Depression is absolutely a serious matter. And before we begin talking about essential oils to help lift your spirits, we want to make it perfectly clear that if you suffer from depression it’s critical that you seek the guidance of a doctor.
Essential oils for depression aren’t a cure, but may alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. With that in mind, and after you’ve spoken with a healthcare practitioner, read on to find out more.
How to use Essential Oils for Depression
There are several ways you can use essential oils. First, you can invest in a diffuser. Diffusers emit a steam which is “laced” with the essential oil of your choice. As the steam fills the room, you get the benefits of the essential oil.
You may also choose to use an essential oil pendant. These are like lockets, worn around your neck which release scent throughout the day. You’ve literally got the benefits of essential oils for depression right under your nose. People who use these pendants say the smell isn’t so overpowering that you’ll bother your co-workers.
Finally, you can use your essential oils topically. In the case of depression, this is most easily done with lotions, salves and other solutions. Simply mix a few drops of your essential oil with a carrier oil, and apply to your skin. Pulse points work best – behind the ears, behind the knees and your wrists, for example.
Basil Essential Oil
Basil is a natural way to relieve stress. This is not to say that your depression is necessarily caused by stress but the calming effects of basil have proven it to be an effective essential oil for depression. You can use basil in a few ways, but it’s most commonly used with a diffuser.
If you do feel that you’d lie to use basil essential oil topically, be sure to dilute it with another oil. Basil can be strong, and in some cases can irritate the skin. Pregnant women should not use basil essential oils for depression.
Jasmine Essential Oil
Jasmine is well-loved for its heady, floral fragrance. It’s also known as an aphrodisiac. But, most importantly, jasmine essential oil has anti-depressant qualities that make it effective for use in the treatment of depression.
Jasmine, in fact, stimulates the brain. It’s got a calming effect but can also help you feel more self-confident and optimistic. The essential oil is gentle, so it can be applied directly to your skin. Alternatively, look for all natural skin care products that contain 100% pure or organic jasmine oil.
Orange Essential Oil
Orange, and citrus on the whole, has long been known for its ability to energize and uplift. Therefore, it makes our list of the best essential oils for depression.
Orange oil has uplifting effects but has also been proven in studies to lower heart rate and decrease the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in your body.
Orange can be used on its own, or it can be combined with other oils like bergamot for an effective remedy for depression.
Geranium Essential Oil
Geraniums are some of those flowers that look great in your garden, but because they don’t have a strong, pleasant scent it’s rare to think about their essential oils. That said, geranium is actually a very useful essential oil for the treatment of depression.
Geranium helps to regulate your hormones, including the stress hormone cortisol. This, in turn, can help reduce the severity of depression without the need for medication. The flower also has anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s effective in relieving pain as well.
Turmeric Essential Oil
Like basil, you might think of turmeric as something good for one purpose – cooking. But turmeric is a great remedy for depression. In fact, some studies showed that inhalation of turmeric essence was actually just as effective as Prozac.
Turmeric oil is derived from the root of the plant, and it’s similar to ginger. The smell is strong and sharp – a very distinct aroma. So while you could use it in a pendant for essential oils, its probably best to use a diffuser for turmeric.
If you’re in a hurry, you can get the same benefits of essential oil by simply sniffing the oils directly from the bottle.
Bergamot Essential Oil
You may recognize the name bergamot as one of the ingredients in your tea. In fact, bergamot is frequently added to Earl Grey and other teas because it has a stimulating effect. And that stimulating effect is exactly what makes bergamot so effective against depression.
Bergamot mixes very well with orange and with lavender. Lavender also has anti-depressant qualities, making ether combination pack a two-for-one punch.
Bergamot has a number of effects on the body which all aid in relieving depression. It can:
- Slow your breathing rate, relieving anxiety
- Lower heart rate
- Lower blood pressure
- Increase attentiveness
- Elevate mood
In short, bergamot is one of the most effective essential oils for depression, especially when used alongside other ingredients.
Ylang Ylang Oil
Ylang ylang oil is made by extracting the oils from the tropical ylang ylang tree, and the result is a strongly floral scented oil that’s been shown to help treat depression.
As with other essential oils we’ve mentioned, ylang ylang essential oils works by regulating the hormones in your body. One of those hormones is cortisol, the stress hormone. As your cortisol levels decrease, you may find that your mood is elevated and that your depression is alleviated.
Essential Oils for Depression
We can’t stress it enough – depression is serious. If you feel as if you’re just “down in the dumps” or need a quick way to lift your mood, these essential oils for depression will do just fine for you. Use them as often as you like, and you’ll feel more cheery in no time.
But if you suffer from severe depression, it’s critical that you talk to a health care practitioner. Together, you and your doctor can determine the best course of action for treatment, whether that treatment involves essential oils or not.