10 Essential Oils to Lower Cortisol Naturally

If you’re on the hunt for natural stress relief, essential oils may be your ticket to a calmer, balanced state. Research has shown that several essential oils have the potential to reduce cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone.

High cortisol levels can contribute to a variety of health problems, including anxiety, depression, digestive issues, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory impairment.

In this article, we will explore 10 essential oils proven to help lower cortisol levels.

Always remember, essential oils are potent so be sure to dilute them with a carrier oil before application.

Now, let’s dive in.

10 Essential Oils that Lower Cortisol Levels

essential oils to lower cortisol levels
essential oils to lower cortisol levels

1. Lavender – The Stress Buster Supreme

Ah, lavender. If the calm were to chose a mascot it’ll be lavender, hands down. Revered for its ability to combat elevated cortisol levels naturally, Lavender’s aroma plays a pivotal part in creating your personal oasis of serenity.

Evidence from a 2012 study published in Phytotherapy Research confirms its anti-stress capabilities. Adding a stream of essential knowledge, being the diligent stress buster it is, lavender serves a bigger role. It improves sleep quality and calms the overactive mind. Simply diffuse a few drops into the air before bedtime and allow the scent to lull you into a peaceful slumber. (Click here to learn more about 13 Surprising Health Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil)

2. Cedarwood – Scented Shield against stress

The Cedarwood oil is renowned as a scented shield against life’s never-ending stressors. This powerful essential oil boasts a rich, warm aroma and is loved for its grounding properties.

With its roots dipping deep into the annals of aromatherapy, Cedarwood oil finds its prowess in its ability to mitigate the cortisol levels naturally. Its innate tranquillity-inducing properties are reported to craft an atmosphere of calm quietude, often easing the restless mind off its burden.

Research suggests, Cedarwood seemingly branches out its subtle soothing effects to suppress the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, thus hindering the production of Cortisol in our bodies. In essence, the gentle invocation of Cedarwood oil may pave the way to lowered stress levels, and augmented vitality.

In the backdrop of its powerful calming assurances, we find Cedarwood, draped in tradition, yet wearing the mantle of modern serenity – The Scented Shield against stress.

ALSO-READ: 11 Benefits of Using Cedarwood Essential Oil in Your Life

3. Holy Basil – Nature’s Response to Cortisol

Meet one of the stars of the show – Holy Basil. This plant doesn’t just boast its usage in your favorite spicy dishes but also packs a punch when it comes to reducing cortisol levels. A therapeutic delight, Holy Basil, or as it’s traditionally known, Tulsi, is indeed what one might call, Nature’s response to cortisol.

Studies reveal that the distinct properties of Holy Basil, more so in its essential oil form, work wonders in managing stress and lowering cortisol levels. So, whether you diffuse it around your home, or revel in its aroma directly, Holy Basil is sure to pave the way to a more relaxed you. It’s a potent piece of tranquility encapsulated in each tiny, but mighty, drop.

4. Sweet Orange Oil – Positivity in a Drop

Unleash the ray of positivity with the refreshing and energizing scent of Sweet Orange Oil. Not only does it brighten your senses but also plays a pivotal role in mitigating cortisol levels.

Derived from the zesty peels of sun-kissed oranges, this oil is associated with sentiments of happiness and warmth.

Experts widely vouch for its stress-busting attributes, backed by studies that reveal how inhaling this fruity aroma significantly reduces cortisol levels.

So, take a moment, close your eyes, and let the lemony essence of sweet orange oil transport you to a citrus grove. A place where stress is a distant reality and all you are left with is a heart filled with positivity and cheerfulness!

5. Lemon Balm Oil – A Mirror to Bright and Breezy Souls

Shake off the stress and embrace the zest, that’s the promise of Lemon Balm Oil. A few inhales of its fresh and citrusy fragrance are profoundly effective in diffusing cortisol. It’s like tuning in to a soothing song after a cacophony, which brings forth notable tranquility.

This oil has a unique attribute to cheer up mood swings and decrease tension. Researchers have found its citrus component, Limonene, to act as a natural remedy against elevated cortisol levels.

Environmental stresses and worries can make their way out of your life once you invite Lemon Balm Oil’s complementary effects of alertness and calmness.

6. Rosemary – Cognitive Cure and Cortisol Check

Often hailed as a culinary herb, Rosemary is far more than just a tasty addition to your dishes. Its potent aroma nestles many calming properties, making it a reliable ally against stress. Rosmarinus Officinalis – the tree bearing these needle-like leaves, is a treasure trove of rosmarinic acid, a compound well-praised for therapeutic effects.

In the combating cortisol arena, rosemary essential oil has a reputation for being a cognitive stimulator – assisting memory enhancement while simultaneously modulating diversity-reducing cortisol secretions. This simplicity found in the nature of this fragrant herb and its retorts to diminish stress can be one of the most sought-after additives in your day-to-day unwinding routine.

7. Peppermint – Cooling Calmness for Cortisol Control

Peppermint Essential Oil

Just as a refreshing breeze provides relief on a hot day, Peppermint oil serves as a cooling calmness to manage your cortisol levels. Revered for its distinctive aroma and invigorating sensation, Peppermint oil is much more than just a pleasant scent. Infused with impressive calming properties, it operates as an effective stress-buster by lowering cortisol levels.

By diffusing it in your surroundings or gently rubbing it on your temples and the back of your neck, you’ll find yourself drifting to a state of serenity. It stimulates positivity and replenishes your mind with fresh, clear thoughts. Not to mention, it helps in boosting your cognitive function and enhancing your alertness.

Embrace the refreshing tranquillity of Peppermint oil and proceed towards a stress-free way of living. A world of cool and calm awaits you!

RELATED: Top 10 Benefits & Uses for Peppermint Essential Oil

8. Magnolia – Regal Restful Remedy

From the heart of beautiful blossom comes an oil of regal relaxation. Magnolia, seen gracing many a royal garden, offers more than just aesthetic charm. Its powerful essential oils are known for their calm-inducing effects.

Extracted from the bark and flowers of the magnolia tree, the essential oil is packed with natural compounds known as biophenols. These biophenols possess strong anti-stress properties. Dive into a dreamy state as you experience the floral notes of magnolia oil for yourself.

Magnolia Oil holds the strength of unwinding the mind and body. It is a powerful tool in reducing cortisol levels. The sweet and exotic aroma helps balance emotions and instill peace.

Even in a stressful situation, just a whiff of this outworldly aroma can equip you to handle it with composure and serenity. So, invite the regal restfulness of magnolia oil into your daily routine and navigate through life’s obstacles with grace and tranquility.

When it comes to natural cortisol-lowering solutions, magnolia oil nobly earns its royal title. The title of a ‘ Regal Restful Remedy’.

9. Chamomile – Harmony in Havoc

The world knows Chamomile for its soothing abilities. Its proof lies in its popularity as a quintessential calming tea element. But, did you realize this wonder flower might also aid in cortisol regulation?

If you didn’t know, now, you do. Among the variety of plants Mother Nature has gifted us, Chamomile stands as a quiet warrior against stress. Its calming effects extend beyond just herbal tea brews.

Chamomile essential oil, with its mildly sweet and herbaceous aroma, offers your turbulent thoughts some serenity. The presence of active compounds like Apigenin in Chamomile plays beautifully in reducing tension and promoting relaxation.

A dab of this oil before sleep or a whirl in your aromatic diffuser may pave the way to restored calmness and lower cortisol levels. A fitting answer to an erratic day, wouldn’t you agree?

10. Origano – A Pulse of Purity Amidst Stress

To say origano oil is solely a kitchen’s delight would be a woeful underestimation. More than just a staple to your spice rack, it owns a central role in stress management as well. Oregano oil works like a charm in countering stress and lowering cortisol levels.

How, you ask? The magic lies within its carvacrol content, which is a potent natural compound. Carvacrol significantly reduces cortisol levels during high-stress situations. As a result, this essential oil leaves you feeling relaxed, at peace, and untangled from the stinging knots of stress.

But it isn’t just about the science, the experience itself is a treat. Imagine entering a room filled with the earthy, robust fragrance of origano. It transports your senses to calm, greener pastures, cutting you off from the stressful clutters of everyday life.

Remember, our goal isn’t to eradicate cortisol levels completely, as they’re essential for your body functions. However, getting them under control is crucial. Origano oil, in this pursuit, turns out to be quite the ally.

So, if you’re feeling a cloud of stress hovering around, try infusing your room with the refreshing aroma of origano. It might just be the whiff of tranquility you need!

READ-MORE: 11 Reasons to Love Organic Oregano Essential Oil


In Summary, essential oils present a natural, therapeutic method to help manage and decrease cortisol levels, thus reducing your stress levels.

As always, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider or a certified aromatherapist before starting any new health regimen involving essential oils. Every person can react differently, so it comes down to finding the oils that work best for your body and mind.

Remember that while essential oils can certainly help manage cortisol levels, they should be used in conjunction with other stress-reducing practices.

Maintaining a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, ensuring enough sleep, or meditating are all vital for maintaining healthy cortisol levels.

Remember to enjoy the journey as you explore the delightful world of essential oils.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: What are essential oils?

A1: Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that capture the plant’s scent and flavor, also known as its “essence”. They are obtained through distillation or cold pressing, and they are often used in aromatherapy, a complementary therapy where they can be inhaled or diluted and applied to the skin.

Q2: What is Cortisol?

A2: Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress and low blood glucose levels. It is often referred to as the “stress hormone,” since it helps your body respond to stressful situations.

Q3: Can essential oils really lower cortisol levels?

A3: While more research is needed, certain studies do suggest that aromatherapy using specific essential oils may help lower cortisol levels. However, essential oils are complementary and should not replace traditional treatments without proper consultation with a healthcare professional.

Q4: What essential oils might help lower cortisol levels?

A4: Some essential oils reported to potentially lower cortisol levels include lavender, bergamot, ylang ylang, and clary sage. These oils have been noted for their calming or stress-reducing effects.

Q5: How do I use these essential oils to lower cortisol?

A5: Essential oils can be used in many ways, most popularly through inhalation or topical application. Always dilute the oil with a carrier oil before applying to the skin to prevent irritation. For inhalation, you can add a few drops of the oil to a diffuser.

Q6: Are there any side effects of using essential oils?

A6: Essential oils are generally safe when used properly. However, they may cause allergic reactions in some people. It’s always important to do a patch test before using a new oil, and pregnant or nursing women and those with certain health conditions should consult their healthcare providers before use.

Q7: Do I need a prescription to buy these essential oils?

A7: No, essential oils are widely available online, in health food stores, and even in some supermarkets and pharmacies. However, it’s important to choose oils from a reputable source to ensure their quality and purity.

Q8: Can I mix different essential oils together?

A8: Yes, many people enjoy blending different essential oils together to create their own unique fragrances, but you should be aware of the properties and potential interactions of each oil. If you’re new to aromatherapy, it’s a good idea to start with pre-made blends from reputable sources.

Q9: Can I use essential oils on my children or pets?

A9: Some essential oils can be safe for children and pets, but others can be harmful. Always consult with a healthcare or veterinary professional before using essential oils on children or pets.

Q10: Will essential oils interact with my current medications?

A10: If you’re currently taking medication, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using essential oils. Some essential oils may interact with certain medications, so it’s best to get professional advice.

Scientific references: