Several recently-published studies have confirmed the stress- and anxiety-reducing actions of essential oils. Research used both inhaled and ingested oils of Lavender and Bergamot, and inhaled Sweet Orange. Further, research into Lavender and Bergamot partially elucidated the neurological actions of their anti-stress activity in the brain.
A study using Sweet Orange had humans subjects, and had a control group inhaling Tea Tree. Published in the Journal of Complementary Medicine was “The Effect of Sweet Orange Aroma on Experimental Anxiety in Humans”. The subjects exposed to the Sweet Orange essential oil, unlike the control groups, showed no increase in anxiety markers during and after a stress test after inhalation.
Research into Bergamot essential oil was interesting in that both inhaled and ingested essential oils resulted in significant differences in stress-related actions of experimental groups of mice. Previously, we’d also reported research noting inhalation of Bergamot essential oil to significantly lower anxiety in teenagers regularly inhaling the aroma as well.
Lavender has been shown in human groups with ingestion, and research with mice using the diffused aroma, to have confirmed anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) action. The ingestion was performed using Lavender essential oil in capsule form (not available in the USA, or anywhere yet, as far as we know) which was the equivalent of two drops of essential oil taken daily.
Finally, both Bergamot and Lavender were found to cause their effects through serotonin-mediated neurotransmitter channels, as opposed to GABA-systems – which are typically affected by classic anti-stress and anti-anxiety drugs. This implies that essential oils work, though do their job without causing loss of coordination or excessive sedation.
We always thought so ;)