I'm a natural health coach, herbalist, and aromatherapy consultant using the power of essential oils to improve health and well-being.
Fatigue and chronic illness
Fatigue: a common complaint
Fatigue and exhaustion, an extremely common complaint among patients with chronic illness, can take their toll on both your mental and physical health. Just about everyone experiences them at some point in their life, but people living with chronic pain or chronic fatigue experience them everyday.
What is fatigue?
According to Medicine Net, Fatigue can be described as the lack of energy and motivation (both physical and mental). This is different than drowsiness, a term that describes the need to sleep. Often a person complains of feeling tired and it is up to the health care professional to distinguish between fatigue and drowsiness, though both can occur at the same time. Aside from drowsiness, other symptoms can be confused with fatigue including shortness of breath with activity and muscle weakness. Again, all these symptoms can occur at the same time. Also, fatigue can be a normal response to physical and mental activity; in most normal individuals it is quickly relieved (usually in hours to about a day, depending on the intensity of the activity) by reducing the activity.
Fatigue and me
I've been dealing with some level of fatigue on a daily basis for the last 5 years at least. Recently, however, I've been dealing with a bout that doesn't seem to want to improve. Having pernicious anemia as well as iron-deficiency anemia make it extremely difficult, also. Recently I've had to start another set of iron-rich cocktails intravenously as a result of being severely iron-deficient and exhausted as a result.
Essential oils can help with fatigue....
Did you know that essential oils can help with fatigue. However, remember that if your fatigue is due to an underlying health problem the best they can do is give short term relief. There are many causes of fatigue, so find out from your doctor what is causing yours. After extensive testing, you will have a better picture of why you're so tired all the time.
Fatigue can be caused from excess physical exertion, but emotional stress, depression, hormonal imbalances, low blood pressure, poor nutrition and dieting, are just a few things that may be causing the fatigue.
If you can't figure out what is causing your fatigue, again, please see your doctor.
My favorite essential oils for fatigue
- Sweet Orange
Lemon essential oil
Lemon essential oil
Lemon essential oil has a fresh, sweet lemony aroma. It has the ability to lift the spirits and is recommended for stress-related fatigue. Lemon essential oil is also good for oily skin and acne, lymphatic drainage massage and for fighting infection. This hub provides great info on lemon essential oil. Check it out.
Uses for Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil is typically used to treat the following health problems:
- athlete's foot
- varicose veins
In addition, lemon essential oil is said to stimulate the immune system, protect against Alzheimer's disease, alleviate pain, and promote weight loss.
Grapefruit essential oil
Grapefruit essential oil
The smell of grapefruit is uplifting, soothing and clarifying. It’s known to bust stress and works great when it’s diffused, added to bath wash or dabbed on skin just like perfume. Add several drops to a sterile cotton ball along with a touch of coconut oil; then rub it into your wrists, neck or chest.
Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary is a highly stimulating oil. It clears the head, aids memory, and enlivens the brain. It is included in my memory as well as my brain booster blend.
*Don’t use this oil within 6 hours of bedtime
** Do not use Rosemary if you have epilepsy, high blood pressure, or are pregnant.
Why is rosemary essential oil good for fighting fatigue?
Rosemary essential oil contains a high concentration of an oxide called 1.8 cineole. 1.8 cineole is a remarkable chemical component that is associated with increasing cerebral blood blow. Increased cerebral blood flow can help reduce fatigue. A recent research by the Journal of The Neurological Sciences in 2010 shows that people having chronic fatigue, a stronger form of tiredness, have decreased cerebral blood flow. Though rosemary essential oil fights fatigue, it is not proven that it can help cure chronic fatigue.
How do you use rosemary essential oil to fight fatigue?
Rosemary essential oil can be used in different ways to fight against fatigue attacks, but the best and most effective way to fight off fatigue is considered to be inhaling rosemary essential oil. To inhale rosemary essential oil effectively, follow these instructions carefully. Add a drop of rosemary essential oil on a ball of cotton, and inhale once through each nostril. An alternative option is to make a personal nasal inhaler with rosemary essential oil! The plus side of making a personal inhaler is that you will feel more relaxed by keeping this personal ‘fatigue fighter’ in your pocket at all times and by using it whenever you want. Nasal inhalers last for two to three months, and will certainly be very helpful during a fatigue attack.
Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint essential oil
Its strong, refreshing scent makes peppermint a stimulant. It’s great for keeping you alert as a driver. Peppermint helps you focus and concentrate by stimulating your hippocampus. It also helps relieve tension headaches and migraines. Peppermint affects the root, sacral, solar plexus and throat chakras. Spiritually, peppermint is said to calm the mind and eliminate fear of the unknown.” Learn more here about the peppermint plant as well as using the essential oil.
Eucalyptus essential oil
Eucalyptus is known to invigorate the senses. When used as aromatherapy, it can reduce mental fatigue. It is said to have a cooling property, which aids in the treatment of depression and other mental disorders. Simply place some essential oil on a cloth or cotton bud and smell. Other ways to make use of this mental wake-up oil is to add a few drops to boiling water and let the smell infuse the room.
Eucalyptus has many actions that can help when you’re fatigued. It stimulates the mind and aids concentration. It can also help reduce rheumatic pain (especially when paired with juniper); and reduced pain will naturally raise energy levels in the body.
Basil essential oil
Basil essential oil
Basil essential oil is very good for easing mental fatigue, one of the things that leads it to being a good antidepressant. The action of the oil via aromatic or topical application causes the dullness of overwork, daily stress and strains to lift away from you, enabling you to relax effectively, reenergize and feel good again.
Basil is a mental stimulant. The scent can help aid concentration, sharpen the senses, and have an uplifting effect of depression.
*Caution: Only a small amount is needed. Less is more with this oil.
Sweet orange essential oil
Sweet orange essential oil
Citrus oils are also great at increasing energy. They’ll make you feel more focused and productive thanks to their potent therapeutic benefits, including their powerful scent. They also have the ability to lift your mood, which is important because psychological issues like stress and depression can spur significant levels of fatigue.
Citrus oils like Orange essential oil offer a fresh, sweet aroma made cold pressed straight from the peel. It’s energy-boosting scent delivers a number of health benefits. And it has no shortage of uses:
- Use in spray for all-purpose organic cleaning
- Add a couple drops to water for added flavor and improved health
- Diffuse throughout the room to improve both mood and energy
- Combine with oils like Frankincense and Peppermint for better mind and body energy.
Bergamot essential oil
Bergamot essential oil
Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia) is a citrus fruit that is native to southern Italy, tropical parts of Asia and the Ivory Coast. This citrus fruit probably gets its name from the town of Bergamo in Lombardy, Italy, where it was commercially grown for the first time. Bergamot is rarely consumed as a fruit or fruit juice. It is primarily cultivated for its essential oil, which is obtained through cold compression of the fruit’s rind. Apart from its medicinal and therapeutic applications, the oil is widely used in perfumes, cosmetics, as well as a flavoring agent for Earl Grey Tea.
Bergamot Essential Oil – Uses in Aromatherapy
Bergamot essential oil, with its clean and refreshing citrus fragrance, is an effective antidote against depression, anxiety, urinary tract infections and nervous indigestion. The oil has a balancing and toning effect on the nervous system which makes it effective against psychological disturbances as well as painful spasms. Bergamot is also used in the treatment of all kinds of infections owing to its strong antiseptic properties.
Aromatherapy for energy
Aromatherapy for Energy
- 8 drops lemon oil
- 2 drops eucalyptus oil
- 2 drops peppermint oil
- 1 drop cinnamon leaf oil
- 2 ounces coconut or jojoba oil or your choice of carrier oil
Combine the ingredients. Use as a massage oil, add 2 teaspoons to your bath, or add 1 teaspoon to a footbath. Without the vegetable oil, this combination can be used in an aromatherapy diffuser, simmering pan of water, or a potpourri cooker -- or it can be added to 2 ounces of water for an air spray.
Essential oil blend for Exhaustion
- 5 drops bergamot
- 3 drops grapefruit
- 2 drops peppermint
Combine in a small glass jar. You can double or triple the recipe as you desire.
To use, simply put a couple drops into your diffuser, or put a few drops onto a napkin or handkerchief and inhale. The handkerchief is my favorite way to use this blend.
Fatigue buster essential oil blend
Do you use essential oils for fatigue?
Find out why you're tired all the time!
Fatigue can be caused by so many things. It could be just that you're extremely tired, or it could be something like adrenal fatigue or thyroid disease.
Have you heard of the endocrine system? It is an important system of eight organs in your body that produce a variety of hormones that influence every other organ. When the endocrine system under or over produce hormones, your natural body system becomes imbalanced, which can lead to multiple conditions that are annoying in their mildest form, and incapacitating when severe. Two important organs in the endocrine system are the adrenal gland and the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland releases hormones that control the body's metabolism, and it regulates heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and growth. An underactive thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, and the resulting condition is called hypothyroidism. More than 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, with another 13 million postulated to have undiagnosed thyroid problems.
Essential oils for energy and focus
Awake essential oil blend
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2016 Gina Welds Hulse
Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on September 25, 2016:
Oh, what great methods to diffuse the oils! I'll look into the A/C and I have ceiling fans in most rooms. I'm thinking I might attach a piece of tissue with oil to the hangy-down chain for manual turning on and off. Also have a floor fan and am thinking I could attach something to its outer grid. Even the outside screen doors, which I have open right now, since it's moderate today and a nice little breeze is stirring.
Yes, I'm well. I hope you are, too. Hugs.
Gina Welds Hulse (author) from Rockledge, Florida on September 25, 2016:
Hi Nellieanna. Glad you stopped by. One of the things I love to do is put a few drops of essential oil onto a piece of tissue and attach it to the inside of the air handler in the AC. When the AC runs the whole house is easily filled with the aroma and benefits of the oil. My method of diffusing is based on where I need the benefit.
Before my kids take showers I drop a few drops of eucalyptus oil onto a bath rag and leave in the tub. When the warm water hits the oil it diffuses it. They are able to breath in those lung healing benefits while showering.
SO many oils...so little time.
I'm glad you liked the article. Hope you're well.
Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on September 24, 2016:
I find myself breathing more deeply just reading about these lovely oils! I must incorporate more of them into daily activities. Letting the fresh oils permeate the air sounds heavenly. I'd prefer that to heating them.
Thank you for this, Gina!
Gina Welds Hulse (author) from Rockledge, Florida on September 07, 2016:
Hi Denise. Thanks for visiting. Lemon essential oil is the best for when you're driving. Just put a few drops onto a piece of cotton ball or tissue and plug it into your a/c vent. It will revive you right away. I am never without lemon essential oil in the car.
All the best.
Denise McGill from Fresno CA on September 07, 2016:
I'm going to have to try this especially when driving which makes me sleepy. Thanks for the great advice.
Gina Welds Hulse (author) from Rockledge, Florida on September 04, 2016:
Absolutely, Deb. That would be wonderful! I sometimes do that with orange peels after I've peeled the fruit. The essential oils from the oranges are extracted during the simmer and the house smells divine.
Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on September 04, 2016:
This is wonderful information. I'd probably like to put these oils on a slow simmer in a pot in order to permeate the house. That would make it last a long time. Not only would al the benefits be received, but the home would smell wonderful, too.
Gina Welds Hulse (author) from Rockledge, Florida on August 22, 2016:
I also use lemon when I am driving, Cyndi. It helps me to stay alert. My herbalist said the same thing when I took some blends to her to try. She was surprised at how well those "intriguing" combinations blended together.
Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on August 22, 2016:
You really can't get any more thorough than this article on using aromatherapy and essential oils to beat fatigue. The essential oils you listed are among my favorite go to for getting a lift, especially the lemon. Using it in the showers is a great way to also awaken the creative flow before starting the day.
You have developed some intriguing combinations that I will try. Take care. Cyndi
Gina Welds Hulse (author) from Rockledge, Florida on August 15, 2016:
I'm like you, Manatita, in that I am just learning about how to get connected by reading, as well as commenting, more on other hubs.
I have had my B12 and Vitamin D checked. Due to pernicious anemia, I am unable to get these vitamins naturally so I have to take vitamin D capsules and take B12 shots. I also have to get transfusions every few weeks (I'm under the care of a hematologist) due to a bone marrow problem....but that's another hub coming.
Yes, all the information and advice you pointed out is great, except my gut won't absorb the vitamins naturally. I took iron supplements for years and doctors wondered why they were not working until I was tested and it was discovered I had pernicious anemia.
The essential oils do help me with the fatigue, but when I have a flare, only a transfusion/infusion and monthly B12 shots will do. Belive me when I say that I only accepted these options because nothing else was working. I even consulted my herbalist and when I explained the condition, she understood that I had to go another route.
I did not mention meditation in this article, but I did mention it in my article outlining my Ayurvedic secrets. You may like my article on Abhyanga.
Yes, I do try to accept many things, but I refuse to accept illness, and work very hard to heal my body. That sounds a little harsh, I tell my body daily that illness has no place in it.
I am guessing that you'll be in NY the next couple of weeks due to a marathon. A little more notice and I would have been happy to help. :-)
I was supposed to run a marathon this November, but I had to bow out of it due to numerous complications over the last few months.
Thanks for the suggestions of those supplements, like the Nutricalm. I will look into them, and try them. Certainly can't hurt to try.
manatita44 from london on August 15, 2016:
Another loving article. You need more readers, my Dear. I don't have much myself, but my field is 'specialised' and again, I do not do the things I should do, like follow more; write more on others Hubs, etc.
I would check your Vit 12 and also D. There is a test called haematenics which covers Iron, Folate and B12. Then add the D with K2 for better absorbtion. See a good Kinesiologist from time to time. Once every six weeks if you have the money. They're awesome. But a few are money grabbers. Look for the holistic ones.
Yes, endocrines are a big one, starting from the pineal all the way down to the reproductive organs. But the thyroid and adrenals are generally the guys needing most replenishment. Never be without a good B or its equivalent from nature's sunshine called Nutricalm. (has some additional herbs) C is essential and lots of water.
From the blood test point of view, anything below 50 for Vit D is not good, and it may be useful to visit a lab and test the mitochrondria, they are the power source of our energy.
You did not mention meditation in your advice. I'm used to Americans mentioning the doctors and yes, I know why it makes great sense. Still you will find many sufferers that doctors cannot help, and complementary practitioners do.
Finally, I alluded to you that I know the cause of my fatigue. Sometimes, our intuition tells us, especially so, if we meditate. It can be a real struggle though. Do what you can in cultivating the spirit of acceptance, and increase the love of God. Whew!! I feel like a mother! Ha ha.
Thank you so much. Great Hub. I have used many of the oils and I'm likely to use some in our marathon in NY as a therapist soon. Alas! No one to help me! He he. Om Shanti!