Essential Oils for Trauma Survivors

Essential Oils are fast becoming a 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. I battle illogical and intrusive thoughts; I am hijacked by my brain often and transported back in time to moments I wish I could forget; I fight daily with lethargy; sometimes taking a shower and washing the dishes is what I would consider a good day.

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

Here is a list of 16 essential oils that I use and that many survivor friends I have also use, to fight back against the many symptoms that accompany complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder from trauma.


The 16 Essential Oils that I Use

Lavender – Calming, used for anxiety. I use this Room & Body Mist; I like that it is portable and versatile.

Rose – good for anxiety

Chamomile – helps bring inner harmony to a chaotic mind

Peppermint – encourages alertness and focus

Clary Sage – for depression, works as an antidepressant

Lemon – great for lifting mood, a good oil to mix with other scents

Sandalwood – helps with relaxation and sleep

Patchouli Oil– combats the feeling of anxiety, depression, and stress for a well rounded calming effect.

Valerian Root Oil – helps calm and relax tension in the body

Jatamansi – helps calm the mind and body for sleep

Jasmine Fragrance – calming and comforting for sleep

Bergamot – aid for anxiety

Frankincense – calms anxiety and brings about alertness and focus

Marjoram – helps relieve stress/anxiety related headaches

Ylang Ylang – 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.” (1)

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.

Sara Essential Oil (Sexual and Ritual Abuse)

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.

This one is my favorite!!


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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Please stop by and check out the books that I reference for clarity and understanding as I learn to live with PTSD.

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