For many people, the idea of starting another busy day can be particularly daunting. If you feel especially fatigued, stressed and depleted, instead of going for another cup of coffee, try some essential oils to boost your energy levels.
The best essential oils for energy
Unlike caffeine, which is essentially an adrenal stimulant, fragrances arouse the autonomic nervous system that is responsible for breathing and blood pressure. Pleasant scents can effectively battle drowsiness, irritability, headaches, and physiological stress while improving concentration and increasing alertness.
The following essential oils are only a few examples of the fragrances you can use to fight mental and physical fatigue any time of the day. Try them at home or at the office, whenever you feel you need that quick energy boost.
1. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Also known as French basil, this wonderful culinary herb produces essential oil with a clear or pale yellow color, and a light, fresh, sweet, and spicy scent.
Sweet basil oil can do wonders for the nervous system, as it eases anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, migraines, and nervous tension. This a very aromatic tonic that will give you mental strength and clarity.
Basil blends well with essential oils that have distinct green notes such as bergamot, clary sage, citronella, geranium, cypress and eucalyptus.
2. Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia)
Like all citrus essential oils, bergamot’s stimulating and refreshing properties will give you a pleasant energy boost during a hectic day.
Bergamot has antidepressant properties, so it will definitely leave you feeling more refreshed and uplifted. If you are feeling particularly stressed, this essential oil can ease your anxiety and leave you more concentrated and confident.
You can blend it with lavender, neroli, jasmine, cypress, lemon, chamomile, and juniper.
3. Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
There are two types of essential oils available: cinnamon bark oil and cinnamon leaf oil. Only the latter is used in aromatherapy.
Cinnamon leaf oil works as a stimulant for the circulatory, cardiac and respiratory systems. It can counter exhaustion, both physical and mental, as well as various stress-related conditions.
Since its main chemical compound, eugenol, is known to cause irritation in the mucous membranes, use it in moderation.
This warm and spicy essential oil blends well with frankincense, ylang-ylang, orange, mandarin and benzoin.
4. Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
Clary sage essential oil is usually colorless or pale-yellow, with a sweet, nutty and herbaceous scent.
It fights depression related to hormonal imbalance, as well as other stress-related conditions such as mental fatigue and general debility. It is also said to promote imagination and creativity.
Clary sage complements several other essential oils such as juniper, lavender, sandalwood, cedarwood, jasmine, pine, orange, and bergamot.
5. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger is a well-known domestic spice, but also a popular traditional remedy, especially in the East.
Its freshness and warmth make it an ideal remedy for colds, fevers, chills, and the flu.
It is also commonly used against various digestive ailments and works well as a tonic and stimulant. Ginger essential oil energizes the mind, boosts memory, fights debility and nervous exhaustion.
It has a fresh, woody-spicy aroma that compliments citrus oils such as lime, neroli, and orange, fragrances that also have energy boosting properties.
6. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
This extremely versatile and well-rounded essential oil shouldn’t be absent from any aromatherapy kit. Its many actions benefit the body and mind in numerous ways.
Peppermint works as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibiotic and antispasmodic. It stimulates circulation, boosts immunity and aids the digestive and respiratory systems.
What’s more, peppermint’s refreshing and invigorating qualities battle headaches, exhaustion, mental fatigue, and nervous stress, revitalizing the mind.
Mix it with benzoin, rosemary, lavender, marjoram, lemon, and eucalyptus.
7. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
This highly aromatic plant produces essential oil with a strong, fresh, minty and herbaceous scent.
Rosemary is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing, it should, however, be diluted when used on skin. It offers relief from headaches, nervous exhaustion and mental fatigue.
Moreover, this inspiring and stimulating oil improves concentration and prevents memory loss.
Use it along with some lavender, citronella, thyme, basil, peppermint, and cinnamon.
8. Sweet Orange (Citrus Sinensis)
The sweet, fruity and bright aromatic profile of this essential oil makes it a great option whenever you need a quick energy boost. Restful and soothing, it fights anxiety, nervous tension, and various stress-related conditions.
It also works as an antidepressant, improving your mood and helping you concentrate.
Sweet orange oil blends well with lavender, clary sage, neroli, lemon, as well as spice oils, such as nutmeg, cinnamon and clove.
A good night’s sleep is probably the best way to boost your energy levels and feel confident and productive. Nevertheless, a carefully crafted essential oil blend can improve your mood, reduce stress and help you concentrate.
Start by familiarizing yourself with citrus, spicy and herbal essential oils to find the scents that you prefer.
Make sure you know and understand the contraindications for each and every oil you plan to use. Finally, invest in a diffuser for your home or your work space and experiment with these essential oils for energy to find out what works best for you.
Keville, Hathi, and Mindy Green. Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art. 2nd ed., Crossing Press, 2009.
Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils in Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being.Conari Press, 2013.
“Top 16 Essential Oils for Energy and 5 Amazing Blends”. Up Nature, August 26, 2017
White, Gregory L. Essential Oils & Aromatherapy: How to Use Essential Oils for Beauty, Health, and Spirituality. White Willow Books, 2013.