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Aromatherapy: Research on Treating Anxiety

For an estimated 40 million US adults, feelings of anxiety may occur even when there's no real threat, causing unnecessary stress and emotional pain.

Unfortunately, most people who suffer with anxiety either do nothing or resort to pharmaceutical drugs – many of which are ineffective and capable of destroying your health and sanity further. Commonly prescribed drugs include benzodiazepine drugs like Ativan, Xanax, and Valium.

Many of these anti-anxiety drugs exert a calming effect by boosting the action of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the same way as opioids (heroin) and cannabinoids (cannabis) do. This in turn activates the gratification hormone, dopamine, in your brain. Since the identical brain "reward pathways" are used by both types of drugs, they can be equally addictive and also may cause side effects like memory loss, hip fractures, impaired thinking, and dizziness. Ironically, the symptoms of withdrawal from many of these anxiety medications include extreme states of anxiety – some of which are far worse than the original symptoms that justified treatment in the first place. Clearly a safe, natural alternative for treating anxiety is needed, and aromatherapy may be one such option worth trying. Research shows:

  • A systematic review of 16 randomized controlled trials examining the anxiolytic (anxiety-inhibiting) effects of aromatherapy among people with anxiety symptoms showed that most of the studies indicated positive effects to quell anxiety (and no adverse events were reported)
  • People exposed to bergamot essential oil aromatherapy prior to surgery had a greater reduction in pre-operative anxiety than those in control groups.
  • Sweet orange oil has been found to have anxiety-inhibiting effects in humans, supporting its common use as a tranquilizer by aromatherapists.
  • Ambient odors of orange and lavender reduced anxiety and improved mood in patients waiting for dental treatment.
  • Compared to the controls, women who were exposed to orange odor in a dental office had a lower level of anxiety, a more positive mood, and a higher level of calmness. Researchers concluded, "exposure to ambient odor of orange has a relaxant effect."

Scientific evidence and clinical experiments have shown the efficacy of aromatherapy in relieving anxiety and at Susan’s Green Marketplace we have the products to assist you in establishing an effective aromatherapy routine with the best essential oils available at affordable prices. Take the time to browse our excellent selection of aromatherapy essential oils to empower yourself to putting an end to anxiety.

By Susan Taylor | | Health |
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