Essential Oils Therapeutic Charts: Anxiety and Stress-Related Problems


Description: A state of nervous apprehension and distress. Sufferers experience paralysing fear of an imminent yet unspecified danger and in extreme cases fall prey to unpredictable panic attacks. Anxiety is usually a response to stressful events, but can also occur apparently without provocation.

Possible Causes: Chronic anxiety (sometimes accompanied by depression and/or insomnia), needs professional help. Especially if an obvious cause cannot be pin-pointed, though it may be linked to food allergy, excessive caffeine intake, or be the side-effect of certain drugs.

Aggravated By: Lack of sleep and whatever the source may be.

Recommended Essential Oils: Bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, frankincense, juniper berry, lavender, melissa (true), neroli, rose otto, ylang ylang.

Methods of use: Balm, massage, vaporiser, personal perfume.

Further advice: Seek to reduce stress in your life. A professional aromatherapy massage now and again is a marvellous treatment especially in conjunction with Bach flower remedies. You could also see a professional counsellor. or join a support group.

Suggested Herbal Remedies: Chamomile, lemon balm, lime blossom, orange flower, valerian (also available in tablet form).

Nutritional Supplements: If food allergies are suspected, seek professional advice. Otherwise use the same supplements recommended for stress.


Description: Depression is characterised by excessive sadness, lethargy, a pronounced inability to concentrate and strong feelings of inadequacy. Regular sleeping patterns are often upset with a sufferer having either too little or too much sleep. It can be a perfectly normal response to a period of crisis, emotional upheaval or excessive level of pressure and stress.

Methods of Use: Bath, massage, vaporiser, personal perfume.

Possible Causes: Chronic depression is usually symptomatic of an underlying physical illness or a psychological disorder. Otherwise, treatment is similar to that recommended for Anxiety.

Suggested Herbal Remedies: Lemon balm, lime blossom, ginger (available in tablet form), rosemary.

Aggravated By: Too much or too little sleep, or whatever has triggered the feeling.

Nutritional Supplements: Depends on cause, but generally a good multi-vitamin and mineral supple­ment containing the full B-complex range of vitamins.

Recommended Essential Oils: Specifics: basil (French), citrus essences, clary sage, lavender, neroli. sandalwood vetiver, ylang ylang. Others which may help: biack pepper. coriarder, frankincense, juniper berry, pine, rose otto, rosemary.

Further Advice: Chronic depression needs professional help. Your GP may be able to put you in touch with a counsellor or psychotherapist. Milo or ‘reactive’ depression can be helped by aromatherapy (ideally, professional aromatherapy massage) and Bach flower remedies.


Description: An extremely common ailment with numerous possible causes.

Methods of Use: Icy compress, massage (especially to head, neck aid shoulders), dry inhalation (a few drops on a handkerchief or a single drop inhaled from the palm), headache balm.

Possible Causes: Nervous tension, low blood sugar, high blood pressure, food allergy, Lack of sleep, muscle spasm at the base of the skull, structural mis-alignment, constipation, inhalation of toxic fumes and so on.

Recommended Essential Oils: Chamomile (German and Roman), dry sage, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon-grass, marjoram, peppermint, rose otto, rosemary.

Suggested Herbal Remedies: Chamomile, marjoram. peppermint rosemary, skullcap.

Nutritional Supplements: Depends on causes.

Aggravated By: See possible causes

Further Suggestions: Seek to reduce stress in your life. Persistent headaches must be investigated by a medical practioner.


Description: A frustrating problem that can leave you feeling drained, irritable and muddle-headed.

Methods of Use: Bath, massage (especially back massage), vaporiser, drops of essential oil on your pillow (or on a handkerchief placed nearby).

Possible Causes: Excitement or anxiety, worry, overwork (especially mental work), lack of fresh air and exercise, eating a heavy meal late at night, caffeine, nervous tension, nutritional deficiencies, depression.

Suggested Herbal Remedies: Chamomile, hops, lime flower, orange flower, passion flower; valerian (also available in tablet form).

Aggravated By: A sleeping area that is either too hot or too cold.

Nutritional supplements: Depends on cause. Seek professional advice.

Recommended Essential Oils: Chamomile (German and Roman), hops, lavender, mandarin, marjoram, melissa (true), rose otto, sandalwood, vetiver, ylang ylang.

Further Advice: Seek to reduce stress in your life. Persistent insomnia, especially if it results in chronic fatigue. must be investigated by a medical practitioner. Usually, this can be followed up with holistic therapy (aromatherapy massage is excellent) in preference to long-term drug treatment.

Jet Lag

Description: Symptoms may include fatigue, insomnia swollen ankles, menstrual disturbances, general malaise.

Methods of Use: Massage (for puffy ankles, generally massage beneath and above the swelling, always towards the heart), aromatic oath, epsom sails bath.

Possible Causes: A disruption in the body’s biological clock. exacerbated by the aeroplane itself i.e. compression cabin, dry atmosphere. Altitude is a problem or many people too, sometimes causing headaches and nausea.

Recommended Essential Oils: To calm: chamomile (Roman), cypress, geranium (lowest recommended quantity), ju1iper. lavender, neroli. To enliven: bergarnot, eucalyptus, geranium (maximum recommended quantity), grapefruit, lemon, peppermint. rosemary.

Suggested Herbal Remedies: To help you sleep: chamomile, orange flavour, passion flower, valerian (available in tablet form). To wake you up: fennel peppermint, rosemary, sage.

Aggravated By: Alcohol contributes to dehydration, so drink plenty of bottled water instead.

Nutritional Supplements: To reduce stress levels take 2 x 100 mg Vitamin C, a good multi-vitamin and mineral formula containing the full range of B-complex vitamins.

Further Advice: During the flight, elevate your feet by resting them on a hold-all or small suit-case to help prevent swollen ankles.

Mental Fatigue

Description: Although common in young adults studying for their exams, it may also affect harassed parents and office workers too.

Methods of Use: Specifics: vaporiser, dry inhalation (drops on a hardkerchief). General: massage (especially head, face, neck and shoulders), baths.

Possible Causes: Excessive mental fatigue, tiredness, stress.

Suggested Herbal Remedies: Peppermint, rose petal, rosemary.

Aggravated By: Continuing to work without a break, boring work.

Recommended Essential Oils: Stiecifics (to clear the head): basil, eucalyptus, peppermint, pine, rosemary. General: angelica, coriander, cypress, grapefruit, geranium, lavender, lemon, palmarosa, pine, rose otto.

Further Suggestions: Deep-breathing exercises, preferably in the fresh air or an open window.


Description: Migraine occurs when blood vessels in the brain contract then dilate, causing seething pain. It may be accompanied by altered vision, nausea, numbness, a sensation of pains, and sometimes vomiting. Often regarded as a form of neuralgia.

Methods of Use: As a preventive regular aromatherapy massage, especially to head neck and shoulders. During an attack: warm or icy compress (whichever gives the most relief).

Possible Causes: Could be triggered by one or several factors, for exam pie, stress, structural misalignment, muscle spasm at the base of the skull, depression, shock, hormonal disturbance (menopause, the pill), food allergy, extremes of temperature, personality (often anxious, hard working, restless, perfectionists), heredity.

Suggested Herbal Remedies: Feverfew, passion flower, valerian (also available in tablet form).

Recommended Essential Oils: Angelica. chamomile (German and Roman), coriander, clary sage, lavender, marjoram melissa (true), peppermint.

Aggravated By: Possibly by foods containing tyramine, chocolate, citrus, cured meats, herring, cheese, caffeine, alcohol, yeast products, onions, peanut butter, pork vinegar, yoghurt.

Further suggestions:  Seek to reduce stress. If you cannot track down the cause, or if there is no improvement after a couple of months of home treatment. Seek professional advice. Other helpful treatments include food allergy tests. Bach flower remedies, osteopathy or chiropratlic (to correct misalignment of spine), homoeopathy.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Description: A disease of the central nervous system (brain and spiral cord) where the myelin sheath, which insulates the nerve fibres, is destroyed. Symptoms vary dramatically from individual to individual ranging from weakness in the limbs, numbness and tingling in some cases, paralysis and incontinence.

Possible Causes: There is no known cause.

Aggravated By: Symptoms relapse and remit over time, apparently without reason.

Recommended Essential Oils: Generally, choose according to aroma preference (to uplift the spirits) though you could also try rosemary in a base of hypericum oil.

Methods of Use: Massage ( Especially back, buttocks and legs), lukewarm bath.

Nutritional Supplements: Evening primrose oil is the most popular supplement at present. Dosage 6 X 430 mg daily. Many sufferers feel that the oil mistakes an incredible difference.

Further Advice: There is no known ‘cure’ for MS, but aromatherapy can help to nurture the spirit, and alleviate depression and exhaustion (a common symptom during low phases of the illness). Also, do seek the advice of a holistic nutritionist as many sufferers have found that diet can have a beneficial effect on their symptoms.


Description: Pain arising along the course of a nerve,which maybe severe, dull, or stabbing.

Methods of Use: Massage, bath.

Aggravated By: Stress.

Possible Causes: A symptom occurring when a nerves irritated or compressed or where there is inflammation and infection. Facial neuralgia can be triggered by cold wind.

Suggested Herbal Remedies: Internal: hops, passion flower, valeran (available in tablet form), External: hypericum.

Nutritional Supplements: Good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. Including the full range of B-complex vitamins.

Recommended Essential Oils: Chamomile (German or Roman), coriander, eucalyptus, geranium, hops, lavender, marjoram nutmeg, peppermint, pine, rosemary.

Further Suggestions: Seek to reduce stress in your life. If symptoms continue, consult an osteopath or chiropractor who will be able to correct any structural misalignment.


Description: Stress occurs when the natural equilibrium of the body and mind is upset, often as a result of disease, physical injury, emotional troubles and excessive demands race on an individual’s mental and physical resources. Prolonged stress weakens the body’s immune system and can be the source of many health problems ranging from general aches and pars, to heart attacks and stomach ulcers.

Methods of Use: Massage, bath, vaporiser, personal perfume.

Possible Causes: The body’s reaction to situations of potential stress is the classic “fight” or “light” response triggered by the producer- or adrenalin. This hormone prepares the individual to resist (“right”) or avoid (“flight”) attack. In modem life however it is rarely possible to deal with stress in this way and as a result, there is no direct outlet tor the physical and emotional effects of adrenalin production.

Suggested Herbal Remedies: As for Anxiety, though Siberian Ginseng may also help (available in tablet form).

Aggravated By: The longer the “stressed out feeling” remains, especially if there is no outlet for pent-up emotions, the more harmful it can be.

Nutritional Supplements: During acute stage: A good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement containing the full range or B-complex vitamins and extra vitamin C amounting to 1g per day, gradually tapering of as improvement takes place.

Recommended Essential Oils: Almost any, but especially citrus essences, cedarwood, camomile (German and Roman), clary sage, cypress, frankincense, geranium, lavender, juniper berry, marjoram, patchouli, peppermint, pine, rose otto, rosemary, sandalwood, ylang ylang.

Further suggestions: Beat the hell out of a cushion!

VDU Stress

Description: A wide range of symptoms, including headache, eye-strain, irritability, insomnia, nausea, muscular aches and pains or a general feeling of malaise.

Methods of Use: Massage, bath vaporiser. personal perfume.

Possible Causes: The effects of low-level radiation as a result of spending long hours each day in front of a computer screen.

Suggested Herbal Remedies: See Stress.

Aggravated By: Spending more than two hours at a time in front of the VDU without a break. Symptoms are worse in those who dislike the work they are doing.

Nutritional Supplements: See Stress.

Recommended Essential Oils: As for Jetlag.

Further Suggestions: Take regular breaks preferably in the fresh air and do simple stretching exercises.

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