Emotional Effects of Essential Oils (Calming)

Jeanne Rose


The Writings of Jeanne Rose


     We must first understand that every person may have a different reaction to the odor of an essential oil.  Should you have had a bad experience, say with Thyme, an odor that is prevalent in hospitals, it is quite possible that you will never feel comfortable, calmed or stimulated with Thyme, only sad or unhappy, if you smelled Thyme and the person you were visiting got well, then you might like this odor.  The emotional effects of essential oils are individualistic, while the physical and therapeutic effects will persist whether the person 'likes' the scent of the oil or not.  However, in all cases it is wise to choose an essential oil that will work both positively on the emotional center as well as it will work on the physical problem.

     There are many Calming oils.  Foremost, is Lavender, that is , if you can get a good quality 'blue light' Lavender with a soft and sweet scent that is high in the two components that make lavender Lavender; linalyl acetate (soothing externally), linaloöl (sedating when inhaled or taken).  There are also the wonderful calming oils from the leaves and immature fruits of the Citrus; Petitgrain of Orange, Mandarin or Combava.  Lemon and Grapefruit also produce a delicious Petitgrain, however these are not as easily available as the Orange and Mandarin.

     Orange petitgrain is derived from the  leaves of the sweet Orange, Citrus aurantium or C. sinensis (family Rutaceae).  You will often see this listed under other Latin binomials but the Citrus family is very diverse and has been botanically crossed many times.  Orange leaves are Orange leaves. When freshly distilled the scent is fresh, somewhat vegetative, floral, dry and a bit leathery.  It is low viscosity and clear to pale, pale yellow.  The scent can be very floral if the leaves are distilled in copper; when large quantities are distilled in the commercial stainless steel, the scent can be very vegetative and not so satisfactorily calming until the still note has disappeared.

     Components include 10% monoterpenes, 35% monterpene alcohols, 50% esters, and sometimes methyl anthranilate.

     Properties, Indications and Uses:  Antispasmodic—to balance the nervous system and soothe spasms; Calming—when inhaled for nervous exhaustion, fatigue or stress, PMS or menopause; antisudorific—reduces excessive perspiration and reduces oil secretion.  This is a great addition to many skin care products as it acts as a toner and cleanser of greasy hair and skin.  Good to add to anti-acne blends for facial or chest care.  This e.o. can also be used as a respiratory inhalant.

     Mandarin petitgrain, Citrus reticulata type Italian. The scent is more floral with a distinct Tangerine jor Mandarin citrus note.

     Components of the peel (and leaves ?) include up to 40% monoterpenes with alcohols and esters and more importantly up to 50%  methyl anthranilate.

     Properties, Indications and Uses:  Properties are antidepressant, calming and uplifting.  It is indicated for anxiety, depression including pre- and post- natal depression, irritability. It can be used by inhalation and ingestion (1-2 drops per cup of relaxing tea)to treat insomnia.  For the digestive system with cramps and spasms, the e.o. can be used externally in a massage blend or taken, (1-2 drops per cup), in a antispasm herbal tea.

     Combava petitgrain is derived from the leaves and stems of Citrus hystrix.  There is no e.o. from the peel as the fruit is eaten whole or used in cooking.  The scent is a bit clove-like with overtones of Citronnella grass but more pleasant than Citronnella.

     Properties, Indications and Uses:  Combava is anti-infectious, antiseptic, neurotonic and calming as an inhalant.  It is indicated for the liver as a decongestnat, taken internally, soothing to the nervous system when inhaled and calming in blends with other colming oils.  The scent is useful in many types of e.o. blends to give a lift to the blend.  Only up to 5% of the blend need be Combava.


     Other calming e.o. include Bergamot, most of the Citrus fruit oils Cumin, Eucalyptus citrodora, Lavender, Marjoram,  Spearmint (calming and joyous),and their comparable hydrosols.


     Calming herbs include teas made of Camomile flowers, Linden blossom, Valerian root,and Passion flower. The hydrosols can be added to the teas to increase the calming effect.  St. Johnswort can be used internally for mental health. The use of a Hops pillow can be helpful.  Baths can be taken — using the above same herbs and adding hydrosols of Rose Geranim, Camomile and Linden.


     Calming foods include simple pastas and rice or other carbohydrates such as mashed Potatoes.  Foods that are simply made or remind one of simpler times.


     Take time for yourself.  Sometimes the simplest addition to your lifestyle can be the most effective for calming your life.


     We'd like to  thank Jeanne Rose, herbalist/aromatherapist extraordinaire, for generously allowing us to use writings from her many fine books.  Her wisdom is truly a gift to all of us.

     We highly recommend all of the books and classes that she offers.  You can see her teaching schedule, and all other information at her informative site  http://JeanneRose.net

Address:  Institute Aromatic Studies - 219 Carl Street - San Francisco, CA 94117 / Tel: (415) 564-6785  FAX: (415) 564-6799 /  info@jeannerose.net

      Ms. Rose is personally available for both individual and business consultations on many subjects pertaining to Herbs and Aromatherapy.  For more information, please visit the Aromatherapy and Herbal  Consultation and Formulation page at the Jeanne Rose web site. 



See Jeanne Rose Spotlights & Articles (and some related articles):



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