10 essential oils for meditation | Relax, restore & revive

By Alison Angold | Qualified aromatherapist | CIDESCO ITEC

A person sitting cross legged and meditation, behind a candle, using essential oils for meditation

Meditation and relaxation techniques have become more and more popular – almost a way of life. Stressful jobs, busy lives, social media pressure, and global pandemics, have an effect on all of us, so meditation is a good way, to take some time for ourselves, and relieve the pressure we may often feel.

But what if there was a way that makes meditation even more effective? To help us, switch off, relax, and restore balance even more?

Using essential oils for meditation is an ideal way to make your meditation more fulfilling, reviving, and more powerful.

The best essential oils for meditation

There are many oils that will have good, beneficial effects, but these are particularly effective essential oils for meditation;

  • Frankincense
  • Basil
  • Clary sage
  • Grapefruit
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Neroli
  • Patchouli
  • Petitgrain
  • Vetiver

How do essential oils for meditation work

The molecules of the oils are so pure that they can either be absorbed through the skin, into the body when applied topically, or they can be absorbed by the membranes in the nose when inhaled.

Each essential oil has a unique chemical composition, that gives it a variety of therapeutic actions. These therapeutic properties have beneficial effects on the body or the mind.

When we meditate or practice relaxation techniques, we want to be able to focus our minds, so that they do not wander and we can switch off, and clear our minds.

Therefore one of the main functions of the essential oils we choose to accompany our meditation should help us to clear our minds and allow us to focus.

Meditation is not as effective if our bodies are tense and we are not relaxed, so another way the oils can help us to relax our minds and body so that meditation is more fruitful. If you have back pain or other pain issues, then a body oil can be really effective before meditation.

Finally, one of the reasons we may be meditating is due to stress or anxiety. If we are anxious or feeling panicky, then the meditation techniques, may not work as well. Some of the suggested oils have the ability to ease feelings of panic and reduce anxiety.

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Essential oils for meditation

Let’s look at each oil more closely, so that you choose the best oil for your needs.


If I had to pick one essential oil to use for meditation, it would be Frankincense. It is a warming oil, that comforts the emotions. It is both relaxing and uplifting, so helps the body and mind find calm and relax, while also lifting the emotions from low mood or depression.

This all helps to balance the body, putting you in a better position to meditate. The earthy, sweet, aroma also helps to clear and focus the mind, making Frankincense an excellent choice of essential oil for meditation.


Basil is a good oil for uplifting a low mood and is a tonic for the whole body, which means it invigorates and revives a lethargic or weak body and mind. It also helps to focus the mind and aids concentration, so that clearing your thoughts, ready for meditation will be much easier.

Basil has a very strong, aniseed scent, so it is best to blend it with another essential oil, for a more pleasant aroma.

(Avoid during pregnancy)

Clary sage

Clary sage is excellent for the nervous system. The earthy aroma uplifts the spirit and gives a feeling of well-being and euphoria. It calms and sedates the nerves and soothes nervous tension and panic. So a good all-around essential oil, to use for meditation to calm, balance, and relax.

(Avoid during pregnancy)


Not many would recommend grapefruit for meditating, as it is such an uplifting, energising oil, but this is exactly the reason that makes it so suitable! If you are feeling tired, lethargic, or have a low mood, your mind is going to be foggy, and concentrating on meditation or relaxation techniques will be hard.

The refreshing, and reviving scent of grapefruit is ideal to clear and focus the mind while creating feelings of euphoria. A citrus diffuser blend can be very uplifting and beneficial to the mood.

(Avoid direct sunlight after skin application)


Jasmine is a wonderful oil for promoting self-confidence and feelings of calm, clarity, and well-being. It encourages optimism and warms the emotions. The sweet, floral scent is ideal to use if you suffer from any self-doubt or lack self-confidence.

The combination of jasmine oil and focused meditation, will really help to uplift a low spirit and help you feel better about yourself.

(Avoid during pregnancy)


A great all-around oil that balances emotions, relieves stress and lifts depression. It is relaxing, uplifting, and good for easing tension.


A beautiful aroma derived from orange blossom flowers. Neroli calms and soothes nerve endings, so a good relaxer to use before, and for meditation. It is good at calming anxiety and giving relief to stress. Neroli is also good at lifting a low mood or depression.


A heavier scented oil that can be used as a sedative. Patchouli helps to relieve stress-related conditions, and anxiety so is good for relaxing the mind and body, in preparation for effective meditation.


Petitgrain is such a great oil for the nervous system, and one of my personal favourites! Petitgrain comes from the wood of the orange tree, so you get a delightful woody, citrus aroma.

The oil soothes anxiety and tension and really helps to calm the body and the mind, and any problems related to anxiety. An ideal essential oil to use for meditation.


The mind benefits the most from vetiver, as it helps to calm the central nervous system. This is ideal to not only calm the mind and body but bring balance to the body as a whole, so your mind can focus on more effective relaxation during meditation. Vetiver helps to reduce tension, worry, and anxiety.

Essential oils for meditation sitting on a shelf in front of a wooden star

How to use essential oils for meditation

Diffuser or burner

The easiest and most obvious way to use essential oils for meditation is to diffuse or burn them. This allows the aromas to fill the space you are in, enabling you to inhale them and gain from the benefits. Choose your oil or blend, and diffuse or burn the oils, for about 10 minutes (if you can), before you start your meditation so that the room is ready for effective focus, calm, and relaxation.

Diffuser blends for meditation

Any of the oils we have discussed can be used to diffuse for meditation, but the combinations below complement each other and you can choose the best blend for how you are feeling on a particular day.


A rollerball is a great way to use essential oils – for meditation, and so many other uses too. Create a blend and store it in a rollerball bottle. Apply to your pulse points – temples, wrists, inner elbow – and allow the oils to be absorbed, as well as being able to inhale them.

The roller bottle blend can also be carried with you to apply as and when needed for stress relief, relaxation, anxiety – or whatever the blend is designed to do.

A carrier oil such as sweet almond oil is ideal to use. For a 10ml rollerball bottle, add 5-6 drops of essential oil to the carrier oil.


Amber, glass rollerball bottles on a shelf on front of a white wooden star

Body massage oil

Immerse yourself in relaxation and prepare for meditation by applying a body oil, before meditating. This, not only allows you to benefit from the oils, by them absorbing into the skin and inhaling the aromas, but your skin will benefit from the hydrating, replenishing oil.

Use a base oil such as sweet almond oil, and add 20 drops of essential oil per 50ml of the base oil. Store in a glass, amber bottle.

Check out this post for more BODY OIL RECIPES.

Essential oil recipes for meditation

Try any of these combinations in either a diffuser, rollerball bottle, or body oil.

Relax and de-stress

Ideal for meditation in the evening, to help you relax and prepare for sleep.

Lavender & Vetiver

Uplift and refresh

If you have a low mood or do suffer from depression, this is the blend for you.

Grapefruit & Neroli

Clear mind focus

This combination will help to clear a foggy mind and aid concentration to help you focus on meditation.

Basil & Jasmine

Self-love & confidence

Boost your confidence, feel better, and focus more with this blend.

Jasmine & Clary sage

Calm & Soothe

Frankincense, Clary Sage & Petitgrain

Relax anxiety

Patchouli, Clary sage & Lavender

Precautions of essential oils for meditation

Diffusing or burning the oils is generally safe, however, if you feel the scent is overpowering or giving you a headache, then turn off the diffuser and moderate your blend amounts the next time.

Always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil, and never apply directly to the skin.

Please note the precautions for the individual oils, as stated above.


About the Author
Alison Angold is a fully qualified (certified) beauty therapist, massage therapist, and aromatherapist from the UK. She has over 25 years of experience in this industry and has worked in a variety of beauty salons, spa’s as well as running her own successful beauty and massage business. Her career has allowed her to treat many, many clients, with skincare concerns, medical conditions, and a whole variety of other ailments and issues, which has enabled her to work closely with essential oils, prescribing specific blends for these clients to help with these conditions. Her qualifications in the use of essential oils and aromatherapy, allow her to share this knowledge with others, in a safe, reliable way.