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What do you do when your energy feels off-kilter? According to some, it could be stemming from your chakras.

The word “chakra” comes from Sanskrit, and means “disk” or “wheel.” Chakras are energy centers in the body that correlate to certain psycho-emotional functions. They each correspond to certain nerve bundles and major organs in the body.

It’s important to keep your chakras open and energy flowing smoothly, according to proponents of energy healing. Otherwise they may become blocked and cause physical or emotional issues.

Some people turn to aromatherapy to balance their chakras. They use essential oils to recalibrate their body’s energy centers and keep things flowing smoothly.

While there are believed to be at least 114 chakras in the body, most people are familiar with the main seven chakras that loosely fall along the length of the spine.

Each of these seven chakras corresponds to a different organ in your body and is believed to play a part in your consciousness and perception of reality. This can have physical, emotional, and spiritual impacts.

Some people believe essential oils can balance the chakras, with specific oils offering different effects for each chakra.

“People use essential oils for chakras to access the information contained within a chakra center and to be able to direct very specific energies towards personal growth and healing,” explains Candice Covington.

Covington explains that chakras are “spinning wheels of energy, psychic centers that exist not on the physical plane, but rather in the spiritual dimension.”

Chakras determine the frequencies responsible for human experience, Covington adds.

It’s her belief that essential oils can aid in reformatting old patterns in our chakras by working with energies outside of our personal will.

“Essential oils tonify the chakras, meaning they bring the positive gifts forward and help bring balance to the shadow aspects,” Covington says. “They offer the stable foundation onto which we can consciously craft our inner and outer world.”

It’s important to note that scientific research supporting the health benefits of essential oils is limited.

A 2011 study suggests that some essential oils can help lessen stress and anxiety when used in tandem with traditional medicine.

Another study from 2012 on the sleep benefits of essential oils found that smelling lavender oil before bed had a positive effect on sleep.

In a 2012 review of 201 studies, however, researchers deemed the existing evidence around aromatherapy “not convincing.”

While the research is mixed, many people claim to enjoy the chakra-balancing benefits of essential oils. You can experiment for yourself with minimal risk as long as you keep safety precautions in mind.

Always do a patch test before using essential oils on your skin or in a bath. If there’s no irritation, you can proceed with using the essential oil.

Still, be sure to dilute it in carrier oil before applying it to your skin or adding it to your bath.

It’s also important to follow the appropriate dosage and dilution depending on how you’re using the oils. These differ for where on the body you’re applying the oil and whether the oil is being used by children or adults, or with pets nearby.

You can also use a dilution calculator when in doubt.

Also think about who else is inhaling the aroma. Children and pregnant or breastfeeding people may have negative reactions. People with allergies or asthma may not be able to tolerate aromatherapy or being in rooms where they are diffused or applied. And some essential oils are toxic to pets.

Be sure to do your research before using essential oils for healing.

While research suggests there are health benefits, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider before you begin using essential oils. Be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

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The root chakra is an earth element chakra located at the base of your spine. It’s believed to house:

  • instinctual knowing
  • raw sexuality
  • bodily pleasure
  • feelings of security and belonging

Balancing the root chakra can help you feel grounded, safe, steady, and at home.

Shadow or negative aspects commonly associated with the root chakra include:

Essentials oils for the root chakra

Red spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)

Spikenard has been used medicinally for centuries, and it plays a role in both religious ceremony and health. According to Covington, spikenard can:

  • have a grounding effect without being dulling
  • allow you to gain control of your life
  • help stabilize you when you’re feeling unsafe in your physical body

“Use this oil to shunt the energy from your upper chakras to your first chakra to ground those energies for practical use,” she says.

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides)

Vetiver, or khus oil, is extracted from a plant that’s native to India. According to Covington, it can help you:

  • feel grounded and centered in your self
  • encourage emotional strength
  • cultivate honor
  • strengthen your mind-body connection

“If you’re struggling with loss of purpose and finding the correct direction, this is an excellent essential oil to aid you in finding the right path forward,” Covington says.

The sacral chakra is a water element chakra that’s located in the upper pelvic area of your body. It represents:

  • creativity
  • fluidity
  • giving and receiving love
  • co-creation
  • pro-creation
  • endurance
  • self-confidence
  • sensuality and sexuality

According to aromatherapist KG Stiles, shadow issues for the sacral chakra include guilt or rejection.

“It attracts toxic environmental conditions — both internal and external — that trigger states of anxiety, fear, and worry,” says Stiles.

Essential oils for the sacral chakra

Lavender is the universal essential oil for nourishing all the chakras,” says Stiles. She also recommends:

Pink pepper seed (Schinus molle)

According to Covington, pink pepper seed helps you love being in your body. It can evoke:

It can also support the healing of:

The solar plexus chakra is a fire element chakra located at your navel. It represents:

  • personal power
  • self-mastery
  • motivation
  • the ability to surrender your personal will to divine will

Shadow issues include:

  • feelings of shame
  • victimization
  • stress
  • worry
  • doubt
  • commitment issues

Essential oils for the solar plexus chakra

“You can promote balancing and healing of the solar plexus by inhaling a pure essential oil or a blend that is sweet, woody, and restorative,” advises Stiles.

This includes aromas like:

Black pepper (Piper nigrum)

Black pepper oil can help you transform rigid patterns and mental concepts.

It “brings the knowledge you don’t have to repeat the past, and lights the way to seeing new solutions to old problems,” says Covington. “This oil brings the gift of refining an idea into its best expression.”

The heart chakra is an air element chakra located at the center of your breastbone. It represents all love, as well as:

  • forgiveness
  • conflict resolution
  • compassion
  • loyalty
  • divine experience

Heart chakra shadow issues include:

  • nonacceptance
  • having only conditional love for self and others
  • rejecting the magic and beauty of the self

Essential oils for the heart chakra

Rose (Rosa damascena)

Rose oil is a classic essential oil for love.

It can encourage:

  • love toward self and others
  • compassion and gentleness
  • the desire to work toward enlightenment via the path of the heart

“This is a route filled with grace that teaches strength in gentleness, which results in harmonious actions,” says Covington

Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Covington says that pine oil can aid restoration of the heart, helping you:

  • release old wounds
  • move on and move forward
  • soften your heart after painful emotions

“It brings the ability to experience your emotions in real time verses playing out the echoes from the past,” says Covington.

The throat chakra is an ether element chakra that’s located in your throat. It represents:

  • self-expression
  • clarity
  • telepathy
  • vocation
  • truth

Shadow issues of the throat chakra include:

  • using words or sounds irresponsibly
  • not being an active listener
  • inability to discern truth
  • disengagement from your inner muse

Essential oils for the throat chakra

Blue chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Covington shares that blue chamomile can:

  • open you up to guidance from your highest self
  • connect you to spiritual guides
  • help stabilize cosmic connections
  • give you the power to communicate.

“This oil helps you cultivate a profound knowledge base on any topic. It helps you understand ideas from past eras,” Covington adds.

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)

Frankincense is a resin that comes from the Boswellia tree in India. According to Covington, it can:

  • give you the ability to read environmental energy
  • prevent reactivity
  • give you the clarity to respond with grace
  • encourage clear, effective speech

The third eye chakra includes all the elements combined. It’s located at the center of your forehead and represents cosmic knowledge and control of the mind.

Open third eye characteristics include:

  • perfect concentration
  • seeing past, present, and future
  • embodying all the elements in their purest form

Shadow issues of the third eye include:

  • exhaustion
  • consistent stress
  • inner emotional conflict

Lemon (Citrus limon)

Lemon oil is considered to be uplifting.

“This oil has the ability to bathe the pineal gland with light, helping to awaken the latent gifts of the third eye,” explains Covington.

It also helps:

  • connect the mental body to intuition
  • improve mental versatility
  • expand the thought process
  • the mind organize new information

There are case reports in a 2018 research review of lemon essential oil making skin more sensitive to irritation from the sun. It’s best to avoid direct sunlight when using any citrus essential oil.

Sandalwood (Santalum album)

Covington explains that sandalwood oil brings:

  • wisdom
  • an inner awareness
  • a sense of ease when engaging with higher consciousness

“It’s helpful for insights into blockages on your spiritual path, whether internal or external, and allows a gentle processing at your deepest levels,” she says.

It helps to:

  • break down illusions
  • align with your most authentic self
  • enhance meditation, spiritual practice, and healing

The crown chakra is beyond the elements. It’s located at the crown of your head. It represents:

  • detachment from illusion
  • nonlocal consciousness
  • understanding the truth of one is all and all is one
  • states of enlightenment

Shadow issues of the crown chakra include:

  • closed-mindedness
  • attachment
  • boredom
  • fatigue
  • disconnection from self and reality

Chinese rice flower (Aglaia odorata)

According to Covington, Chinese rice flower:

  • benefits contemplation of life’s mysteries
  • acts as a portal between the temporal and the divine
  • supports the study of philosophy or spirituality
  • helps you understand how to transform ideas into action

“One of the more fascinating gifts that this oil imparts is the ability to hold onto an idea that feels too big, too vast — without shutting down or leaving the process — until your mind is finally able to penetrate its mystery,” she says.

White lotus flower (Nelumbo nucifera)

Lotus holds the vibration of the entire path of enlightenment and is a powerful teacher and guide, says Covington. It can:

  • stimulate you at the unconscious level
  • cultivate the desire to become self-actualized
  • support the path of budding consciousness
  • reinforce lessons offered from each chakra center

“Of course, the ultimate goal of this plant is to usher you into a state of enlightenment,” Covington says. “This is an excellent plant to reach for when you cannot quite name what has you stuck, but you know that you need relief.”

Covington shares two of her favorite chakra oil blends:

Root chakra mister

You’ll need:

In the bottle, mix all ingredients. Cap the bottle and shake well.

Heart chakra anointing blend

You’ll need:

To the bottle, add your carrier oil of choice. Then, add all essential oils. Cap the bottle and shake well.

“Essential oils are an incredibly fun and dynamic way to access and work with your innermost self,” says Covington.

They may even be an effective way to open the chakras, connect you to your highest self, and deepen your spiritual practice.

Always remember to follow essential oil safety procedures before and during use.

Victoria Stokes is a writer from the United Kingdom. When she’s not writing about her favorite topics, personal development, and well-being, she usually has her nose stuck in a good book. Victoria lists coffee, cocktails, and the color pink among some of her favorite things. Find her on Instagram.