Essential Oils for Trauma Survivors

Essential Oils are major go-to for self-care when coping with mental health. I use them frequently to help manage my complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder caused by childhood abuse.

On a regular basis, I deal with flashbacks, nightmares, depression, insomnia, and all the anxiety and panic attacks that come with all of that.

Essential oils haven’t cured me of my responses to the trauma I have lived through, but they help me with coping when living becomes a challenge.

Here is a list of 15 essential oils that I use to help aide my symptoms of C-PTSD.

The 15 Essential Oils that I Use

Lavender is a scent used by many to induce a calming affect. It is used to help relieve anxiety.

Lavender room and body mist when you are on the go.

The sweet scent of Rose is good for relieving anxiety. I also use Rose scented hand soap.

Chamomile is good for encouraging feelings of inner harmony and balance.

Peppermint helps boost energy and focus. It is also a pain reliever for muscle ache and tension, simply rub a couple drops into your skin for a cooling effect.

The scent of Clary Sage boasts the ability to help with depression, working like an antidepressant.

Lemon is a happy scent when diffused in a room. Light and fresh it is great for lifting your mood. It is also a really good oil to mix with other scents.

The smooth, earthy scent of Sandalwood is a good oil for helping yourself relax into sleep. If insomnia is something you struggle with, Sandalwood is an oil I recommend you give a try!

Patchouli Oil is another earthy scent that is good for creating a calm and relaxing space. Use this oil to help you calm anxiety and panic, or to calm yourself to sleep.

The sweet fragrance of Jasmine can be used to calm and comfort a racing mind.

Bergamot can be used to aid anxiety and panic.

I probably burn more Frankincense incense than I diffuse the oil – nonetheless it is an amazing scent for creating a relaxing atmosphere for focus and productivity.

This scent helps relieve the pain of headaches related to stress/anxiety. Diffuse a couple drops and lay down for a short time.

Comforting, used for depression, anxiety, and sleep. A study by Geochang Provincial College in Korea conducted in 2006 using ylang-ylang oil, along with bergamot and lavender oils, once a day for four weeks  found that it reduced “psychological stress responses and serum cortisol levels, as well as the blood pressure of clients with essential hypertension.” This oil is also considered a sedative so it can be very helpful for sleepless nights.
Use caution when applying ylang ylang directly as it can be sensitizing or irritating to the skin; avoid using in conditions of low blood pressure.

This oil is a blend created by Young Living and is specific to trauma survivors. (2)
It is a blend of geranium, ylang-ylang, rose, blue tansy and other oils (sandalwood, cedar, orange, etc). I love this oil. Its scent is light, happy, calming, comforting. It makes me smile, and breath a little deeper. It helps to calm the chaotic waters of my emotions as I deal with the reality of my childhood. My counselor has used this one in her office during my session before.

How to Use Essential Oils

There are a few different ways to use essential oils (not limited to my list):
1. Apply it directly to your skin like perfume (This Roll On Mind Body Soul Kit is really nice)
2. Run a few drops in your hands, cup them over your nose and inhale directly.
3. Put drops into your bath
4. Use a diffuser.

I am a huge fan of a diffuser when I am home and for sleeping. Not only does it calm me, but my home becomes a safe place in all the rooms, and my family can also enjoy the benefits. However, when I have to go somewhere and I can’t bring my diffuser with, I apply oils like perfume so that I can carry the scent with me, at times even smelling my wrist if I need to.

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