Is Your Mental State in Need of Refreshing?
A Look at Essential Oils for Depression
Depression is…well, it’s depressing. If you suffer from depression, you may think you have tried everything but have you thought of using essential oils for depression? While it might seem a bit far-fetched at first, hundreds have found relief from depression in the use of essential oils. What uplifting powers might a little vial hold for you? Read on to find out.
Essential oils have been used medicinally for about as long as man has inhabited the earth. They are made from plants and flowers like spices, herbs, trees and roses. Before there was a medicine cabinet to run to, men (and women) had little choice but to glean from nature when they faced disease or ailments. Fortunately, the earth was ready and willing to oblige.
Before getting to the cure, it is important to cover the condition. Depression is a complicated subject because it can stem from a psychological state of mind or from a physical issue such as a malfunction in the brain. Many types of depressions are caused by a combination of the two. While many think that depression is the state or being overly anxious or stressed, such is not the case. Those who are anxious or stressed tend to worry excessively about bad things that may happen. A depressed person thinks that the bad things have happened, are happening and…always will happen.
As you well know if you have depression, it’s not as easy as just “getting over it”. It can take you so far down, you can’t see which way is up. The light at the end of the tunnel is snuffed out and gloom becomes a way of life.
Depression has nothing to do with optimism. Perhaps at first, seeing the glass half full is of benefit but very quickly the will or even the ability to see the positive dwindles to nil. That is when a depressed person is at risk for serious, chronic illnesses that often prey upon the weak and is subject to become a suicide statistic. It is estimated by the American Association of Suicidology that every 12.3 minutes, someone kills themselves. That is sobering to even conceive.
The problem is huge but the solution may be simple. While everyone who deals with depression should certainly work alongside a healthcare professional, there is a good bit of initiative that can be taken into their own hands. If you are one of the 350 million who suffer from depression around the globe, you may find your solace in a little brown bottle and no, it’s not beer.
Bergamot is one that tops the charts when it comes to using essential oils for depression. It’s a sweet-smelling citrus fruit that is much like an orange but is yellow in color, ironically. It contains limonene and alpha pinene which do wonders for stimulating the senses and lifting depression partly due to their ability to promote blood circulation. In addition, bergamot helps to regulate metabolism that plays a big role in depression. It also lowers blood sugar and levels out hormones. Even the flavonoids that are found in the oil are known to relax the body and ease the mind.
If you are wanting to see what bergamot can do for you, there are a number of ways you can try it. One is through aromatherapy. Another is through direct contact such as mixing it with a carrier and massaging it on your body or soaking in a tub of it. Yet another, perhaps unexpected way, is to drink a nice, steeping hot cup of Earl Gray tea which generally contains bergamot.
Several studies were conducted in 2011 on bergamot essential oil. In the testing, bergamot was blended with lavender essential oil, another leading essential oil for depression. The findings were unanimous. The results were less stress, relieved tension, lowered blood pressure, less insomnia and stimulation of dopamine and serotonin which are the “feel good” hormones in the body. Let’s take a look at Lavender to see what it contributed to the mix.
Lavender is, for sure, a “go to” oil. With over 160 constituents, it covers a multitude of problems. One of its most prominent uses is for lifting moods. Science even backs the facts. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice published an article that attributed that just 30-milligrams of lavender via a capsule was an effective treatment for anxiety and depression and without the unwanted side effects that clinical prescriptions can have. And that is coming from a source that certainly isn’t trying to sway anyone to the left or the right. It’s just the simple facts.
Countless other studies have proven the same results. When used as an aromatherapy, lavender calms the limbic system and diminishes stress in the autonomic nervous system. Both physically and mentally, the patients felt better and less depressed. The same warranted true of those who massaged the oil on with a carrier or used it in a bath soak. Lavender essential oil can also be taken orally in monitored amounts.
Next up is Ylang Ylang. Derived from the tropical perfumed tree, Ylang Ylang, it is a powerful remedy for depression. In fact, it may be the quickest acting of all the essential oils. Negative moods and emotions such as anger, worry and low self-esteem seem to just melt away when Ylang Ylang is around. It is known to balance moods and stabilize boy chemistry like hormones. In fact, its sedative powers are said not only to calm anxiety, diminish panic attacks and calm the nerves but also to be an aphrodisiac.
Roman chamomile is another essential oil that is widely heralded as an effective anti-depressant. Its fruity-herbal scent is refreshing and pleasant. It was used by the ancient Romans to calm and clarify their minds and is still used for such purposes to this day. So if you are feeling down, you just might want to…do as the Romans do. Roman chamomile can be inhaled, massaged on with a carrier or made into a foot or full body soak and is also popular in tea. Some even dab a tad on their pillow at night to help them get a good night’s sleep which is one of the best remedies for depression.
Clary sage is another essential oil that’s used as an anti-depressive. Taken from the leaves and stems of the plant with the same name, clary sage has graced history with its power to triumph over depression. It is so effective, it is known to combat both acute and chronic depression.
According to the National Mental Health Association, one out of every eight women will suffer with depression at some point in the life. For many, depression is their life. Twice as many women are said to have the condition than me. Hormones and other chemical imbalances are the root of many depression related issues. Clary sage is famous for stabilizing hormones and balancing the body.
Basil isn’t just for cooking, not by a long shot. Basil essential oil serves to be a super effective solution for depression. It is a member of the mint family and in India is regarded a very holy and sacred plant. Stress is known to wreak havoc with the body’s blood sugar, adrenal system, digestive processes, sleeping regulations and metabolism functions which are basil’s areas of expertise. It is a potent anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory and immune booster too. Seems that when it comes to basil, you just can’t go wrong with all it dishes out.
Research has shown that bergamot essential oil has similar effects as a valium does minus the side effects. Even the Romans embraced Roman chamomile for its ability to sooth the senses and calm the mind. What might these treasured oils hold for you? The next time you are feeling overwhelmed and in need of a “session”, you might consider using essential oils for depression.