During these trying times, I have been advocating for nourishing our minds and bodies to enhance resiliency. With the current turbulence in the world, I have been especially concerned for people’s emotional health. Oftentimes, the mind-body connection is overlooked, yet the two are intimately linked.
One of my favorite tools for holistic, physical, and mental health are essential oils. In my previous post, Five Reasons Why Essential Oils & Naturopathic Medicine Are a Perfect Duo, I discussed how essential oils align with the naturopathic principles.
Specifically, essential oils have properties that:
- Act holistically to address the mind, body, and spirit
- Align with the healing power of nature
- Support healthy living
- Optimize wellness to prevent disease
- Work to balance the body, rather than suppress symptoms
I always incorporate essential oils into my practice for most health concerns. Whether my clients present with hormonal imbalances, digestion issues, emotional struggles, and/or autoimmunity, essential oils can complement most of their personalized functional and naturopathic protocols. This is due to their synergistic and versatile properties.
In this post, I want to share with you my top five favorite oils for the mind-body that I use daily with my naturopathic medicine clients.
If you want to learn about more of the oils I use in my practice, tune-in to my upcoming webinar.
Watch my short video at the end to learn more and be sure to sign up.
The Top Five Essential Oils to Nourish the Mind and Body
1. Lavender Oil
First, there’s lavender. I start with lavender because it is so effective, powerful, gentle, and most people are familiar with it.
Lavender is soothing to the mind, supportive of neurological health, acts as an antioxidant, and has many other benefits including support for the brain, skin, sleep, and more.
This “universal oil” is the number one oil for any anxious mood. In fact, oral use of lavender has been clinically validated to be effective for alleviating anxious mood, even in comparison to anxiety medication. (source, source)
Using Lavender Oil
- Relaxing the mind for Bedtime- I recommend diffusing lavender at night for all my clients to help relax their minds and prepare them for sleep.
- Calming Stress- For stress-related hormonal imbalance, I suggest applying one or two drops a day with a carrier oil to the back of the neck or wrists. Most important is to inhale the scent.
- Mood support- For severe mood/anxiety and gut-brain issues, I will recommend 1-2 drops taken in a capsule. This is following a specific protocol and the use of a specific brand safe for oral use. (Please read my series on quality essential oils.)
2. Frankincense oil
The second oil on my list is frankincense. It is known as the “King of essential oils.” Frankincense oil enhances the mood, benefits immune health, and uplifts the spirit.
There are different chemotypes of Bowswellia spp. The species I most often use for emotional and immune support is B. carterii, especially if it contains incensole (varies with manufacturers), a compound for neurological health. I also use B.sacra.
How to Use Frankincense Oil
- Immune and neurological support- This oil can be applied similarly to lavender. I grab this first for any neurological or immune challenges, as frankincense contains sesquiterpenes which benefits the nervous system.
- Bringing the outdoors inside- We can being some of the outdoor benefits inside with diffusing essential oils high in pinenes, like frankincense oil. These “phytoncides” are linked to the benefits of forest bathing. This combination will relax the mind, body, and revitalize the soul.
3. Thieves Oil Blend
These oil supports the body’s defense and repair system and respiratory health and uplift the mood.
Using Thieves Oil
I wrote a mega-article on the background, biochemistry, and 10 applications for Thieves here. I also discussed why it’s a baseline for physical support in my practice here.
Here are my top 10 uses for Thieves oil:
- Diffusing for purifying the air
- Respiratory health
- Food Preservation
- Unwanted Microbe Growth
- Antioxidant support
- Digestive woes
- Oral Health (including oil pulling)
- Easing discomfort
- Aromatic upliftment
4. Citrus Oils
Citrus oils are important to include in the top five due to their high d-limonene content. This compound has immune modulating properties, digestive balancing characteristics, and is well-studied in clinical trials.
Using Citrus Oils
- Making water less boring- put one drop of a quality citrus oil in a 16-32 oz glass of water to perk up the taste and receive all the benefits.
- Uplift the mood and environment- Diffuse a few drops daily to uplift the mood and purify the air.
Note: Be careful of topical applications, as most citrus oils are photosensitive!
5. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is clarifying for the mind, alleviates digestion issues (it is clinically validated for irritable bowel syndrome), and is useful for exercise motivation.
Using Peppermint Oil
- Soothe belly woes- One to two drops can be applied directly on the belly with a carrier oil to cease intestinal discomfort. It can also be taken in a capsule if you are a versed oiler or have an expert to guide you.
- Exercise with more motivation– This oil is the one to diffuse while your exercising to pep you up.
- Ease discomfort- Apply one or two drops with a carrier oil to sore muscles or joints to ease soreness.
Prior to the crisis, I discussed the impact of stress on all wellness outcomes and how essential oils can calm the brain and body. This is why now, more than ever I feel it is important that people have the opportunity to discover their benefits.
In my upcoming Nourishing Your Mind and Body Series: Part I Essential Oils, I will be joined with two of my friends and colleagues who are also experienced with essential oils. Sarah James from Some Like it Hot Yoga Studio and Sherry Saben, RN. In our time together, you will learn:
- Characteristics and properties of essentials oils
- Our favorite applications for the 12 most popular oils I use with my clients
- How to get started with essential oils
Please feel free to share your thoughts below.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
According to experts and the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no approved standard of care treatment, cure, or preventative for COVID-19. Supportive measures and containment are in full force as a result. Please see the CDC website and your state’s website for more information and updates. They also state when to contact your physician related to symptoms and travel history, exposures. Please read my more detailed article on this subject here.
This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.
For additional safety and medical information, visit my essential oils database. It includes a full category on how to use essential oils safely and potential drug interactions that can occur.
Please be extra cautious and be sure to check with your doctor if you have a seizure disorder. The Epilepsy Society of the UK lists certain essential oils implicated for their antiseizure effect as well as those that have stimulating properties.
If you and/or your physician are interested in consulting with me to assist with supporting the integration of essential oils safely into a therapeutic protocol, essential oils consultations are available.