High blood pressure, or hypertension, is common in American adults. Left untreated, it can result in heart attack and stroke.

Some believe taking essential oils can lower blood pressure that’s consistently high. A 2012 clinical study on aromatherapy’s effect on hypertension supports this notion. The study used a blend of lavender, ylang ylang, marjoram, and neroli essential oils.

Essential oils can be effective used alone or in combination with other oils. There is limited scientific research, however, on the effectiveness of essential oils for high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, consult your doctor before using essential oils as a natural treatment.

Here are 18 of the essential oils that are recommended by those who advocate their use for the treatment of high blood pressure.

Bergamot

Bergamot essential oil may lower heart rate and blood pressure.

Cedarwood

Cedarwood essential oil can promote relaxation and temporarily decrease heart rate.

Citronella

Citronella essential oil helps to ease stress. This in turn can lower blood pressure.

Clary sage

Clary sage essential oil can reduce anxiety levels and thus lower blood pressure.

Frankincense

Frankincense essential oil may reduce stress levels and regulate the heart.

Jasmine

Jasmine essential oil might ease a tense nervous system.

Helichrysum

Helichrysum essential oil is believed to have hypotensive properties that act as a natural relaxant to reduce blood pressure.

Lavender

Lavender essential oil has calming properties that may reduce anxiety and heart rate.

Lemon

Lemon essential oil is believed to relieve stress and depression, and as such support lowering blood pressure naturally.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm essential oil may decrease blood pressure while protecting against heart palpitations, tachycardia, and heart attacks.

Lime

Lime essential oil is said to have stress-reducing properties.

Neroli

Neroli essential oil may have antihypertension properties.

Rose

The calming effect and anti-inflammatory characteristics of rose essential oil helps relax the entire body to increase blood circulation and lower high blood pressure.

Sage

Sage essential oil may promote weight loss through increasing the body’s metabolism. Weight loss has been shown to have a positive influence on lowering blood pressure.

Sweet marjoram

Sweet marjoram essential oil may dilate blood vessels to lower high blood pressure.

Valerian

Valerian essential oil may have powerful calming effects on the nervous system, which can:

Yarrow

Yarrow essential oil is considered one of the top oils for improving blood circulation.

Ylang ylang

Ylang ylang essential oil may help decrease levels of cortisol, known as the “stress hormone,” and thus lower blood pressure.

Essential oils can be used alone or mixed together. Those who advocate their use suggest a blend to maximize the power of various plants. Here are a few examples of blends believed to target high blood pressure.

Lotion recipe

Ingredients:

  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops of clary sage essential oil
  • 5 drops of frankincense essential oil
  • 2 oz. of coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly.
  2. Rub a small amount into your temples and under your nose.

Diffuser recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 drops of bergamot essential oil
  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops of ylang ylang essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine ingredients.
  2. Put the mixture into an aromatherapy diffuser.
  3. Slowly inhale the oils for 15 to 30 minutes.

Massage oil recipe

Ingredients:

  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 7 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
  • 5 drops of sweet marjoram essential oil
  • 1 drop of neroli essential oil
  • 2 oz. of almond oil

Instructions:

  • Combine the sweet marjoram, ylang ylang, mandarin, and lavender essential oils.
  • Combine 7 drops of this essential oil mixture with the almond oil.
  • Use it as a massage oil or add it to a warm bath.

According to the National Cancer Institute, safety tests for essential oils have shown few risks or side effects when these oils are used as directed. The majority have been labeled GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Essential oils shouldn’t be ingested, only used for application on the skin (massage) or inhalation (aromatherapy).

If you’re considering any treatment or therapy, including the use of essential oils, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor beforehand.

Although there are some promising indications that essential oils could have health benefits, there isn’t enough definitive clinical evidence that essential oils offer a cure for high blood pressure. Consult with your doctor to see if essential oil treatments — such as aromatherapy or massage — would be a good complement to your current treatment for high blood pressure or other conditions.