Essential Oils for Anxiety & Depression
You wouldn’t think something as simple as essential oils can help ease your anxiety and depression… but it sure does! It is amazing once you dive into the benefits, properties and ways to make use of essential oils, how it can change your life… and bring about major relief for many, many different ailments. Aromatherapists have used essential oils for healing a variety of physical and mental complaints since ancient times.
Peppermint essential oil was used by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans and is currently used for a myriad of purposes. It is believed to have a beneficial effect on mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. Our senses are highly susceptible to all the stimulation in our environments. However, our sense of smell is said to be 10,000 times more sensitive than our other senses. Therefore, scent travels to the brain even faster than sites or sounds.
When we inhale the fragrance of an essential oil, the molecules stimulate the lining of nerve cells and trigger electrical impulses to the olfactory bulb in the brain. The olfactory bulb then transmits the impulses to the amygdala – where emotional memories are stored – and to other parts of the limbic system of the brain.
The limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance. Therefore essential oils can have profound physiological and psychological effects. Responses to different odors stimulate the brain to release hormones and neurochemicals that alter the body’s physiology and behavior.
It is said that the oils create a spinning vibration which binds with our body’s cellular structure. Which is why we are meant to eat plants, fruits and veggies. These oils increase your vibration and prevent damage to cells and keep your immune system healthy because they heal any damage going on in the body on a cellular and energetic level.
Inhalation of essential oils can be used to alleviate stress and emotional trauma. It can also be used to stimulate the production of hormones from the hypothalamus. This stimulation may increase production of thyroid hormones (our energy hormone) and growth hormones (our youth and longevity hormone).
The area of the brain known as the amygdala plays a major role in storing and releasing emotional trauma. The only way to stimulate this gland is with fragrance or through the sense of smell. It is so interesting that the emotional brain responds only to smell and not to words that are read, spoken, heard, or felt by Braille. Our sense of smell links directly to emotional states and behaviors often stored since childhood.
Our sense of smell is the only one of the five senses that is directly linked to the emotional center of the brain – the limbic lobe. Anxiety, depression, fear, anger, and joy all physically originate from this area. Different fragrances can evoke memories and emotions before we are even consciously aware of it. We usually react first to smells before we think about the emotion it has triggered.
Although anxiety is typically treated with psychotherapy and antianxiety medications, which do help some, but not always everyone. There are many people realizing that medications are not helping them overcome their anxiety or depression. Many patients, worried about the potentially harmful or addictive properties of these medications, turn to alternative, holistic forms of healing, such as aromatherapy or energy healing and natural methods. According to authors Janet Zand, Allan N. Spreen and James B. LaValle in their book “Smart Medicine for Healthier Living,” peppermint oil may be useful for calming frayed nerves, easing nervousness, promoting mental clarity and alleviating feelings of mental fatigue.
Peppermint- has to be one of m favorite oils for sure. It can be used for many things, and it has an amazing cooling effect, smells great and is relaxing yet stimulating at the same time. I use peppermint for headaches, any digestive relief, mental alertness and when I go to the gym I also choose either peppermint or lemon for energy and mental alertness!
Bergamot – This is a unique blend among the citrus oils, for its calming properties. Encourages the release of pent-up feelings— feelings that can lead not only to depression but to insomnia, anxiety and sudden mood swings. It helps in addition, to redirect nervous energy away from unproductive and addictive behavior, helping us to rediscover spontaneity and optimism. Bergamot oil helps us to relax and “let go.” Apply to wrists, feet and back of neck.
Lavender – We are all familiar with the therapeutic benefits of Lavender oil as it can calm and relax. It makes it a no-brainer for anxiety. Lemon – Lemon is another extremely versatile oil. Lemon Oil is radiant, uplifting, reviving and stimulating. Lemon inspires trust and a sense of security; it relieves confusion and worry. It can help you overcome obstacles and provide a clearer perspective. Use this everyday in your water. Just add 1 drop to a glass of water and continue throughout the day.
Frankincense – Ah, Frankincense – the King of Oils. Frankincense is the most valuable essential oil for slowing and deepening breathing, helping to allay fear, anxiety, nervous tension and stress. When in doubt, use Frankincense. This is a great oil for everyday use to help maintain overall cellular balance, and also to support during times of extreme anxiety. Diffuse, inhale, rub 1-2 drops on feet and back of neck mixed with lavender. I also love mixing this with Wild Orange or Lemongrass.
The Grounding Blend is a beautiful blend of spruce, horwood, blue tansy and frankincense. It is grounding blend that creates a sense of calm and well being. It is know to be mood lifting, stress reducing, a nerve tonic and a good cell re-generator. Apply the Grounding Blend on the feet daily, back of the neck, over the heart and on the wrists – rub wrists together and inhale. I love mixing this oil with the Calming Blend.
The Respiratory Blends is so versatile, being used for all respiratory issues. This blend includes laurel leaf, peppermint, eucalyptus, melaleuca, lemon and ravensara leaf, and Cardamom Seed. It is great to help you breathe deeper, and calm your system down during panic. You can also create your own blends & combinations of these oils or use separately. Rub a couple drops on your chest/ heart center to help your nerves relax and open your airways to breathe.
Patchouli – Psychologically Patchouli works through harmonizing, grounding and stabilizing the mind when over thinking and worry develop. Patchouli oil diminishes depression and eases anxiety by heightening a sense of joy in life. It helps in recovery from nervous exhaustion, stress and stress-related condition. Apply to base of the skull and breathe aromas to calm spirit and eliminate chaotic thinking.
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Here are few of my daily uses and favorite oils and other things they can be used for:
>>Lavendar – bruising, cuts, skin irritation, inflammation and in your bath of course!
>>Frankincense- depression, repairing damaged DNA, skin, inflammation, meditation and increasing spiritual awareness
>>Lemon- acne, detox, boosts alertness, focus and concentration
>>Grapefruit – Similar to lemon, helps with fatigue, jet leg, water retention and is great for cellulite and fat cells- drink it or use it in your bath
>> Tea Tree- dilute in water to clean counters and surface areas, blemishes, fungus like athletes foot
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