How to Reduce Fatigue & Lethargy with Essential Oils

What is the difference between fatigue and lethargy? Fatigue feels like exhaustion accompanied with a lack of stamina. However, it is not the same as being tired because fatigue can last anywhere from weeks to months. Whereas lethargy feels more like sluggishness accompanied with a lack of motivation.

There are many and varying factors that causes fatigue and lethargy, there are also various ways to reduce it. Here’s how to reduce them with essential oils:


  • Inhale directly from the bottle with the cap closed
    Essential oils are potent in more ways than one, and that applies to the scent as well.
  • Add a few drops to your diffuser
    Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for the amount of essential oils to add to your diffuser and how long to diffuse them. Make sure to diffuse them in a well ventilated space. Practice with care if you are pregnant, have a medical condition, have young children and/or pets. It is advised to consult with a qualified aromatherapist, doctor and/or veterinarian prior to use.
  • Add a few drops onto a handkerchief and inhale
    You can inhale it on 5-10 minute increments or when needed, ideal for on the go.
  • Create a homemade spray
    Certain essential oils such as dill/dill weed, eucalyptus, helichrysum, lemon, patchouli and etc. contain anti-bacterial properties. When sprayed into rooms, it helps to eliminate airborne bacteria with its uplifting aroma while imbuing feelings of calmness and serenity.


  • Massage
    Dilute your choice of essential oil according to the manufacturer’s instructions in your choice of carrier and massage it onto desired areas. If you’re feeling stuffy and congested due to seasonal allergy, you can use the rub the massage blend on your chest. It is advisable to practice this method at night time due to a number of essential oils being phototoxic.

Spa treatment at home

  • Bath Therapy
    Dilute your choice of essentials in carrier oil following the manufacturer’s instruction and dilution ratio. Add this mixture to a tub of hot or cool bath water, depending on your preference and climate. You may also add bath salts, and baking soda if prone to skin irritation, for a detoxifying effect. Soak for 15 minutes.
  • Facial Steam
    Add a few drops to a bowl of steaming water. You’ll want to follow a ratio of 1-2 drops of essential oils per cup of water. The distance between your face and the steaming bowl of water should be at least 6 inches. You can stand as far as 12 inches if the steam is too hot for you. Place a towel over your head to trap the steam, steam for no more than 10 minutes. Practice this method no more than once a week. This clears congestion and detoxifies the face.

Essential Oil Recipes to Reduce Fatigue & Lethargy

Below we have put together different blends for you to try out. For diffusers with the standard capacity, 100ml, use 4-5 drops of essential oils. For 200ml water capacity, you may use 6-8 drops.

Fir Needle/Siberian Fir + Peppermint + Rosemary

This stimulating and empowering combination will boost your energy levels, facilitate deeper and more relaxed breathing with their expectorant properties, while inducing calmness and emotional stability. The woody and crisp smell of fir needle combined with the refreshing cool scent of peppermint, topped off with the sweet and herbaceous scent of rosemary will leave you feeling invigorated.

100ml water200ml water
Option A
2 drops fir needle/rosemary
2-3 drops peppermint
Option A
2-3 fir needle/rosemary
4-5 drops peppermint
Option B
1-2 drops fir needle
2 drops peppermint
1 drop rosemary
Option B
2-3 drops fir needle
3 drops peppermint
2 drops rosemary

Basil + Eucalyptus + Lemon

Basil has a sweet and herbaceous aroma that is comforting for headaches, fatigue and low moods. Eucalyptus is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, de-congesting, clean and woody smelling, provides an invigorating environment by supporting the respiratory system and inducing relaxation. Lemon relieves stress, sluggishness, as well as colds with its cheery and crisp scent. This blend also benefits individuals with poor concentration and immune system.

100ml water200ml water
Option A
1-2 drops basil
3 drop eucalyptus/lemon
Option A
2-3 drops basil
5 drops eucalyptus/lemon
Option B
1 drop basil
2 drops eucalyptus
2 drops lemon
Option B
2 drops basil
3 drops eucalyptus
3 drops lemon

Black Pepper + Lime + Palmarosa/Rose

The fresh, spicy, and pronounced smell of black pepper strengthens cognitive function and alertness. Lime creates a purifying and energizing environment with its bright and citrusy scent, helping you unwind after a long day. Palmarosa smells like a blend of rose and lemongrass, soothing to the senses and negative moods. You can combine this blend with rose or use it as a substitute for palmarosa, providing further relief for negative moods.

100ml water200ml water
Option A
1-2 drops black pepper/palmarosa/rose
3 drops lime
Option A
2-3 drops black pepper/palmarosa/rose
5 drops lime
Option B
1 drop black pepper
1 drop palmarosa/rose
2 drops lime
Option B
2 drops black pepper
2 drops palmarosa/rose
4 drops lime

Coffee + Vanilla + Cinnamon

Coffee alleviates anxiety, stress, tension and other undesirable feelings by enlivening the atmosphere with its rich and delicious aroma. Vanilla doesn’t just smell warm and lovely, it is also sedating and emotionally comforting, benefiting those who suffer from constant restlessness and insomnia. Cinnamon, sweet and spicy, addresses fatigue by elevating mental energy.

100ml water200ml water
Option A
2-3 drops coffee
1-2 drop vanilla/cinnamon
Option A
4-5 drops coffee
2-3 drops cinnamon/vanilla
Option B
2 drops coffee
2 drops vanilla
1 drop cinnamon
Option B
3 drops coffee
3 drops vanilla
2 drops cinnamon

Petitgrain + Grapefruit + Geranium

Petitgrain’s sweet, tart and slightly woody scent is emotionally grounding and uplifting. Grapefruit, vibrant and zesty, helps perk you up when you’re experiencing fatigue, nausea or mental burnout. Geranium combats stress, fatigue and insomnia with its floral and lemony scent.

100ml water200ml water
Option A
2 drops petitgrain/grapefruit
2 drops geranium
Option A
4 drops petitgrain/grapefruit
4 drops geranium
Option B
1 drop petitgrain
2 drops grapefruit
2 drops geranium
Option B
2 drops petitgrain
3 drops grapefruit
3 drops geranium

Don’t forget to practice with care and moderation. When trying out these blends, make sure to diffuse them in a well ventilated or an open space for about 30 minutes when needed. This article is not meant to treat, cure or diagnose chronic fatigue or any medical conditions. If you are suffering from chronic fatigue or other conditions that contributes fatigue or lethargy, kindly consult your doctor. Incorporating essential oils should be regarded as an added self care routine, not medicine.