I recently took a class at my university on the use of essential oils and my professor mentioned that in rare cases peppermint can be extremely dangerous in children under 6. I believe Amplatz Children’s Hospital in Minnesota uses spearmint rather than peppermint as it produces similar effects. Please follow the link bleow for more information about this under the Special Considerations section. If you also find this information concerning I would suggest removing peppermint from your children’s top ten list.
I’m loving receiving your emails. What strategies you suggest are common knowledge, but having the time to sit back and think about them is another thing.  I have used the 2 choices a lot this week. It’s amazing how it can work. Our power struggles have decreased, kids have been getting along together better. I know it has been only a week, but it feels like a massive change. I wish I had have signed up for emails 3 weeks ago and used the strategies on their school holidays lol.

I’ve long been a candle addict. There’s nothing like lit candles, good music and the ambiance it creates for a relaxing evening at home. And while I haven’t completely kicked the candle habit to the curb, I’m being wiser about my choices for the more occasional lighting of only soy or beeswax while avoiding the paraffin (toxin releasing) candles.  But an even better option, which I pretty much use all day long while at home are our essential oil diffusers. Definitely a new kind of addiction. Another plus? It’s elicited more, “Wow, it smells great in here,” comments from guests than my mix of candles ever did!

Our sense of smell is directly wired to the brain’s centers of memory and emotion. Cells inside the nose detect smells in our environment, and send information to the brain, via the olfactory nerve. (We also have a cluster of cells the top of the throat that detect scents from the food we consume, and pass that information along the same olfactory channel to the brain.) The information about smell does immediately to the limbic system of the brain, which includes regions like the amygdala that control emotional reactions and memory.  
On your comment about learning from other certified aromatherapists… I’d agree with you there, but most of us are that way too. If we’re gonna trust people, we wanna see that people have credentials or at least a lot of experience. We go to doctors because they have the title MD… we don’t go to our friend down the road that got her medical knowledge by reading medical textbooks only. Same reason applies to why we hire lawyers, licensed plumbers and electricians, or pay alternative therapists with certificates showing they complete some sort of schooling. It’s a way to see that there’s knowledge and practice there. I think her big beef is with big EO company distributors that are giving unsafe advice as if they have tons of experience. I do know that she’s supportive of bloggers sharing safe EO information because she’s been kind about what I’ve shared here on this blog as well as some other blogs.
Once you have your essential oils categorized, it’s time to see which oils will possibly combine well with each other. And, just as categorizing essential oils is subjective, so is combining categories. Ultimately, there are no absolutes when it comes to blending essential oils. That’s the art of essential oil blending! It’s totally based on your preferences and how the oil smells to you. Now with that being said, there are a couple of guidelines that are good for beginners to follow.
In the post below and accompanying free printable, you’ll find what I think are the 30 best fall essential oil blends.  I’ve kept my most popular classic recipes and added 15 new fall diffuser recipes-  pumpkin pie, apple orchard, snickerdoodle cookies, sweater weather, orange cinnamon rolls, warm apple pie, evening by the fire, vanilla spice, crisp autumn, flannel, cozy home, and many more.  
Lavender essential oil may also improve sleep quality for individuals in hospital environments. Sleep deprivation is common for hospital patients and may have a negative impact on recovery and general well-being. In a 2014 study, lavender essential oil was used as part of an aromatherapy treatment to promote sleep. Researchers noted that patients who received the essential oil for sleep had a decrease in blood pressure and a higher overall sleep score.5

Hi Rachael. Great questions! Those high dilution rates (20% and 10%) are just so you can smell your EO blend mixed with a carrier oil to see if you like it or not. All carrier oils smell different, and they can effect how your blend smells in the end. That’s why I recommend testing your EO blends in different carrier oils at different dilutions to see what you like best. And, because the smells of EO blends change depending on what they’re mixed with, it’s always a good idea to test them in small batches before making bigger batches (hence using drops and not teaspoons or ounces!). Once you know what you like, you can then move on to making larger amounts of preblended oils (EO blend + carrier oil) for skin application using a lower dilution rate (3-5% for adults and anywhere from .25-1% for children depending on their age). This is my article on using EOs for children safely. There is a lot of different opinions on using EOs for kids. Since I’m not a trained aromatherapist, I tend to take the safe route with it comes to EOs. Hope this helps answer your questions a bit!! PS. Just for the record, higher dilution rates are often used in bath products (body wash, shampoo, shave creams, etc.) as they don’t sit on the skin, but are washed off fairly quickly. This decreases the amount of EO absorption you would have, therefore, higher percentages of EOs can go in those products so they smell stronger.
You’re totally right… I’m not a certified aromatherapist therefore I don’t treat or consult with people on EO use. However, I do share good info I’ve learned and a few recipes here and there. But, like you said, there’s good info out there to be learned, and I think it’s important for people to take the info (mine included) and go check it out with research of their own. There are people who are smart and self-taught in certain areas, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect… we all need to double check things, you know.
I'm new to using essential oils and sensitive to strong smells so it took a while to figure out how much was enough for me and what was too much! The smell is great, kind of sweet and with a hint of spice. It is too strong for me if i use more than one drop but it has worked well for me and actually does help control my anxiety. I will definitely be using this long term and buying it again!
Hi Megan! I’m new to oils, and I’m looking specifically for oils that help with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and colds/flu. I have right now sweet orange, lemongrass, frankincense, tea tree, peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, and lavender. Could you offer some direction/advice on where to start with what I have? I would be using them by diffusing with a diffuser or using the steam from taking a shower if that helps. Thanks!

Oh you’re so welcome!! I LOVE diffusing citrus oils, some of my favorites! I’ve never had an issue with our diffusers that way… but to clean them, fill it with half vinegar and half tap water and let it run a few hours. You can put it outside or in the garage or in a room you’re not using if you don’t like the scent 😉 Then in the morning or whenever you’re done, just wipe clean!! It keeps them running fresh! Hope that helps 😉
I don’t care about money, I do want to get off disability though now that I have 16 hours of free time a day and am not stuck in a bed taking pills all day. I want quality though, and to be happy with everything regardless if I ever sold it, I want to give it away for free! I want to grow CBD and give it away. All of this can heal the entire World, that’s why they removed certain things and put synthetics with patents, never even asking us about our diet or exercise, they never cared. I’ve been marketed to my entire life for medicine I’m going to give it all away I think. Or earn the money and then donate it. I just don’t like money, it’s dangerous.
Thank you so much for this information, and the links you have provided. I’m new to this whole world of oils and thoroughly confused. One of my 9 year old sons has ADHD, Autism, severe anxiety and phobias, and a severe peanut allergy. On top of all of that he has a higher heart rate due to the anxiety and phobias setting everything else off, and cannot take any medications to help calm him down. He goes to therapy and social skills twice a week and has TSS workers at home and at school, but he still suffers and I needed to find something to help him without modern medicines in the mix. As it turns out, his therapy center is directly next door to a place called Penn Herb Company, so we ventured in to inquire about alternatives. He took a big sniff when we went in and I could see him relax. They helped me get a small stash of relaxing oils and make him a “calm down potion.” It worked every time I tried it on him before full meltdown. I am now on a mission to help him and the whole family get better without chemical medicines, but cannot spend hours in a store or classroom, or even at my computer (I have 4 boys, 2 of them not school aged yet and I stay at home to raise them) so sites like yours are now my lifeblood. Everyone else seems to have a grand opinion on a brand of oil and says the others are no good. It is so hard to decipher some of this stuff. It is awesome to have someone give the truth about different brands, and their claims. All the best to you, and thank you so much again from the bottom of this Mama’s overflowing heart!!!!
The benefits of neroli essential oil include having sedative, anti-anxiety and calming properties. A 2013 study combined a mixture of lavender, neroli and chamomile essential oils to examine the impact of aromatherapy on the quality of sleep among participants in an intensive care unit. Patients were instructed to inhale the aroma for several minutes. The mixture was then applied to a stone and placed under the patient’s pillowcase overnight.
I have been reading your blog now for a few months and I really respect your advice and ideas. I also signed up for your “better listening” email series and have been learning a ton and working on implementing your advice with my 21 month & 3 1/2 year olds. They are responding well and I am looking particularly forward to working through these strategies with my youngest. He is as sharp as a tack and just coming into his own now. These tools are great and it’s awesome to have been equipped with  them right as he’s coming into the defiance stage. I feel much more confident in my ability to manage the challenges of this stage now. Thank you!

It’s worth it to have a high quality diffuser to diffuse essential oils. This Smiley Daisy Essential Oil Diffuser, Quite Cool Mist Humidifier, 350 ml has been around for a long while and has great reviews. Smiley Daisy is a cold air diffuser, as well as a humidifier, which is great because it releases moisture into the air and is helpful in providing relief for dry skin, dry throat and cold and flu symptoms such as irritated nasal passages and more. Order below:
I believe sandalwood is a base not Annette. Of course you can combine whatever you like together if you think it smells good. I don’t think there are any black and white rules when it comes to blending as long as you have something from each note so your blend is “well rounded”. And from my understanding categories and notes are all relative to the other oils you’re referencing… they too are not black and white. Hope that helps some!
Hello! Loved the article. Very helpful! I just started using oils this past spring and got them through Young Living, however I can’t afford them and found Eden’s Garden is more reasonable for me. My question is can I blend the two brands together? I still have some YL oils left and was just going to replace the ones I’m out of with Eden’s Garden. I usually just diffuse them, but have made a cream for Hand, Foot, Mouth.
Hey! Sorry to be commenting on such an old post, I was googling and found you. =) You have a lot of helpful information posted, I really appreciate it! I am a nursing student and I’ve just started to use essential oils for studying and test taxing anxiety. I am using lavender and rosemary because I’ve read a lot of research on these and they seem to be scientifically proven to help with testing. I also have ADHD and of course like all nursing students, a ton of test taking anxiety. I am wondering if I could combine the two oils to help me with my exams? If so what would your ratio recommendation be? The rosemary alone seems to help me concentrate a lot (probably as much as my adderall) but I feel more anxious when using it (also like when I take my adderall). The lavender alone makes me so relaxed I’m a little on the fuzzy side. I have done both of these with the diffuser and applying topically with fractioned coconut oil. When I apply topically I make a rollerball with 10mL of fractioned coconut oil and 20 drops of essential oil. Any advice or tips you can give would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Cindy. The amount of oils to lotion will depend on what you’re using your lotion for and how often. If it’s an all-over body lotion that’s used a couple times a day you usually use a lower dilution (1-2%), but if it’s a lotion for bug bites or eczema and you’re only putting it on a small area of skin, you can use a higher dilution (3-5%). A 1% dilution is 1 drop of essential oil for every 1 teaspoon of product. Another way to look at it is 6 drops for every 1 ounce. Hope that helps!
A question that you may or may not be able to help me with. . . I am trying to make a citrus blend to use in soap. I think I have the blend of EOs that I want to use. What I am not sure about is diluting it in a carrier oil. How diluted should I make it? Or should I not dilute it at all so it is strong enough to make it through the soap process? Thanks for any help!
A stroll through the orchard picking apples is the perfect way to spend a fall afternoon.  When a fall breeze blows through the trees at the orchard near us, it smells very much like this diffuser blend – woody, a little sweet, with a hint of fresh fir from the Christmas tree farm next door.  It’s relaxing and grounding- a great fall diffuser blend to help lessen anxious feelings.
Most commonly, essential oils are used in an essential diffuser together with water. Aromatherapy works quite well over our olfactory system (=sense of smell) as many emotions can be triggered by certain cents alone. While there are other ways to use essential oils, diffuser blending is a fun art and hobby on its own that many essential oil enthusiasts enjoy.
Hi Megan! I’m new to oils, and I’m looking specifically for oils that help with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and colds/flu. I have right now sweet orange, lemongrass, frankincense, tea tree, peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, and lavender. Could you offer some direction/advice on where to start with what I have? I would be using them by diffusing with a diffuser or using the steam from taking a shower if that helps. Thanks!

so many other benefits of essential oils – Depending on the specific essential oils used, the diffuser blend can also help improve focus, give me an energy boost, calm me down and help me relax when I’m feeling stressed, clean & purify the air in my home, help my get a great night’s sleep, and more.  I’ve tried to point out some of these essential oils benefits in the descriptions of the fall diffuser blends below.
The great thing about these recipes, is that you can experiment and change them based on what you like! So if you start with the recipe, but find you need more, you can add in more! My diffusers are all mid-size and hold between 100-150 ml of water. These recipes are based on that size (most home diffusers are similar in size). You can still use these recipes with yours! If you find you need to add more oil since you’re adding more water, add in a few extra drops of each and see how that does for you. Sometimes in a large open space I find that I need to add in a little more myself. 😉 Hope that helps… have you tried any yet?? I’d love to hear which ones you like!
Your information is the best the best I’ve read yet! I’ve just started using essential oils…I use them in my diffuser at night, as it helps my eternally stuffy nose from allergies. Any scents seem to help, as I believe it’s the moisture it puts into the air that helps. I’ve been using a blend of Bergamot and Lemongrass. Both are made by Majestic Pure, and do just fine.
Multipurpose Essential Oil: The aromatherapy oil blend can be utilized as a calming cologne, car freshener, bath salts, to make candles, etc. You can even make your very own deodorant by blending 2 to 3 drops in your regular perfume. You can also calm your pets while driving to the vet, flying to vacation, or simply when they’re anxious at home by applying a few drops on their paws.

Tracey Black, founder and CEO of Don’t Mess with Mama, started blogging to share her family’s gluten-free and natural living journey. At DontMesswithMama.com, she shares how simple it can be to live a more natural lifestyle. Here you’ll find gluten-free recipes, green cleaning tips, DIY and homemade tutorials, minimalism tips and so much more! Tracey is also the author of the books Natural Beauty Made Simple, Instant Pot Recipes Made Simple and Gluten-Free Recipes Your Family Will Love.
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