As the last week of the summer months approach us, the winding down has officially revved up. As I noted last week in my article, essential oils are a perfect companion to help stay serene during this time of fall transition.

One of my favorite oils for anxiety is lavender, but citrus oils are not far behind. They bring about a state of “focused calm” and ease the nerves to facilitate learning. Peppermint essential oil is another oil to place in the backpack to support memory and attention. This oil can also double as a breath freshener and digestive soother for when “tummies get tied in knots” before testing. You can also throw in some cotton balls with a few drops of peppermint into your little athlete’s gym bag, as peppermint oil has been shown to enhance exercise performance. You can’t lose with this combination of the aroma of peppermint-tainted sweat and higher scores!

In a previous post, I summarized how these oils and some of my other favorite blends that also feature our fruity and minty friends, can help to make back to school more productive. These combinations of scents are wonderful “multi-taskers” for supporting immune function, enhancing the mood, and helping keep things in perspective when brain overload hits.

Anxiety and Essential Oils: When Back to School Jitters are More than Being “Stressed-Out”

Being overwhelmed is not the same as those who struggle with a true mental illness. For those specifically struggling with anxiety, the brain has a harder time adjusting to changes and alterations in the environment. As I mentioned in my video, the oils of rosemary, orange, and jasmine may be additional companions for one’s wellness kit. They can assist with coping with brain imbalances while at the same time dealing with additional stressors.

Another oil to consider may be neroli. Recently, I was going through some current research and found a fresh article on using neroli oil for managing anxiety in patients suffering from an acute heart attack. The article was entitled, Citrus aurantium Aroma for Anxiety in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial.

The trial found that in 140 patients hospitalized for suffering from a heart attack, the use of 30% essential oil aroma of neroli administered in paraffin three times a day decreased mean anxiety scores in comparison to those given placebo. The article states, “According to the current findings, aromatherapy with Citrus aurantium L. aroma (neroli oil) may be a safe and efficient intervention and can be considered an easy and applicable method to reduce anxiety in patients with ACS.”

After reading this article, I cross referenced some of the studies on neroli and was quite impressed. The introduction listed both experimental and clinical evidence on this oil from the citrus (Rutaceae) family to back up its proclaimed use for calmness. Exciting!

Here’s what the authors’ report:

The essential oil of CA flowers has an exhilarant and mind tonic effect according to TPM.24 It is also called neroli oil with significant antioxidant, anticonvulsant, and anti-inflammatory activities.25–27 Several studies have indicated behavioral and anxiolytic effects of neroli oil inhalation as well as some effects on sleeping time, heart electrophysiological properties, and antidepressant activity after using the CA extract and essential oil in animal models.28–31 Moreover, there are several clinical trials indicating antianxiety effects of CA. The usefulness for preoperative anxiety32 and reduction of anxiety during labor,33 as well as antianxiety effects in patients undergoing hemodialysis,34 patients with chronic myeloid leukemia,35 crack users,36 and postmenopausal women,37 are some examples.

Additionally, it was indicated that consumption of CA and oxazepam tablets had equal efficacy on preoperative anxiety in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery.38 There was no report of serious side effects while conducting the studies; therefore, it seems that the use of ordinary doses of CA derivatives is safe.39,40 Following our recent study indicating the effectiveness of lemon balm in reducing anxiety of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery,41 the current study aimed to evaluate antianxiety effects of Citrus aurantium L. aroma inhalation on patients with ACS.

Reference links to some of the trials are below if you are interested in learning more.

I hope this information was helpful in providing you with some “good scents” to assist in coping with stress, anxiety, or both, and handling the transitions and bumps along the road of life.


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Neroli Clinical Trials for reducing anxiety:

In crack users:


Postop anxiety:



In Animals: It’s impact on serotonin neurotransmitter and cholesterol metabolism: doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-42

*Safety reminder: Please be extra 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.

For additional safety and medical information, please be sure to visit my essential oils database. This includes a full category on how to use essential oils safely and potential drug interactions that can occur.

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.

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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.)

Disclaimer: 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.

Thanks Pixabay.

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