Essential oils may lower blood pressure in many ways. One way is by causing the blood vessels to dilate and relax, making a wider opening for blood to flow through and thereby reduce pressure on the artery walls.
A second way essential oils can reduce blood pressure is by decreasing stress in your body through processes that lower heart rate and cortisol via the body’s “rest and digest” mode.
In addition, some essential oils trigger the release of serotonin and GABA in the brain which creates a state of improved mood, mild sedation, and relaxation which in turn reduces stress. (1)
This article highlights eight essential oils that directly impact blood pressure, according to several research studies.
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What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is the increased force of blood through the arteries. Due to the high pressure, the blood vessels tend to constrict and limit blood flow to your organs which can eventually cause organ failure.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated plant oils. They are extracted from the leaves, roots, bark, flowers, fruit peel, or whole plant and distilled for therapeutic use.
Using Essential Oils Safely to Lower Blood Pressure
Methods of Application of Essential Oils
Inhalation or Aromatherapy
- Add water + 2-3 drops of essential oils to a diffuser and diffuse within the area you’re in
- Wear aromatherapy jewelry, like a necklace
- Inhale directly from the bottle
How to Prepare Essential Oils for Topical Use
- Dilute in a carrier oil by adding around 6 drops to 1 oz of carrier oil like coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, avocado oil, or olive oil (visit Essential Oil Haven for more information about how to dilute oils properly)
- Mix into unscented body lotion or massage oil
- Add 3-5 drops of essential oils to bathwater or a foot soak
- Use a roll-on that contains essential oils diluted in a carrier oil
How to Use Topical Preparations
- Apply several small applications throughout the day
- Common application areas include the neck, forehead, temples, chest, arms, legs, stomach, and bottoms of the feet
- Avoid applying near the eyes, inner ears, or on damaged or inflamed skin
- Internal use is not recommended without the guidance of a knowledgeable health professional
Safe Storage of Essential Oils
- While essential oils are prone to oxidation, they typically last for years when kept in the appropriate environment
- It’s best to store essential oils in an amber bottle in a dry area away from the sun and extreme temperatures.
Other Considerations for Using Essential Oils
- Do not ingest essential oils without the guidance of a knowledgeable health professional (2)
- Blend essential oils into a carrier oil before applying to your skin to avoid skin irritation or rash (3)
- Avoid using essential oils near the eyes – rinse with water for several minutes if your eyes become exposed and contact your doctor
- Be aware that in some cases, essential oils may cause skin irritation, eye pain/soreness/irritation, a persistent cough, nausea/vomiting, drowsiness, shallow breathing, seizures, or coma – it is best to start with a small dose and increase as tolerated
- Keep out of reach of children and animals
Who Should Not Use Essential Oils
Some essential oils may be harmful to some populations of people. For example, pregnant mothers, children, and those with asthma, headaches, and migraines may need to avoid some essential oils to prevent complications.
Pregnant mothers and children
- Some essential oils may be safe during pregnancy when properly diluted; of course, you should discuss with your primary health practitioner before using them since some are considered unsafe
- Some essential oils are not well studied in this population and may have negative effects on the fetus or baby
- In general, avoid diffusing essential oils in the presence of pregnant women and children unless under the guidance of a knowledgeable health professional
- Limit inhalation of essential oils to one hour to minimize risk for potential side effects
- Most importantly, if you use essential oils, you should increase the dilution to minimize risk
Those with asthma, headaches, and migraines
- People with asthma, headaches, and migraines may not tolerate inhaled essential oils
- Therefore, applying the oils topically away from the head and neck may be safer until tolerance is established
Essential Oils That Lower Blood Pressure
Bergamot Essential Oil to Lower Blood Pressure
Several studies show the positive effects of Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) essential oil on blood pressure.
In one study, results showed reduced blood pressure, pulse, subjective stress, state anxiety, and serum cortisol levels in participants who diffused bergamot, lavender, and ylang ylang essential oils for 15 minutes to one hour. (4)
Inhalation of bergamot essential oil via an aromatherapy necklace decreased blood pressure and heart rate in female high school students. (5)
When Taiwanese elementary school faculty inhaled a bergamot aromatherapy spray, their blood pressure and heart rate decreased. (6)
Surgery patients in Taipei exposed to bergamot aromatherapy had decreases in blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. (7)
Citronella Essential Oil to Lower Blood Pressure
Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) essential oil “significantly decreased blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate after inhalation” by healthy participants. (8)
Clary Sage Essential Oil to Lower Blood Pressure
Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) essential oil decreased respiratory rate and diastolic blood pressure via inhalation in women with urinary incontinence. (9)
Animals who consumed S. sclarea oil “showed a significant reduction of dominant and anxiety-like behavior” and “a significant reduction in blood corticosterone levels.” Corticosterone measures stress in animals. (10)
Lavender Essential Oil to Lower Blood Pressure
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil inhaled in a blend with bergamot and ylang ylang essential oils lowered blood pressure, pulse, subjective stress, state anxiety, and serum cortisol levels in one study. (4)
In prehypertensive and hypertensive patients, inhalation of lavender, marjoram, neroli, and ylang ylang essential oils showed a reduction in salivary cortisol, systolic blood pressure, and perceived stress. (11)
Marjoram Essential Oil to Lower Blood Pressure
Marjoram (Origanum majorana) essential oil reduced salivary cortisol, systolic blood pressure, and perceived stress when inhaled in a blend with lavender, neroli, and ylang ylang. (11)
Another study showed decreased blood pressure and heart rate after inhaling marjoram essential oil. (12)
Neroli Essential Oil to Lower Blood Pressure
A blend of neroli (Citrus aurantium), lavender, marjoram, and ylang ylang essential oils reduced salivary cortisol, systolic blood pressure, and perceived stress when inhaled. (11)
Rose Essential Oil to Lower Blood Pressure
When applied topically, rose (Rosa damascena) essential oil decreased breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation, and systolic blood pressure in participants. (13)
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil to Lower Blood Pressure
When inhaled, a blend of ylang ylang (Cananga odorata), bergamot, and lavender decreased blood pressure, pulse, subjective stress, state anxiety, and serum cortisol levels. (4)
Salivary cortisol, systolic blood pressure, and perceived stress decreased after inhalation of a blend of ylang ylang, lavender, marjoram, and neroli essential oils. (11)
Inhalation of ylang ylang by healthy men decreased blood pressure and heart rate. The effect was potentially due to its sedative effect. (14)
Essential Oils That May Lower Blood Pressure (But Need More Research)
Other essential oils are suggested to lower blood pressure but need more supporting research to know for sure. On the other hand, most studies have shown that these oils have benefits that may indirectly decrease blood pressure (for instance, through stress and anxiety reduction) but not necessarily influence blood pressure directly.
In short, the following oils may have anti-hypertensive effects and don’t appear to have any contraindications for use with hypertension, so you can likely try them safely: Cedarwood, frankincense, geranium, helichrysum, jasmine, mandarin, Melissa (lemon balm), petitgrain, Roman chamomile, sandalwood, tea tree, valerian.
Essential Oils to Avoid with High Blood Pressure
Some data suggest that some essential oils may cause a rise in blood pressure and should be avoided by those with hypertension. These include grapefruit, lemon, caraway, black pepper, fennel, tarragon and other oils high in carvone or limonene.
In addition, rosemary, hyssop, and sage may cause a rise in blood pressure at convulsant doses but are likely safe at normal doses. (15)
Best Quality Essential Oils
How to Choose High-Quality Essential Oils
- Choose a brand that discloses their chemical test results to the public and performs independent third-party testing
- Use products that are 100% pure, and without chemical fillers, additives, and synthetics
- Research sourcing, extraction, and distillation methods and choose a brand that uses sustainable and safe practices
High-Quality Brands of Essential Oils
Some brands don’t disclose their full list of ingredients or their chemical test results readily. Other brands, like those listed below, meet the above criteria listed and are recommended by essential oil experts and herbalists for their purity and sustainable sourcing.
This list of brands was compiled through online research and recommendations of others.
- Aura Cacia Essential Oils
- doTerra Essential Oils
- Edens Garden Essential Oils
- Lisse Essentials
- Mountain Rose Herbs Essential Oils
- Now Foods Essential Oils
- Plant Therapy Essential Oils
- REVIVE Essential Oils
- Rocky Mountain Essential Oils
- Simply Earth
- Young Living Essential Oils
Where to Buy High-Quality Essential Oils
Local Health Food Stores and Specialty Stores
These stores tend to carry some of the above-listed brands: Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, The Vitamin Shoppe, Target, GNC, Natural Grocers, New Seasons Market
You may be able to find local companies producing essential oils and selling them at farmers markets near you. This is a great option if you want to to be able to talk directly to the growers & distillers of the plants & oils and ensure the products meet your quality & sustainability standards.
Online Product Sites
- You can order directly from the brand websites listed above which will give you the best selection and guarantee of quality
- Amazon has a wide variety of quality essential oils, just be sure to avoid the products that don’t provide sourcing or testing information as they may be diluted or contain harmful chemicals; luckily you can find many of the brands listed above
Online Supplement Dispensaries
Online supplement dispensaries allow you to order from a practitioner’s recommended products. You must be registered or have a link to view and order from a practitioner’s dispensary.
- Emerson Ecologics allows you to order through their client/patient site Wellevate. I have linked some of the above recommended essential oils for blood pressure management along with other supplements for general, cardiovascular, and metabolic health in my dispensary
- Fullscript is another company that allows practitioners to share recommendations from their online dispensary with clients (you must be a registered client or practitioner to order)
*Ordering from my Wellevate online dispensary will provide you with a 25% off discount and I will receive a small commission from your purchase. Thank you for your support.
If you prefer to support multi-level marketing (MLM) companies, there are two that have great quality essential oil products.
*I have no affiliation with doTerra or Young Living.
- The information on this site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice nor guaranteed to treat any condition
- Please consult your primary healthcare practitioner before using essential oils to manage your blood pressure
- Do not use essential oils during pregnancy without discussing with your physician
- You may not be able to rely solely on the use of essential oils to manage your blood pressure
- Do not ingest essential oils
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Collette is a registered & licensed dietitian nutritionist, certified LEAP therapist, and certified personal trainer. She received her Bachelor’s in Nutrition & Dietetics from Oregon State University. Her passion is delivering nutrition & health information in an easy-to-implement way to promote optimal lifestyle behaviors and enhance the quality of life for everyone!