Essential oils have been used for aromatherapy since 4500 B.C. A 2012 clinical study found that inhaling essential oils (ylang-ylang, neroli, marjoram and lavender oils) for over 4 weeks can reduce blood pressure by 4.7 mm Hg.
These oils contain components that reduce the stress hormone, cortisol. Stress is a contributing factor to hypertension. When you’re stressed your body produces hormones, such as cortisol, that increases your blood pressure causing your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to reduce. High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular illnesses. It can lead to complications like having a heart attack or strokes.
Even though essential oils can be used independently or with other oils, if you have high blood pressure, we recommend speaking with your healthcare professional before beginning. Below we explore various oils and their effects on lowering high blood pressure.
Does CBD oil lower blood pressure? Yes, according to a 2017 study where participants were given 600mg of CBD. The study concluded that CBD reduced blood pressure by 6mm Hg in healthy participants under stress and when rested. Another 2020 study found that CBD reduced hypertension by widening the blood vessels and increasing blood flow in the body.
You should speak to your healthcare professional before using CBD, as they are best placed to advise on the treatments you should look into.
Flaxseed oil may also lower high blood pressure. A study found that after taking flaxseed oil for 6 months, a group of participants with an average blood score of 140 mm Hg saw their blood pressure fall by 15 mm Hg.
Lavender essential oil is commonly used as a stress and anxiety reliever and was shown to lower blood pressure in a 2012 study. Lavender oil can be found in aromatherapy, in creams and in room fresheners.
In the same 2012 study, ylang-ylang oils were shown to reduce cortisol levels, a hormone commonly associated with stress.
Neroli essential oils have antihypertensive properties like limonene. A study found that limonene reduces blood pressure and improves antioxidants and lipid in high-fat diets. Neroli oils also reduce cortisol levels.
When inhaled, sweet marjoram essential oil has “remarkable changes” in heart rates and blood pressure, according to a 2017 study. Sweet marjoram stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and dilates the blood vessels, which improves the flow of blood in the body and lowers hypertension.
Rose essential oils have been used for aromatherapy for thousands of years. They are rich in vitamin C, which removes excess fluid in your body by acting as a filter. This lowers the pressure in the blood vessels and creates an increased circulation of blood around the body. A 2009 study found that rose oils relaxed the entire body, causing an increase of blood circulation.
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There are many theories out there about whether coconut oil helps lower blood pressure. Some studies have shown a slight decrease but to date, coconut oil should not be used as a herbal remedy for high blood pressure. A study found that coconut oil can increase LDL levels in your blood that increases pressure. This can put you at more risk of having heart disease, stroke and other artery diseases.
Essential oils can be used as a mixer or as a single ingredient. We recommend mixing the oils to increase the effects of the different components found in each essential oil. The best way to use essential oils to lower blood pressure is through inhalation. Below we specify the different ways to do this.
You can use a minimum of one essential oil with an aromatherapy diffuser. Choose the oils you want to include (three drops each), put the mixture into the aromatherapy diffuser and slowly inhale the oils for 15 to 30 minutes.
Make a mixture of the essential oils of your choice, one is enough if you wish. Then add 2oz almond oil and use the mixture as a massage oil. Another option is to add drops of the oil, from the same mixture, into a warm bath. The warm steam from the bath enables you to inhale the essential oils and use them as aromatherapy. Do this for a minimum of 15 minutes to an hour.
Mix the mixture of essential oils of your choice. Remember, use 5 drops per oil. Then mix 2oz of coconut oil together with your oil mixture thoroughly. You can use the oil anywhere on your skin. We suggest rubbing a small amount on your temples and at the end of your nose.
Some essential oils can be highly concentrated, which can cause issues like skin irritation. If you plan to use a few drops on your skin it’s recommended to use diluted oils to avoid skin irritation.
Disclaimer: If you have hypertension, we encourage you to speak to your healthcare professional if you plan to use essential oils to lower your blood pressure.
Essential Oil Inhalation on Blood Pressure, November 19, 2012 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/articles-PMC3521421
A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure, June 17, 2015 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/articles-PMC5470879
Vasodilatory effects of cannabidiol in human pulmonary and rat small mesenteric arteries, May, 2020 – https://journals.lww.com/hypertension/Vasodilatory-effects-of-cannabidiol-in-human
Potent Antihypertensive Action of Dietary Flaxseed in Hypertensive Patients, October 14, 2013 – https://www.ahajournals.org/HYPERTENSION
Limonene attenuates blood pressure and improves the lipid and antioxidant status, November, 2010 – https://www.researchgate.net/limonene-attenuates-blood-pressure-and-improves-the-lipid-and-antioxidant
A novel approach for evaluating the effects of odor stimulation on dynamic cardiorespiratory functions, March 3, 2017 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/articles-PMC5336204
Relaxing effect of rose oil on humans, February 4, 2009 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/articles-19370942