Whether you’re craving deeper sleep or daytime serenity, there’s an essential oil that can make your New Year’s health goals a breeze! Read on to find out which ones to use to induce calm, quell worry, and more.
Induce Calm with Orange
Breathing in orange essential oil ($7.99, Amazon) heightens happiness in just two minutes. What’s more, inhaling this citrusy aroma five times daily can cut anxiety risk in half, Italian researchers say. That’s because the aromatic compound (d-limonene) found in orange oil’s stimulates the brain’s feel-good nerves.
An added bonus? Sneaking just 1 tsp. of orange zest into a meal prompts the release of indigestion-quashing enzymes!
Deepen Sleep with Vanilla
This oil’s active ingredient (vanillin) helps spur calming brain waves, inducing sleep as effectively as prescription sedatives for 92 percent of women studied, say researchers at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. Simply put two drops of vanilla oil ($7.99, Amazon) or extract ($8.81, Amazon) on a tissue and set it on your nightstand, suggests neurobiologist Anat Arzi, Ph.D.
Vanilla’s aroma also taps into your brain’s appetite control center, helping you shed a pound weekly if you sniff it for 30 seconds before each meal!
Rev Energy with Nutmeg Oil
Energy lagging? Reach for a bit of nutmeg oil ($11.55, Amazon). British scientists say this enticing scent stimulates the brain to release energizing chemicals in just two minutes. Recent studies also suggest that massaging two drops of follicle-nourishing nutmeg oil into your scalp for five minutes daily could lead to a noticeable uptick in hair growth.
Quell Worry with Rose Oil
The sweet, summery aroma of rose oil ($24.95, Amazon) calms the anxiety center of the brain, relieving restlessness, tension, and irritability for 90 percent of women in just one minute.
Boost Focus with Myrrh
When a long to-do list has you feeling scattered, sniffing myrrh essential oil ($8.99, Amazon) can sharpen concentration by 55 percent in 60 seconds, Canadian researchers say. Explains pharmacist Sam Baral, Pharm.D., myrrh contains compounds called sesquiterpenes that stimulate your brain’s focus-enhancing center.
Adding a drop of myrrh oil to lotion and rubbing it into winter-weary skin twice daily can also soothe inflammation and increase moisture retention, cutting dryness and itching by as much as 75 percent in one week.
Tame Headaches with Lavender
Lavender’s linalool calms pain nerves and relaxes muscle spasms. Massaging six drops of lavender oil ($15.95, Amazon) mixed with 2 Tbs. of lotion onto muscles near the temple and neck can shut down a fun-sapping headache in 15 minutes.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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