Aromatherapy for Anxiety – How Does It Work?

aromatherapy for anxiety how does it work is it real that's what I'm gonna be talking about today I'm dr. Tracy marks a psychiatrist and I publish weekly videos on mental health education and self-improvement if you don't want to miss one click subscribe and notifications aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to treat illnesses or promote relaxation essential oils are taken from plants and you can use many parts of the plants including the flowers the stalk the the bark the roots and these oils are usually mixed with another substance such as a base oil or an alcohol and applied to the skin they could be sprayed in the air or inhaled you can also put it into a diffuser without mixing it with any other oil and then inhale it in the room many massage therapists will use it as a part of a therapeutic massage aromatherapy has been around since the early 1900s so this isn't something that's new here's the connection between inhaling oils and having and it having an emotional impact on you the nerve in the brain that controls your sense of smell is called the olfactory nerve the endpoint of this nerve is in your nose and it runs to the back of your nose to your brain the part of your brain that connects to it is the temporal lobe well it just so happens that the temporal lobe has the hippocampus and the amygdala the hippocampus plays a role in memory of past experiences the amygdala is the emotional center of your brain why would something you smell affect your brain because the essential oils contain volatile organic compounds that exert a pharmacological effect when they penetrate the body either through your skin or through your olfactory nerve volatile just means that the oil can vaporize and become a gas so the oil of these plants are made up of molecules that can be absorbed through the skin in oil form or through your nose as a gas by inhaling these molecules you send the directly to the emotional part of the brain this is why inhaling gases and fumes is a big deal there's a direct pathway from your nose to your brain now not everything you inhale has molecules that have a pharmacological effect on you so I don't want you to get worried about everything you smell but inhaling things is a faster route to affecting your brain than eating something because when you eat it it has to be digested to then get into your bloodstream and your bloodstream is like the highway to take things to your organs but a gas can be absorbed directly by the nerve and have a straight shot to the brain bypassing the blood Highway it's like being beamed aboard if you're a Star Trek fan certain oils are known to be more activating versus sedating or relaxing and here are a few but I'll have a longer list in the description some popular essential oils that are used to promote relaxation are lavender sandalwood Clary sage and Roman chamomile a study from Wesleyan University in 2005 showed that the study subjects who were exposed to lavender experienced an increase in slow-wave or deep sleep I think that's pretty cool how can you use aromatherapy to relax aside from using a diffuser you can put a few drops of the oil on a cotton ball and sniff it or you could put it under your pillow if you're trying to go to sleep if you're wanting to use it for a massage I wouldn't recommend putting the oil directly on your skin as some people are sensitive to it even if you can't get a full-fledged massage you can massage your own feet with the oil by using a carrier oil such as ho Hoba olive or coconut oil these oils are safe to put on your skin and you can mix a few drops of the essential oil with the carrier oil to then put on your body another application is to put a few drops in your bathwater I'll have some references to some studies in the description of the use of aromatherapy and how it affects your senses like this video if you like it and leave me a comment or question if you have one take care see you next time


  1. I used to teach adult learners and I am convinced aromatherapy in the classroom provided a more conducive environment for learning.

  2. how long does the effect of Aromatherapy last you? (for example, you used your aromatherapy diffuser in the morning to boost your mood, is it going to last you throughout the day, possibly at work?)

  3. I love your channel..can u do a video on anxiety and breathing sometimes I feel like I'm not getting enough air tfs

  4. I've been taking Klonopin for about 20 years and I had a serious side effects and panic attacks and how to wind up in the hospital what can I do as a serious can it kill me

  5. I inhale Rosemary and Frankensence essential oils. I love them both. Rosemary is especially effective for me.

  6. I was wonder if theres any scents i can put like in my car. After getting in a wreck a while ago my already moderate anxiety has increased a bit and everything time i go over 40mph it freaks me and sends an alarm to my brain, well this is going to cause another anxiety if i dont figure out how to control my anxiety while driving on the highway. I was curious about orange blossom as lavender does put me to sleep

  7. I don’t really get much deep sleep. Will lavender help? BTW, I thought the “Hipo-campus” was a University for pachyderms. 😉🤓

  8. Breath in the gas,,…..weed ..done…
    Bingewatching you from Tasmania Australia ✌🌱🍃.
    Psilocybin will cure my depression?

  9. I love this! I have been working on building my own aromatherapy collection! I love lavender. Great video as always

  10. I love my lavender plants that have my porch. I like to go pass them and run my hands along the stems.

  11. When I went through massage school, we had a module on aromatherapy. It is pretty incredible to learn the way smells can affect us so deeply. I heard several incredible stories while in school about this. I would love to get you together with my favorite teacher, because I think you would be fascinated by her experiences. I would like to add that I think a big part of the enjoyment in gardening is experiencing the fragrance of the herbs and flowers as well as the tactile component of working with the plants. I grow my own lavender and it's so wonderful to get that fragrance as I'm working out there. I want to add some chamomile for next year, because that is a very yummy and relaxing fragrance as well.

  12. Essential oils should never be combined with an alcohol. Oils can be combined with an appropriate carrier oil. Please look at Robert Tisserand's works on Aromatherapy. He is the recognition leader and expert in Aromatherapy.

  13. My husband and I have definately noticed this. Lemon tree blossoms, jasmyn etc temporarily lift my spirits even when im very low. Doesn't necessarily fix the depression or anxiety permanently, but definately gives you a breather😊

  14. Great video and it also makes sense of how come smells can trigger flashbacks because the way it's connected to the brain

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