Essential Oils for Anxiety and Depression
Everyone experiences feelings of sadness and stress that can be overwhelming from time to time. Luckily there are plenty of natural mood boosters that act as a therapeutic way to ease some of your tension and help you feel more relaxed. Some studies show that the use of certain essential oils can be helpful in promoting a healthier mood for people with mild symptoms.
Essential oils cannot work to cure depression or eliminate other mental health issues, but they can act as a nice mood lifter and people can benefit from them as a complement to other types of therapy. Research indicates that essential oils may help relieve some of the physical symptoms associated with depression by improving sleep, relaxation and enhancing the mental state. Used in combination with massage therapy, essential oils can also help reduce symptoms of pain.
There are several studies involving essential oils but much of the evidence tied to their effectiveness is based on personal accounts. One study proved that patients who received an aromatherapy massage with essential oils reported less pain and depression than those who received massage alone.
Another study provided powerful evidence that essential oils can help reduce feelings of worry and anxiety. The study selected elementary school teachers under a lot of stress and used a 10 minute long inhalation of the essential oil bergamot. The teachers showed reduced blood pressure and heart rate as well as more balanced nervous activity.
Let us shed light on how these natural remedies can work as a complementary treatment to your traditional treatment
Essential Oils: Unveiling the World of Natural Remedy
Essential oils are often called by the name, “nature’s concentrated treasures”. They are essentially aromatic essences that are extracted from the roots, leaves, seeds, blossoms, barks and stems of different plants. They have been used for the past few centuries for spiritual, therapeutic, and medicinal purposes. The diversity in the types of essential oils is because of the diversity of the plant kingdom itself. Each essential oil has a unique fragrance and distinct chemical composition. The soothing scent of lavender, the uplifting aroma of lemon, and the stingy scent of green herbs provide an array of options that can cater to an individual’s preference and emotional needs.
The use of these essential oils extends beyond their captivating scents. These oils have been the cornerstone of aromatherapy which is a holistic practice that uses these aromatic fragrances to influence the emotional state of a person. The inhalation of these scents activates the olfactory system of the body which causes the release of endorphins and several other chemicals and alters the emotional state. The exact mechanism of how essential oils can impact emotional state is, however, still a subject of scientific research.
A deeper understanding of essential oils will reveal a captivating journey through the various kinds of aromatic wonders that offer not only sensory delight but also a chance to discover a path to emotional well-being.
Why are they called “essential” oils?
They are called “essential” because of their fundamental role in the plant’s fragrance and essence.
How are Essential Oils Obtained?
Essential oils are obtained using processes that are meticulously designed for purity like distillation and cold pressing. These processes ensure that all the volatile components of the plant are carefully extracted. These volatile components are the essence of the plant and possess natural therapeutic properties.
Unearthing the Benefits of Essential Oils
Essential oils have become a popular thing not only because of their enchanting fragrances but also because of the potential benefits that they have in treating the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Numerous studies have begun to understand the potency of essential oils for depression and anxiety. It is important to note that these essential oils are in no way a replacement for regular medical care but these oils can very well be a complementary treatment that enhances emotional well-being.
Essential oils can positively influence the mind, especially providing a calming and soothing effect.
Types of Essential Oils
The vast variety of essential oils implies that each has its unique fragrance and has potential benefits for managing symptoms of depression and anxiety. It is important to understand the different types of essential oils and their characteristics. This will help in selecting the right essential oil for an individual. Let us dive deep and gather insight into the different types of essential oils and their potential benefits to an individual.
It is often referred to as the “mother of all essential oils”. There have been intensive studies on the soothing properties of lavender oil. Studies have uncovered the fact that it can effectively reduce stress, promote relaxation, and induce a calming and soothing effect. This makes it an ideal choice for everyone who seeks emotional relief.
Bergamot is extracted from the citrus fruit’s skin and is known to have calming and relaxing effects. This enables one to manage mood and sleep quality.
This is a beloved herb that is often featured in teas. It is known widely for its frequent use in alleviating stress and also for reducing depression and anxiety symptoms.
Another essential oil that is used to fight depression is Clary Sage. It has a herb-like and nutty scent and can soothe the mind.
Frankincense is an essential oil that is obtained from certain trees in the Arabian Peninsula and certain parts of Northeastern Africa. It is renowned for providing calming effects, especially during meditation and also during stressful situations.
We are familiar with the use of lemon in household cleaning products. But essential oils derived from lemon can help in alleviating anxiety symptoms by enhancing the mood.
Neroli is an essential oil that is obtained from bitter oranges. It is prized for its capacity to reduce unwanted mood instability and stress.
Rose oil, extracted especially from the Rosa Centifolia L. and Rosa Damascena P. Mill. Flowers are celebrated for promoting relaxation, inducing calm behavior, and providing improved sleep.
Sandalwood oil is extracted from the evergreen and famous trees in India and Indonesia. It is known to be beneficial for meditation since it offers a sense of calm and harmony.
Sweet Marjoram is acclaimed worldwide for providing relief from fatigue and depression and also soothes the mind.
Ylang-Ylang is a bright star-shaped flower that grows only in tropical climates. It is acclaimed for its mind-soothing and calming qualities.
The world of essential oils is as diverse as the plant kingdom itself. There may still be certain varieties that are yet to be discovered, and the effectiveness of essential oils can vary from one individual to another.
Essential Oils provide a chance to embark on a fragrant journey that can promote emotional well-being through the therapeutic wonders of the plant kingdom. While these oils have potential benefits, it is still important to understand that they should be used only as a part of holistic well-being. In the case of anxiety and depression, it is advised to consult a healthcare professional for the best types of essential oils that can benefit your condition.
How Oils Change Your Mood
The main reason that essential oils can affect your mood has to do with the way our sense of smell is linked to our brain. Smells can serve as emotional triggers as they are carried directly to your brain and interact with the limbic system. This system evaluates sensory stimuli including scent and registers either pleasure, pain, danger or safety.
The limbic system is sometimes referred to as the “emotional brain” because it is directly to connected to the parts of the brain that control your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and hormonal balance. When people experience stress they often have an increased heart rate and rapid breathing which creates tension in the mind and body.
When you inhale essential oils they interact positively with the limbic system and help create physiological changes that affect your mood. By improving your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing the smell of the oil can allow you to feel more relaxed and less anxious. Inhaling a blend of oils directly from the bottle or through a diffuser for several minutes can have an immediate effect on your mood.
How to Harness the Power of Essential Oils Safely?
While essential oils can help you in relieving emotional and mental distress, there are general guidelines that must be followed for safe use. The following guidelines will help you integrate essential oils into your wellness routine:
Dilute for Skin:
Make sure there is ample ventilation when using essential oils with diffusers. You must limit the diffusing limit to just 30-60 minutes with subsequent breaks of 30 minutes.
Essential oils need to be preserved to increase their shelf life. Some of these preservatives can be toxic and therefore essential oils must not be ingested.
When applying to the skin, read the label accurately to see if it warns otherwise. Always dilute the essential oil before applying it to the skin. This will prevent irritation and rashes.
Before using any essential oil, ensure that it is labelled as “100% essential oil” to make sure that it is pure and can be used safely.
When using essential oils in a house where there are children, pregnant women, and pets, special precautions must be taken. All the above steps should be followed with even more care.
Additionally, it is always recommended to consult your medical advisor for guidance on the safe and effective usage of essential oils.
Using Essential Oils
In addition to using a diffuser you can also add essential oils to your bath for relaxation or apply them directly to the skin. Applying essential oils topically to the skin can help reduce pain and allow you to absorb the properties of the herb. Massage and heat can help enhance the absorption of the oil.
If you have mild symptoms of depression or anxiety, then incorporating essential oils into your daily life can help improve your mood. The oils should be used as a complement to regular treatment through a therapist if you have more severe symptoms or have been diagnosed with a mental illness. You can incorporate essential oils into other relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga or meditation to increase the effects and get the best results.