Many essential oils are known for promoting a sense of relaxation and calm, or at least making your home smell nice! But did you know there are also many essential oils for vagus nerve stimulation? Today, we'll share more about how the vagus nerve functions, what happens when it's underactive, how essential oils can help with vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), and other strategies for VNS you won't want to miss!
As an integral part of your nervous system, a healthy vagus nerve is essential for a balanced nervous system. While many nerves are overactive, leading to pain and other issues, the vagus nerve is often the opposite. When the vagus nerve is underactive, it can cause problems like:
Essential oils are one of many possible ways to help stimulate the vagus nerve and promote a healthy nervous system. However, before we explore that strategy in greater detail, let's also talk about other steps to balance your nervous system.
What does a balanced nervous system look like? For starters, it's important to have a healthy vagus nerve. This nerve is responsible for sending signals from the brain to the body, and vice versa. When the vagus nerve is functioning properly, it helps regulate many important functions in the body, including:
But a balanced nervous system also includes a healthy sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The SNS is responsible for fight-or-flight response, while the PNS is responsible for rest-and-digest response. Ideally, these two systems should be in balance with each other. Unfortunately, however, in today's world, it's common for the SNS to be overactive and the PNS to be under-active. This can lead to various health problems, including digestive issues, mental health challenges, inflammation, and other chronic problems.
The good news is there are many ways to help promote a balanced nervous system. Some of the most effective strategies include:
Some essential oils that are particularlyhelpful for promoting a healthy vagus nerve and balanced nervous system so let's talk about those next.
Peppermint essential oil is one of the most common essential oils for stimulating the vagus nerve. This oil has a refreshing, minty scent that can help clear the mind and promote focus. Peppermint essential oil is also known for its ability to soothe digestive issues, making it ideal for those with vagus nerve under-activity.
Lavender essential oil is another excellent choice for stimulating the vagus nerve. This oil has a calming, soothing scent that can help to promote relaxation. Lavender essential oil is also touted for its ability to reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being.
Bergamot essential oil is also considered to be one of the best essential oils for calming the vagus nerve. This oil has a citrusy, refreshing scent that can help to clear the mind and boost your focus. Bergamot essential oil could also help reduce stress and promote a sense of calm.
Lastly, chamomile essential oil is an excellent choice for those looking to promote a healthy vagus nerve. This oil has a sweet, floral scent that can help to promote relaxation. Chamomile essential oil is also known for its ability to soothe the mind and body, making it an ideal choice for those with vagus nerve under-activity.
Knowing which oils can stimulate the vagus nerve is one thing, but how do you actually use them? Many essential oils can be used topically, which means they can be applied directly to the skin. This is a great way to get the benefits of essential oils without having to diffuser or inhale them.
When applying essential oils topically, it's key to use a carrier oil to dilute them. This helps prevent skin irritation and provides a base for the essential oils to be absorbed into the skin. Some popular carrier oils include coconut, jojoba, and olive oil.
To use essential oils topically, simply add a few drops of the oil (or oils) of choice to your carrier oil of choice and apply it to the desired area. For example, you can apply essential oils to the wrists, temples, back of the neck, or anywhere else you think they might be helpful—just avoid mucous membranes.
Be sure to do your research and speak with your healthcare provider before using essential oils, especially if you have a medical condition or are pregnant or breastfeeding.