Include Essential Oils in Your Heart Health Routine
By Caryn Gehlmann
February is American Heart Month, so it’s a good time to explore how you can add essential oils to your heart health routine. After all…what could be better than enjoying a lovely scent that may lower harmful stress, thereby leading to a healthier heart?!
According to new statistics from the American Heart Association, an estimated 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure which is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease-related deaths. Since that’s almost half of all adults in the US, this means that you or someone you love should be proactively working to lower your blood pressure.
Before we go into the use of essential oils in your healthy heart routine, please remember to communicate with your doctor and do your research, so you can take a holistic and balanced approach to your health care. Exercise, diet, and other lifestyle factors need to be factored into your approach. The American Heart Association’s website, www.heart.org, is a great resource to learn more.
Is there any evidence that essential oils can help your heart health?
Let us make this clear: essential oils are good for stress reduction, which in turn is good for heart health. A 2012 clinical study on aromatherapy effect on hypertension showed positive results on those with hypertension when using a blend of lavender, ylang ylang, marjoram, and neroli essential oils. The researchers found significant decreases in cortisol levels, which are often high in those who are stressed or have high blood pressure. Here’s what the researchers determined,
“In conclusion, the inhalation of an essential oil had immediate and continuous effects on the home SBP, daytime BP, and the stress reduction. Essential oils may have relaxation effects for controlling hypertension.”
This research really just emphasizes what most of us intuitively know — reducing stress is good for our health! When we’re stressed our body produces cortisol. Over the long-term overexposure to cortisol can disrupt your body’s processes and increase your risk of numerous health problems.
So the key is to find an essential oil or blend that helps your body release pent up stress and relax! Everyone is different but here are a few essential oils that can help you lower your stress level and potentially your blood pressure as well!
Essential oils and blends for lowering harmful stress:
Bergamot essential oil has a fresh, bright, faintly floral, citrus aroma that most people find uplifting. It can be used for mild depression and anxiety or to simply brighten your day.
Chamomile Roman essential oil is aromatic and calming with a fresh, sweet, apple-like scent. It can be used to help you let go of stress, tension, anxiety, anger, fear, sleeplessness, worry, shock, and impatience.
Frankincense essential oil has a warm, sweet, balsamic, woody aroma. It’s known to calm the mind when you’re feeling restless, anxious or stressed.
Lavender essential oil has a fresh, sweet, soft, herbaceous, floral aroma. Many find that it balances and calms them when dealing with stress, anxiety, nervous exhaustion, mood swings, anger, or sleeplessness.
Mandarin essential oil has a bright citrus aroma. It promotes joy and minimizes feelings of stress, anxiety, mild depression, tension, restlessness, or sleeplessness.
Neroli essential oil has a soft floral aroma and is one of the best essential oils to calm anxiety and promote a sense of calm. (Our Neroli dilute allows you to enjoy this precious essential oil at a more affordable price.)
Ylang Ylang essential oil is fragrant with a sweet, fruity scent. Many find it is helpful for stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, nervous tension, mild depression, anger by promoting a sense of peace.
e3’s Cardio blend can help to relax tight muscles and relieve nervous tension and stress to support the cardiovascular system. It’s an uplifting yet calming blend of Cypress, Geranium, Grapefruit, Marjoram, Orange, and Rosemary.
This list is really just the beginning, as there are other essential oils and e3 blends that many find helpful for naturally lowering harmful stress. The key is to observe your own body’s response to different scents or as we like to say… your nose knows!
If you want to learn more about the benefits of aromatherapy be sure to download a free copy of Listen to Your Nose: An Introduction to Aromatherapy. And visit us on Facebook for more heart healthy tips all month long.