Anxiety and Depression-Reducing Essential Oils
Anxiety and depression are mental health conditions that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It can be debilitating, leaving one in a dark place that may seem impossible to escape from. Besides seeking therapy, essential oils are natural, homeopathic alternatives that could provide relief.
How essential oils are used?
Aromatherapy is the practice of inhaling the scent or aroma emitted by essential oils to improve well-being. One theory explains that these oils can send signals to your nervous system through the stimulation of smell receptors in your nose. They can also influence the body’s chemical and energy systems, thereby practicing as a natural remedy to relieve anxiety and stress.
Bear in mind, essential oils must be diluted with a carrier oil before they’re applied to the skin because they’re potent in its natural form. For adults, every 15 drops of essential oil should be diluted with one ounce of carrier oil. Essential oils for children, on the under hand, should be doled out under the supervision of a health care provider. Their mixture is relatively diluted, using a ratio is three to six drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil. Some of the popular carrier oils in the market are the likes of almond, coconut, and jojoba. Following is a list some of the essential oils that you can use when you feel the onset of anxiety and depression.
Lavender is probably the most famed aromatherapy oils, sought after for its impact on the limbic system — the part of the brain that controls emotions. This, as a result calms the mind and body and helps ease anxiety.
How to use: There are many ways to employ this oil; combine several drops of lavender oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil or an unscented bath gel and stir the concoction into your bathtub to enjoy the relaxing benefits it exudes.
Bergamot oil comes with an invigorating citrus scent derived from bergamot oranges. According to a study on both animals and humans, it was found that bergamot helped relieve anxiety and improve mood.
P/S: When used topically, bergamot may increase sun sensitivity so lather on the SPF.
How to use: Pour a few drops of bergamot oil onto a cotton ball or handkerchief and breathe in the aroma for two to three times to help relieve anxiety.
When chamomile tea can have calming effects on the person who drinks it, you can bet that the chamomile essential oil would work the same, if not better. There is surprisingly not much research on chamomile essential oil for anxiety, however, it has been revealed that chamomile supplements may benefit people with mild to moderate generalised anxiety disorder.
How to use: Massage diluted chamomile oil onto your skin, like your temples or add a few droplets to a warm bath.
Rose and its bewitching scent, is an essential oil extracted from rose petals. It’s known to relax the senses. In fact, a study showed that a rose aromatherapy foot bath can decrease anxiety in pregnant women during labor.
How to use: Soak your feet in a basin filled with warm water and diluted rose essential oil. You can also add rose oil to your favourite non-scented moisturiser or shea butter and apply it onto the skin.
Dubbed as liquid gold and highly valuable in Chinese medicine and religious ceremonies, frankincense oil is derived from the resin of the Boswellia tree. It’s the gift that keeps on giving with its musky, sweet aroma, bringing about a sense of peace that reduces anxiety. According to a study, an aromatherapy hand massage using a blend of frankincense, lavender, and bergamot improved anxiety, depression and pain in people with terminal cancer.
How to use: Either massage diluted frankincense oil onto your hands or feet or add a few drops to a diffuser and let it work its magic.
Dust the cobwebs of the day and unwind with the alluring aroma of the orange essential oil. Preliminary research has suggested that inhaling the sweet aroma of this oil may help alleviate your anxiety. In addition, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, revealed that there was no increase in anxiety or tension during an anxiety-inducing situation for participants who inhaled sweet orange essential oil, compared to those who breathed in a control aroma (tea tree oil) or a placebo.