Essential Oils for the Chakras: the First or Root Chakra (Muladhara)

Essential Oils for the Chakras: the First or Root Chakra (Muladhara)

By Guest Blogger and EWSHAS Instructor:

Patricia Bonnard, PhD., Cert. AT.

Chakra article

This is the first of a nine-part subtle aromatherapy blog series, Essential Oils for the Chakras. The series starts with a short blog on “What Are Chakras?,” then moves on to the first chakra, continues up through seventh or crown chakra and ends with the soul star (or what some people refer to as the eighth chakra).

Lots of my students, clients and fellow practitioners ask me if there is a connection between essential oils and the chakra system. Few of them realize that essential oils have amazing subtle (energetic or vibrational) qualities. The use of essential oils for energetic purposes is called subtle aromatherapy.

In fact, the therapeutic (biophysical) attributes of essential oils are also relevant to energy work because energetic imbalances tend to eventfully manifest in the physical body. Because of this, essential oils and aromatherapy can be said to be inherently multi-dimensional and in essence integrated. For me, this makes them a wonderful bridge between subtle  (energetic) and biophysical (clinical) modalities that promote healing, balance and wellness.

This series of Essential Oils and Chakras will give just a snap shot of how essential oils and subtle aromatherapy relate to each chakra. Of course, energetic imbalances and other health issues are complex. Typically when one chakra goes out of balance, others do too. And, chakras tend to be just one part of the energy and holistic puzzle. This blog is meant to open the door just tiny crack to give the reader a glimpse of a much bigger body of information and practice.

Be sure to check out the rest of the series and look for future blogs that will cover the application of essential oils to other aspects of energy work such journeying and path finding.

The Root Chakra – Muladhara

first chakra

The root chakra is also known as the muladhara chakra in Sanskit. The muladhara chakra is located at the base of the central light column (is an energetic space that runs from the base of the spine through the top of the head where the chakras can be found. Also referred to as the Sushumna), or the spinal column, in the groin area or perineum: the area between the sex organs and the anus. The location is noted on the above diagram – the glowing red light at the base of all the other chakras.

The muladhara or root chakra is associated with fulfillment of basic needs, physical survival and safety. It is also related to the sense of belonging – belonging to a clan, tribe, ethnic group or some other group. Within the body, the root chakra is closely affiliated with structure, bones, nervous system, adrenals and the sense of smell. The nose is this chakra’s sense organ.

People with vital and balanced root chakras are grounded, independent, dependable, physically and financially secure and thrive. People who have weak or unbalanced root chakras tend to be fearful, anxious, insecure, concerned about their physical or financial security, and hesitant. Typically, sluggishness and the sense of being stuck is connected to root chakra. Alienation is another common emotion. Imbalances of the root chakra are associated with physical manifestations of the bladder, prostrate, testicles, lower intestines and rectum, knees, legs and lower back.

Some people associate the chakras with the life cycle. There are various theories on the correspondence between chakras and human and spiritual development. According to the one that resonates with me, the root is about our first experiences and becoming aware of ourselves as separate from the world around us or the ages zero to three. Some say this is the seat of our ego.

Essential Oils and the Root Chakra

Based on their attributes, I can match essential oils to a chakra according to the energetic, emotional, mental and physical attributes of the chakra. But, when I select them for an individual, I select them based on how the imbalance in that particular chakra manifests within the person. Alternatively, I select the essential oils according to the specific situation or the intention of the person.
I’m not of the opinion that a specific essential oil is always good for a particular chakra, e.g., vetiver, a classic root chakra essential oil, is NOT always helpful when working with the root chakra. For me, it depends on the manifestation of the imbalance and the specific intentions.

Essential oils for the root chakra tend to ground, center, unify, align all chakras, protect and reconnect one with earth. Many offer a sense of calm, confidence and security.

annemiel  Angelica3  med

The essential oils closely associated with the root chakra tend to be made of heavier molecules, and are characterized as base notes (see our blog on fragrance notes), which are deeper, slowly unfolding, long lasting scents. These include:

  • Angelica (Angelica archangelica)
  • Cedar, Atlantic (Cedrus altantica)
  • Cedar, Himalayan (Cedrus deodora)
  • Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)
  • Linden Blossom (Tilia vulgares or T. europeae)
  • Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
  • Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
  • Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)
  • Veitver (Vetiveria zizanioides)

Depending on the situation or intention, many other essential oils may be appropriate or even more relevant than these classic root chakra essential oils. For example, a person experiencing a great deal of anxiety that manifests in excessive worry, over thinking and sleeplessness will likely be restless and ungrounded. Such a person may benefit from Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis), Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) or Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), which address the underlying emotions. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is helpful where these feelings are accompanied with migraines and nervous exhaustion. Some essential oils that address fear are Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Melissa (Melissa officinalis), Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica) and Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata). If the person is stuck, a nice addition to a blend is Black Pepper (Piper nigrum). It unblocks and gets energy moving.

The choices are endless. In general, the selection of essential oils should be made with an holistic assessment of the person, his/her intentions and the context in mind.

For more information about Patricia and her work, please visit:


  1. Pat Crozier says:

    Thank you – loved this post and agree wholeheartedly that there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ oil for each chakra.

  2. Elaine Shaughnessy says:

    This is such a well-written and researched article. Thank you so much. Patricia is a great person.

  3. I am very much looking forward to more on this topic. Will you be publishing the entire series on your blog? if not where can i find it.

  4. Hi,
    How would you use this? Direct application, inhalation, diffused? Very interesting subject, can’t wait to learn more

    • Hello Donna,

      Any method of application would be great! Inhalation, anointing oil, baths, etc. Use with intention for the specific chakra. Enjoy!

  5. Thank You…I am just finishing level one certification with Jacqueline Bloom and hope to start level two next fall. This information is wonderful!!! I work also as a shiatsu/massage therapist and this info is going to be such a Help! Again Thank You!

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