Did you know that depression affects around every 1 in 10 Americans? However, 80% of those affected by the disease are not receiving the correct treatment.
The same goes for anxiety, which is one of the most common mental illnesses in the US and affects around 20% of the population.
One of the best ways to relieve depression and anxiety is to use aromatherapy.
This technique involves using natural and essential oils that have been extracted from parts of plants and distilled. The oils are then applied to the skin via massage, bath salts, or lotions.
This is how this technique works:
Aromatherapy works by stimulating the smell receptors. As a result of the stimulation, the receptors send messages to the limbic system in your brain through your nervous system. The limbic system is the part of the brain that controls your emotions, from anger to fear, and your memories.
This is why some smells can trigger memories or feelings. In fact, it has been proven that anosmia (when you lose your sense of smell) has been known to cause depression.
The great thing about essential oils is that they don’t have any side effects, other than allergy symptoms. So check you aren’t allergic to anything and get in that bath!
Here are the top three calming essential oils to relieve depression and anxiety:
One of the most well-known scents of all of the essential oils, lavender, is already used in a many products on the market, including soaps, bath lotions, and massage oils. This is because of its super calming effects.
It has been proven to work as an antidepressant, an anti-anxiety tool and as a mood stabilizer. It has also been shown to help reduce pain and tremors, as well as alleviate stress.
Bergamot is a type of orange that is mostly grown in Italy. Many people do not eat the fruit as it is said to be very bitter, but the peel is used to create bergamot oil. In fact, the peel is the key ingredient in Earl Grey, the ingredient that makes it taste so different.
Many different studies have shown that the oil can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is also known as the rest and digest system.
Sage is a amazing herb that you may know from a number of European meals. It’s distinctive smell and it`s taste is very popular in a many cuisines,but we should mentioned that this herb also has antidepressant capabilitie.
In fact, a 2013 study showed that clary sage essential oil can be even more effective than lavender oil, particularly for female patients who are undergoing urodynamic assessments.
How to enjoy aromatherapy
Essential oils are highly concentrated and shouldn’t be applied near the eye area. Some oil can even cause irritation on the skin.
You can mix essential oils with coconut oil for massage or inhale it through a diffuser.
Here are a few quick ways to use essential oils:
1.Relaxing bath salts
This is probably the best way to unwind after a hard day. Here’s how to prepare the bath:
- A cup of Epsom salts
- A cup of Kosher salt
- Half a cup of baking soda
- 10 drops of Clary sage essential oil
- 10 drops of Ylang Ylang essential oil
Mix the salts and soda in a jar with a tight lid, then stir in the oils and shake to mix everything well. Close the jar tight and keep it in a dark and cool place, and use ¼ to ½ a cup for every bath you take.
This oil is a excellent way to prevent stress.
- 5 drops of lavender essential oil
- 3 drops of Ylang Ylang essential oil
- 2 drops of bergamot essential oil
- 4 oz. of purified water
Add the essential oils in a spray bottle then top them with the filtered water. Mix well and store the bottle in a dark and cool place.
How to use it:
To use the soothing mist, you need to shake the bottle well and then spray it on your face.
The following oils will also fight stress and anxiety:
- Basil Ocimum basilicum (L.)
- Geranim Pelargonium graveolens (L’Her.)
- Grapefruit Citrus paradisi (Macfad.)
- Lime Citrus aurantifolia (Christm.)
- Neroli Citrus aurantium (L.) var. amara
- Roman Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile (L.) All.
- Rose Rosa damascena (Mill.)
- Sandalwood Santalum album (L.)
- Sweet orange Citrus sinensis (Osbeck)
If you’re dealing with stress and depression, visit your doctor or naturopath to find the right treatment for you. Aromatherapy is only one treatment that can provide help.