Depression is a disorder that affects more and more people each year, worldwide. In Australia alone, it is estimated that almost half of the population, specifically 1 in 5 Australians, will face mental health issues at a certain point in their life, one of the most common ones being depression.
Even though it’s a mood disorder, it often causes both emotional and physical symptoms, and when not treated on time it can easily alter the life of a person for the worse to the point of making it difficult to get out of bed. Depression is linked to anxiety, restlessness which in turn leads to sadness, helplessness, trouble concentrating and unhealthy sleeping patterns.
This being said, it’s easy to see why it can wreak havoc on a person’s personal and professional life, as well as cause a great deal of other health issues. Seeking professional help is important but so is changing your lifestyle for the better in the likes of finding hobbies, setting goals, exercising, socialising and, of course, maintaining proper sleep schedule.
Aromatherapy to the Rescue
If you’re in need of help when it comes to calming down before sleep, you can turn to aromatherapy, an age-old, drug-free solution. It’s easy to find pure essential oils for depression nowadays – oils that don’t contain any chemicals and are made of various plant parts packed with all the benefits, and most importantly, free of unwanted side effects.
Here are the most commonly used essential oils for the purpose of relieve the symptoms of depression.
This is one of the most studied and highly valued oils due to its calming effects. Lavender ought to be a part of everyone’s essential oils collection, or even the first aid kit, since it comes in handy with relieving stress, anxiety, tension, and panic by calming the nerves. It can also be effective for treating headaches that result from stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
Extracted from a yellow star-shaped flower that can be found on the Cananga tree (Cananga odorata), this is one of the essential oils for depression known for its rich aromatic scent which is great for alleviating anxiety and reducing depression, while it can also boost one’s mood, decrease heart rate and lower blood pressure.
The sweet citrusy fragrance of bergamot is ideal if you’re looking for an alternative to lavender or ylang-ylang. As an antiseptic and antibacterial, besides being useful for alleviating stress and anxiety, and boosting the flow of energy, it’s also great for improving digestion and fighting parasitic diseases.
4. Wild Ginger
Also known as Asarum heterotropoides, this is an essential oil that’s become popular for its anti-depressant properties after a study conducted on mice in 2014 that provided positive results with those that inhaled it, showing less depression-like behaviour.
This is an oil that’s pretty famous for its rich smell, and the flower it’s extracted from is considered by many to be the most beautiful there is. However, besides all that, it’s one of the mightiest oils when it comes to easing pain, decreasing anxiety and lowering stress levels by relieving depression symptoms and stimulating the release of dopamine.
Other essential oils for depression you can turn to are chamomile, neroli, frankincense, sandalwood, jasmine, sweet orange, and grapefruit.
How to Use Essential Oils
Since most of them are highly potent, it’s necessary to be careful.
Inhale – Open the bottle and inhale. If this way the smell is too strong for you, add a couple of drops on a cotton pad, wait a little while and then inhale.
Diffuse – Another way to inhale essential oils is by adding a few drops in a diffuser. This would also double for air freshening.
Apply On Skin – If you want to use them topically and apply a few drops on the neck, wrists, or chest, you’d have to dilute the oil first with carrier oils. To avoid any unwanted reaction, it’s best to do a patch test first, then after making sure it’s okay, you can apply more.
Use in the Bath – You’d be able to take bathing time up a notch by adding a few drops of your favourite oils, but be sure to dilute them first.
Use for Massage – If you already have a massage oil and enjoy getting a massage every once in a while, they by all means mix it up with a few drops of your favourite essential oil and you’d get your own special blend for rest and relaxation.