Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for their relaxing and invigorating properties. These plant extractions can be used in diffusers, added to a bath or used topically in massage to activate the body’s limbic system.

Whether you are looking to relax and unwind or energize and invigorate your senses, there’s an essential oil for you. Try one of these relaxing scents.

Lavender

This pleasant-smelling oil is a favorite to many and is known for its calming effect on the nerves and its ability to ease stress and tension.

When applied to the skin in cream or lotion form, lavender can help relieve pain from sunburns and other skin problems such as acne and psoriasis.

When used in massage, the lightly-scented oil can help relieve the muscular aches and pains from a vigorous workout or sooth symptoms of arthritis. Many massage oil blends contain lavender with other relaxing scents such as chamomile and peppermint.

Eucalyptus

In the practice of essential oil therapy (also known as aromatherapy), eucalyptus oil is used to clear the mind and increase focus.

Some swear by the healing powers of this fresh earthy scent when it comes to dealing with respiratory problems such as the common cold, and for this reason, it is a popular oil to add to diffusers.

For others, this is the oil of choice for easing sore, stressed muscles during a massage.

Roman Chamomile

Chamomile tea is well-known for its ability to promote relaxation and sleep at the end of a long day. The essential oil from chamomile flowers also has a calming effect.

The mildly-sweet oil is added to baths to ease minor aches and pains and promote a restful sleep. It can be added to lotions or creams to soothe allergic skin conditions.

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Karen Morse

Karen Morse, MPH, is a freelance health and nutrition writer. In her free time, she enjoys Pilates, exploring nearby hiking trails and cooking up fresh, seasonal eats in the kitchen. Her work has appeared in Clean Eating, Weight Watchers, YouBeauty.com and others.