3 Essential Oil Combos To Kick Stress, Anxiety and Mood Swings To The Curb

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Stress, anxiety and mood swings go hand in hand with a busy life and that’s why we decided to reach out to an expert to see if there was an easy way to combat all three naturally. Aromatic medicine practitioner and Absolute Essential founder Bo Hendgen believes essential oils are not only highly effective in treating common ailments but robust scientific studies have now also proven their benefits. Here the registered osteopath and naturopath shows us how to kick stress, anxiety and mood swings to the curb using essential oils.  

What is the best essential oil to combat stress and how do we use it?  If I had to single-out just one essential oil for helping to combat stress, it would be Petitgrain Bigarade, also called the poor man’s Neroli, because its effects support a wonderful balancing of nerves and emotions. But there are some other great options:

  • Bergamot is a clever choice because it helps to satisfy the brain! It is calming but it doesn’t make you sleepy, I like this one for work.
  • Lavender True is one that has been featured in hospitals to help reduce anxiety and improve sleep naturally, very calming for the evening and before bed.
  • Sandalwood is what I call ‘deeply soothing’, it gets used in anger therapy and is very good for helping with pent-up anxiety.

You can diffuse up to 10-20 essential oil drops into your space or add 1-2 drops to pulsepoints, or, in a crisis, inhale deeply, direct from the bottle.

Is there a potent stress-busting combo of oils we should all be using?  Absolute Essential Stress Less is an easy-to-use clinical blend that I developed to synergise the power of all the calming, harmonising qualities of the above oils (and others). It has been refined over many years of prescribing oils from our Natural Health Clinics and is well-balanced to allow for clear, calm thinking – not too stimulating or too sedative, which can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Diffuse in the home and at work, apply a drop to pulse points 3-5 times a day, use 10 drops in a bath. It can be used every day and is save for pregnancy

Is there a natural health approach that will stop us getting stressed in the first place?  We all struggle with finding balance in our everyday lives and if we get out of sync, we get stressed. For me what works are two fundamental safeguards, which I also like to recommend to my clients: the first is scheduling daily and weekly YOU time to identify your intent and goals for the day/week which you write down with a focus on your aims but also prioritising healthy choices (not just work) e.g. good regular food, exercise, meditation, alcohol limits (only socially and in moderation). This one is common sense really but establishing a clear intent helps to keep all things in the picture without sudden conflicts. The second safeguard is integrating essential oils because they help to sustain healthy balance also. Plus, there is intent in the ritual of aromatic medicine that helps to keep the goal of harmony, productivity living clear in my mind.

Do essential oils have the power to make us feel happier? If so which oils and how does that work?  Well, certainly there are oils that are uplifting and energising in a ‘euphoric’ way. They work on a molecular level, when aroma enters the nose and connects with receptors at the brain to stimulate electrical impulses directed at the limbic system (the brain’s emotional control center connected to emotional memory, heart rate, stress levels and hormone balance). The first rule is: use pure, organic, slow-extraction essential oils because these have their original molecule size intact (small enough to interact as a compatible ‘body’ molecule) and are without impurities that would interfere with healthy process. The second rule is: remember that memory and emotions are subjective, so what works for someone else might not work for you. Having said that, the citrus oils are very vitalizing and uplifting and Sweet Orange at the same time brings harmonising and comforting qualities – it works for me!


Above: Three of Bo’s tried and tested essential oils targeting stress, anxiety and mood swings.


What is the best essential oil to combat anxiety and how do we use it?  This is an interesting question because my answer depends on gender. The physiology of women tends to make their anxiety issues interdependent of hormone balance and so Clary Sage would be my recommendation. When sheer overload is the underlying factor, then I would go for Bergamot because it helps to calm the part of the brain that doesn’t allow us to be satisfied but still allows us to function with high clarity. For men, research shows that it is definitely Sandalwood that helps with anxious thinking, and Cedarwood is an economic alternative. Application would be the same as for stress above, perhaps with greater frequency.

Is there an essential oil that will help balance our moods? Again, gender plays a part in the choices. For a general boost to mood, I find the Citrus oils all to be effective. They are energising and cleansing and so offer a ‘re-boot’ to stagnant settings. We have a clinical blend called Absolute Essential Life Lift that has a strong citrus synergy. Manic or hyper moods need calming, so I might go for Lavender or Sandalwood for men. Hormonal endocrine imbalances of oestrogen, testosterone or progesterone are best addressed with essential oils like Clary Sage, Tarragon, Sage and German Chamomile. At the clinic, I will recommend Feminine Balance as a powerful balancing synergy for women and maturing girls.

If we only buy one essential oil which one should it be and why?  Well, Lavender is probably the best known essential oil for a good reason. It has calming, cleansing and soothing qualities and is wonderfully family friendly. However, for anxiety and stress I would probably recommend a clinical blend like Stress Less because you get 7 or 8 essential oils in one – greater effect and great value.

Can essential oils be used alongside traditional medicine to treat all of the above ailments? Yes, absolutely, in fact they are quiet unique as they are using a completely different absorption pathway than natural remedies or allopathic medicines which are generally ingested. 


Above: A few of my personal favourites from the Absolute Essential range.



Bo Hendgen also conducts online consultations and offers therapeutic essential oil blends for clients via her E-Consultation service. Click HERE to find out more.