Aromatherapy, or the use of essential oil fragrances, is one of the most frequent therapies for depression. Essential oils are natural compounds that are used to treat a wide range of health problems.
Specialized tissues, olfactory bulbs, mucosa, the nose, and nasal passageways make up the olfactory system. The olfactory system, which aids in the sense of smell, is linked to particular sections of the brain practically instantly. One of the most significant links is between the sense of smell and the limbic system, which is responsible for memory and emotion.
Heart rate, hormone balance, blood pressure, stress levels, and respiration are all influenced by this part of the brain. Aromatherapy is an excellent treatment for harmonizing emotional and mental well-being due to the limbic system’s wide impact and deep relationship to the sense of smell.
Aromatherapy and Depression
Depression has a variety of reasons. Depression may be caused by a chemical or hormonal imbalance in the body, which results in a depressed mental state. It may also appear after severe and traumatic emotional situations like loss or stress.
According to WebMD, depression develops when melancholy becomes accompanied by apathy, a loss of self-worth, feelings of powerlessness, and a lack of hope. When these sensations linger for a long time, it’s called clinical depression.
A depressive condition is often accompanied by physical discomfort as well as other mental pressures, such as:
- Low energy up to and including fatigue
- Inability to concentrate
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Loss of interest and enjoyment in daily activities
- (especially previous favorites)
- Spending most of the day in a depressed mood, especially in the morning
- Feelings of stagnation
- Impaired judgement and indecisiveness
- Physical aches and pains
Aromatherapy may help to relieve the mental and physical symptoms of depression when combined with other treatments. Because of the intimate connection between the sense of smell and the brain regions that govern memory, respiration, and blood pressure, it is a quick-acting treatment for depressed symptoms.
Please keep in mind that aromatherapy is not a cure for depression, and you should always seek medical guidance on the best treatment choices for you. Aromatherapy, on the other hand, is a wonderful complementary and natural cure that may help you feel better at any moment.
Aromatherapy, like many other alternative medicines, works best when used consistently and appropriately.
Essential Oils to Treat Depression
Essential oils may be used alone to treat specific symptoms of depression or as part of a synergistic mix to treat many symptoms at once. Four conditions must be met by essential oils used to treat depression.
Selected oils should:
1. Elevate mood
2. Improve energy levels
3. Calm and soothe the nervous system
4. Improve mental clarity
Essential oils recommended to alleviate depression include:
- Basil–improves mental focus and relieves physical aches
- Bergamot–alleviates depression, anxiety and stress
- Citrus oils (orange, lemon or grapefruit)–uplifting and energizing
- Clary sage–relieves fatigue and stress
- Frankincense–improves concentration and mental clarity
- Geranium–calming and uplifting
- Lavender–balancing, calming and may help relieve insomnia
- Neroli–improves mood; alleviates insomnia and stress
- Peppermint–mental clarity
- Petitgrain–energizing and uplifting
- Rose–alleviates depression and stress
- Sandalwood–calming; relieves stress and depression
- Vetiver–has a grounding, calming and stabilizing effect on the psyche
- Ylang-ylang–relieves anxiety, depression and stress
By speaking with an aromatherapist or looking online and in reference books on the themes of essential oils and aromatherapy, you may find a range of recipes that include these oils. Keep the qualities of the desired oils, as well as their fragrances, in mind while you look for mixes or make your own. The final product’s aroma will be determined by the ratio of blended oils as well as the dominance of their scent. Complimentary oils should be blended in complementary ratios. Rose, sandalwood, and vetiver, for example, might work well together.
The usage of essential oils may be done in a variety of ways. You may buy massage oils, creams, and lotions that have already been combined. Your mixes may also be used in a diffuser or used straight to a bath. Never apply essential oils to your skin directly. When suspended in water, always combine them with a carrier oil or give them a good shake. You may also use incense or a few drops of essential oil in a pot of heated water; when the water cools, the oil will evaporate, filling the air with its aroma.
Always use caution while using essential oils. Keep an eye out for any allergies or possible medication interactions. To get the most out of this kind of treatment, see a doctor or an aromatherapist, as you would with any other therapy for treating medical ailments.