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 centres 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 centres and keep things flowing smoothly. While there are believed to be at least 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 centre 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 centres that exist not on the physical plane, but rather in the spiritual dimension.” 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 a 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 study suggests that some essential oils can help lessen stress and anxiety when used in tandem with traditional medicine. Another study from on the sleep benefits of essential oils found that smelling lavender oil before bed had a positive effect on sleep. In a review of 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 a 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. 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.

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. The root chakra is an earth element chakra located at the base of your spine. It’s believed to house: Spikenard has been used medicinally for centuries, and it plays a role in both religious ceremony and health.

According to Covington, spikenard can: “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, or khus oil, is extracted from a plant that’s native to India. According to Covington, it can help you: “If you’re struggling with the 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: 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.

“Lavender is the universal essential oil for nourishing all the chakras,” says Stiles. She also recommends: “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. 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 centre of your breastbone.

It represents all love, as well as: “This is a route filled with grace that teaches strength in gentleness, which results in harmonious actions,” says Covington “It brings the ability to experience your emotions in real-time verses playing out the echoes from the past,” says Covington. “This oil helps you cultivate a profound knowledge base on any topic. It helps you understand ideas from past eras,” Covington adds. Frankincense is a resin that comes from the Boswellia tree in India. According to Covington, it can: The third eye chakra includes all the elements combined.

It’s located at the centre of your forehead and represents cosmic knowledge and control of the mind. “This oil has the ability to bathe the pineal gland with light, helping to awaken the latent gifts of the third eye,” explains Covington. There are case reports in a 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.

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

Lotus holds the vibration of the entire path of enlightenment and is a powerful teacher and guide, says Covington. It can: “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.” To the bottle, add your carrier oil of choice. Then, add all the 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. Victoria Stokes is a writer from the United Kingdom. When she’s not writing about her favourite topics, personal development, and well-being, she usually has her nose stuck in a good book. Victoria lists coffee, cocktails, and the colour pink among some of her favourite things.