Paul Abraham: Aromatherapy oils to help reduce stress and anxiety

Paul Abraham, speaking at Bramley Lawn.

By Paul Abraham of

If you find yourself caught up in a never ending cycle of work, stress, anxiety, and don’t know what to do, aromatherapy oils may help you out.

They are readily availed online or in health food shops and cost £3/£4 per 10ml bottle and can be used in an aromatherapy burner or simply smelt from the bottle or just place a couple of drops on to a tissue. 

Always take advice from a medical expert or qualified aromatherapist to make sure they are safe for you to use should you have any health issues or allergies.


One of the most common aromas to help treat anxiety disorder is that of lavender. This essential oil is extracted via steam distillation of the lavender flowers. Most people enjoy the scent of lavender and find that it really helps them de-stress and relax better than most. When inhaled it basically slows down fast wave brain activity (the root of anxiety) and replaces it with slower wave alpha brain wave activity.

Rose Geranium

The geranium rose can help to relax your entire body as well as boost your mood if you are feeling down in the dumps. It has a very nice flowery scent that most people enjoy a lot.

This particular plant has been found to help balance hormonal levels as well as provide a major boost of relaxation. Upon smelling this scent, many people feel more relaxed and less irritable than before. This helps to make us feel calmer throughout the day and can even improve mood.

Roman Chamomile

Most people have heard of chamomile tea, but may not have tried it in aromatherapy to help reduce anxiety. This smell is pretty distinguishable from most other scents – it smells a little sweet or fruity at times.

It has been established as a substance to help reduce stress and in some cases has helped with insomnia and muscle tension. The oils are obtained from the Chamomile flowers which can then be used in therapy. 

It has been used for over 2000 years and can help with a variety of ailments including vomiting, insomnia and restlessness. The way it helps is primarily by having a calming effect on the user. Although it is likely not going to result in a permanent cure, it may help with a variety of things.

Clary sage

This is another substance that when inhaled should be beneficial for anxiety reduction.

In the Korean Academy of Nursing, there was a study done that involved the inhalation of clary sage with lavender, peppermint, and rosemary – the combination of these oils resulted in less anxiety for the individuals taking a stress test.

There have been some studies involving clary sage and most have demonstrated that it can help with anxiety. It is by no means going to result in a cure, but will at least provide a temporary soothing effect on your mind and body.


The actual bergamot oil is obtained from the rind of unripe citrus fruit from a bitter orange tree. Like the others already listed, it can induce a state of relaxation and calmness.

Many individuals find this scent refreshing with elements of fruitiness. This specific scent tends to be very helpful at restoring the hypothalamus to a state of homeostasis and calmness.

If you are feeling a lot of stress and anxiety, this aroma may provide you with some major relief. 


Some have touted Jasmine as being just as good as the powerful anti-anxiety drug Valium to help calm the nerves.

The way that jasmine works is by increasing the GABA activity within the brain to help regulate feelings of stress, anxiety, and over-excitement.

Although it’s probably not a good idea to make a direct comparison to the drug Valium, this may be one of your best bets in aromatherapy to help with your anxiety.


Sandalwood has a sweet, woodsy, outdoors type scent and can be very beneficial in reducing anxiety.

There was a study conducted that took into account the sandalwood aroma in cases of terminal illness. It was found to reduce overall anxiety in these patients.

Additionally some have said that it works great to help with insomnia as well as improve overall quality of sleep. This fragrance comes from an evergreen tree and the oil that is used in massage therapy is extracted from the heartwood.

Sweet marjoram

Sweet marjoram is noted by some as helping during the menstrual cycle with cramps. It has also been said to help with circulation.

Most people that use it notice that this bold fragrance has a little spice, but it does end up contributing to a state of relaxation of the mind and body. Like the others this can help some individuals with insomnia and get a deeper night’s sleep.

Many individuals like to use sweet marjoram in combination with other things like lavender, bergamot, and chamomile for an even more powerful effect.

Ylang ylang

Ylang ylang is a tropical Asian plant and the essential oil is obtained from starfish shaped flowers on the cananga tree.

Although it can really help with anxiety and stress, most people know that it is not as potent as something like jasmine. It has been referred to as the “poor man’s jasmine” due to the fact that it is generally not as potent.

Many like to use it in combination with bergamot oil. It is not typically used alone, but it can be very pleasant combined with other fragrances.

Bramley elderly action
Community: Bramley Elderly Action

Make a birthday donation to Bramley Elderly Action

For Paul Abraham’s birthday this year, he is asking for donations to Bramley Elderly Action.

I chose this charity because their mission means a lot to him, and hopes that people will consider contributing as a way of celebrating with him. Every little bit will help him reach is goal.

Facebook pays all the processing fees for you, so 100% of your donation goes directly to the charity.

Donations can be made here.

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