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The Best Essential Oils for Meditation

Meditation has been a popular practice that dates back for millennia; its various techniques are intended to encourage a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. Meditation used to be used for religious purposes back in the past, but today many people practice it independently of any religious or spiritual practices. (1)

Meditation can be used to get more grounded and more clarity, help with several spiritual and emotional issues, plus it has many health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, releasing anxiety, and calming the nerves. NCCIH funded a study that concluded that meditation, “can affect activity in the amygdala.” This is the part of the brain that assists with processing emotions. The study also showed that different meditation types affect the amygdala differently even when there is no meditation happening. (2)  

Another study of 50 avid meditators and 50 non-meditators was conducted and the research showed that the individuals who practiced meditating had more folds on the outer layer of their brains. This means that they are able to process information more effectively than the 50 people who do not practice meditation. (2)

When meditating it is very beneficial to find a comfortable location that is free from distractions so that you can focus and meditate more effectively. Doing small things to avoid distraction such as silencing your phone and making yourself comfortable before you begin can make a huge difference in your meditation experience.

One of the best ways to help you enter a meditative state and be more present while you’re meditating is to diffuse essential oils that could help you focus and relax. You can use a single oil or create your own blend.

The essential oils used for meditation have different properties that can clarify different matters of the mind, body, and spirit. Inhaling their aromas during the meditation session can help you focus more on the issues that you want to address.

Some of the most popular essential oils used for meditation are Cedarwood, Frankincense, Clary Sage, Lavender, Patchouli, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Vetiver, and Helichrysum. Each of these oils is used to address various spiritual, mental, and emotional blockages.

Cedarwood oil is best to increase inward focus, concentration, grounding, confidence, balance, stability, and comfort. You can also use it to counteract these negative attributes: scattered thoughts, worry, fear, too much analytical thinking, irrationality, fixation on past, and anxiety. (6)

Frankincense can be used to control fear, blockages, anxiety, disconnection, repression, and resistance, by increasing one’s feelings of courage, resolution, inspiration, and acceptance. This oil also increases one's faith and ability to connect to the higher self. (6)

Clary Sage has a sharp, musky aroma and is great for grounding, confidence, inspiration, balance, as well as counteracting stress, tension, worry, anxiety, and fear. (7)

Lavender is exceptional if you need to get more security, clarity, acceptance, inner peace, emotional balance, and visualization. It’s great for when you deal with stress, tension, fear, insecurity, distraction, and worry. However, you may want to use Lavender rather at night for meditation because it will make you sleepy as its chemical compounds have the power to relax the nervous central system and induce sleep. (3),(4), (5)

Diffusing Patchouli essential oil during a meditation session will help with grounding, anxiety, indecision, tension, and stress. It also has the ability to awaken the awareness for those feeling confused at a spiritual level. (6)

Another great oil for meditation is Rosemary which is deeply restorative and centering and allows those with blockages concerning confidence, creativity, clarity, structure, concentration, disorientation, fatigue, and emotional exhaustion to relieve themselves of these stressors. (7)

The exotic Sandalwood essential oil has an earthy, warm aroma that is known to increase feelings of enlightenment, balance, connection, serenity, peace, calmness, insightfulness, and unity. It can help one counteract some negative attributes such as nervous tension, accepting, insecurity, distress, irritable moods, and dwelling in the past. Sandalwood is quite grounding and it has the ability to heal emotional and spiritual wounds by opening the heart and encouraging trust. (6)

Dubbed as the “fragrance of the earth” and produced from the roots of a tropical grass, Vetiver oil has a pronounced earthy, musty, rich scent. It has been long used in meditation and as a powerful aid for the nervous system due to its deeply restorative and grounding effect. When used, it enhances calmness, growth, mind-body connection, and self-esteem. It’s very useful when addressing feelings such as fear, anxiety, overwork, fatigue, scattered thoughts, emotional burnout, mental exhaustion, self-worth, loss of purpose, disconnection, emotional blockages, and instability. (6)

In addition to its amazing unique health benefits, healers and shamans in different cultures have been using Helichrysum to induce visions and trance states to provide healing to the soul and psyche for thousands of years.

By now, you can see these essential oils all have their own unique properties that can make each of them useful even when used alone, which is why they are the most popular. If you are looking to try something new, there are other essential oils that can be used for meditation such as Bergamot, Basil, Cardamom, Eucalyptus, Ylang-Ylang, Juniper Berry, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lemon, and Orange.

Bergamot oil has a light, citrusy aroma which makes this oil good for increasing one’s feelings of security, direction, comfort, and motivation while eliminating the fear of change, emotional blockages, confusion, disorientation, fatigues, indecision, irrationality, frustration, and mental exhaustion. (6)

You can use Basil oil when you feel confronted with indecision, lack of direction, fear, confusion, doubts, in order to gain more trust and clarity. (7)

Cardamom helps with increasing feelings of purpose, courage, and confidence, and it’s also good for mental stress, confusion, concentration, direction, and motivation. (6)

Diffusing Eucalyptus during meditation will take care of any lack of concentration, cluttered and irrational thoughts, or emotional imbalance.

The exotic aroma of the Ylang-Ylang essential oil is very meditative and can be used to calm the nerves, increase self-confidence, awaken, and uplift the spirit. Being that is the most powerful natural aphrodisiac, its joyful and sensual attributes make this oil ideal for anxiety, tension, stress, frustration, irrationality, and shyness. (7)

Juniper Berry is meditative and uplifting, helping with self-worth, dissatisfaction, and conflict. It makes you feel more supported spiritually and more at peace by increasing your inner vision.

Diffusing Geranium while you meditate will assist in decreasing confusion, insecurity, tension, stress, irrationality, and worry. In addition, this oil is good for balancing, reassuring, and stability.

The fresh and citrusy invigorating aroma of Grapefruit essential oil will enable you to get some clarity, confidence, balance, and inspiration. It will also help you overcome self-doubt, self-criticism, and frustration as it has the power to uplift your spirit, cheer you up, and energize you.

The Lemon oil will support you with finding direction, concentration, clarity, and help one to reconcile issues with indecisiveness, stress, irrationality, and fear, while Orange oil will leave you feeling more balanced, creative, positive, self-confident, and courageous while simultaneously warding off anxiety, worry, and burnout. (6)

You don’t have to choose just one oil while meditating. You can find a few that go together and create your own aromas to your preference. The best way to use these oils together is to blend them properly so be sure to check our product page for each oil on our website under the section Aromatic Profile and Blending which will tell you which oils are best to blend together.

Blending oils ONLY for the sake of creating a scent you love  is NOT going to benefit you; essential oils contain natural and powerful chemical compounds and just like any medicine, not all oils can be mixed with just any oil as some oils compounds will cancel other oils’ benefits or interact negatively with others, altogether.

Our website contains reliable information regarding which oils are best blended together. While our list is not a complete list of all the blend combinations for all oils, it sure includes the best blends combinations for each oil for the most therapeutic effect.

However, if you don’t feel like going through the trouble of making your own blends, no worries, we have created a few recipes that you can use. Here are some blends to consider:

Grounding Meditation Blend 1

  • Patchouli – 30 drops
  • Frankincense – 30 drops
  • Bergamot – 30 drops

Grounding Meditation Blend 2

  • Vetiver – 10 drops
  • Clary Sage – 30 drops
  • Lemon – 30 drops

Calming Meditation Blend

  • Clary Sage – 30 drops
  • Sandalwood – 10 drops
  • Ylang Ylang  – 30 drops

Choose your favorite blend, mix the oils together in a bottle, and diffuse with your nebulizer. You can use any of these recipes at any point throughout your day or while you’re meditating. When you are meditating focus on your breathing and on the feelings you want to feel at the end of your meditation session: relaxed, confident, energized, loving, trusting, grateful, etc, etc. Breath slowly to allow the aromas of the essential oils to positively affect your brain chemistry and put you in a higher state of mind.

A small but important detail that needs to be mentioned here is that besides the quality of essential oils you use how you diffuse your oils is equally important for the success of your meditation practice. (We only recommend using USDA CERTIFIED ORGANIC oils to avoid inhaling all the artificial fertilizers and the pesticides sprayed on conventional crops.)

Using a nebulizer that uses strictly oils without any water as opposed to the typical diffusers that use water (to water down the oils, if you want to know) will highly improve your meditation practice and the effects of essential oils on your brain, and your health.

As water and oils don’t EVER mix together, it’s nothing but a waste of oils AND money to diffuse them with a typical diffuser which companies that sell them try to elude consumers into believing that diffusing a few drops of oil mixed with water for several hours will work. Unfortunately, it won’t; instead, you will be better off to use a powerful nebulizer with your oils which you’ll only need to diffuse for maximum 2 hours a day instead of 4-8 hours as most people need to with a typical diffuser to feel any effect, if at all.

In the long run, you’ll waste money on oils and a lot of time because with a typical diffuser you’ll have to diffuse the oils for many hours before the particles of oils diffused in the air will get into your brain, which in reality they don’t even get diffused up in the air high enough or long enough, because the typical diffusers can’t break down the oils into microparticles in order to be absorbed by the brain. As the oil molecules are heavy, after they’re diffused into the air with a typical diffuser, shortly thereafter they fall back on surfaces and on the floors by leaving the residue everybody knows that typical diffusers leave around after a while, so there’s a lot more oil on the ground than in your lungs and in the brain where it belongs. Find out more about the difference between a nebulizer and a diffuser so you can take your health and meditation practice to the next level.

Besides the meditation benefits, you can find more information on each individual oil and their health benefits by searching each oil on our site.

Which essential oils do you use to enhance your meditation practice or just improve your relaxation and reflection time? Please tell us in the comments below.

References:

  1. Meditation used in religious practices https://www.news-medical.net/health/Meditation-History.aspx
  2. Meditation and effects on brain https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm
  3. Lavender as a sleep aid http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/2009/LavenderSleep.htm
  4. An olfactory stimulus modifies nighttime sleep in young men and women  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16298774
  5. Effect of Inhaled Lavender and Sleep Hygiene on Self-Reported Sleep Issues: A Randomized Controlled Trial  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26133206/
  6. The Fragrant Mind -Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood, and Emotion by Valerie Ann Worwood
  7. The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

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