned in the Bible actually relate to calming and stress relief. Though it is also suggested by some in the natural healing community for scar repair and skin damage, it remains one of the most popular calming essential oils, thanks in part to its exotic scent.

4. Chamomile Oil: The calming effects of chamomile have been long observed, lending to the plant’s herbal uses in tea and other soothing application. But, both German and Roman chamomile essential oils are used for a variety of applications. Digestive problems are a very popular use for these flowery oils, but calming nerves and reducing both hostility and paranoia are both other purported uses of the chamomile essential oil in aromatherapy.

5. Spearmint Oil: Both citrus and mint family oils are known for stimulating and energizing effects; however, spearmint essential oil remains one of the most popular calming essential oils, acting nearly in opposite of similarly scented relatives. Although it is associated with enhanced alertness, this effect has been attributed to its ability to calm, uplift and relax, rather than stimulation.