Humanity has used essential oils for centuries for an array of purposes. Their most popular use has always been a medicine capable of treating a wide array of diseases. Their popularity once frayed, but it recently picked up following science’s declaration that essential oils indeed have vast medicinal properties.
Different types of essential oils have different medicinal effects. Some are capable of treating a wide range of mental conditions, including depression. In this article, I will share important information about essential oils for depression. I will also let you in on how we use the oils for treatment in Ayurvedic aromatherapy. It will help you to live a positive life.
The Origin of Essential Oils
It is important to understand how they make essential oils to appreciate how they work so well with our body. Essential oils are extracted from a wide variety of plants and flowers. They are extracted from different parts of the plants depending on the oils. We extract Basil oil, for instance, from the roots while we extract cinnamon oil from the bark.
The exact extraction methods vary, but they have been improving over the centuries. Essential oils are highly refined today thanks to years of research as well as the utilization of technology. Consequently, they have become more effective, and their uses have diversified.
Top Four Best Essential Oils for Depression
There are several types of essential oils proven effective by science against depression. However, some work faster than others do.
Jatamansi is revered as the most powerful essential oil against depression in ancient Indian medicine. Modern science supports this too as it has discovered that Jatamansi increases levels of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), which has healing effects of depression, anxiety, and a variety of other mental conditions.
The oil also increases the production of monoamines in the body, and these too reduce the effects of depression and anxiety. We use Jatamansi to treat depression by inhalation or ingesting it orally. It is a heavy sedative, and I recommend using it in a relaxed and settled setting.
We categorize Holy Basil among adaptogens, a class of drugs that bring balance to the body and mind. It has numerous medicinal properties and it one of the best essential oils for depression.
Holy Basil cures stress, depression, and anxiety by decreasing the production of a hormone known as corticosterone. Science links this hormone with feelings of stress and depression. This essential oil also reduces the production of other hormones associated with stress and promotes the production of relaxing hormones.
Holy basil is safe to ingest orally, inhale, apply around the body, and bath with, hence making it convenient for everyone.
Lavender is one of the most widely used essential oils for depression, and its benefits include overcoming physical fatigue. Researchers especially credit it with potent anti-depression and anti-anxiety properties. In fact, it is so effective against anxiety that government has approved it as an anxiolytic in Germany.
Research conducted on lavender oil has revealed that it contains high levels of linalyl acetate and linalool. These hormones have a potent relaxing and calming effect on the mind as well as the body. This is what makes lavender particularly effective when it comes to curing stress and anxiety. It also works well for the body for those who always feel fatigued.
Lavender is very convenient, and you can apply it in two ways: by ingesting it as capsule drops and through inhalation. I suggest that you complement both applications for quick results.
Chamomile is popular as a sleep-inducing essential oil. Its sleep-inducing properties treat depression and anxiety. One of the ways it beats depression is by stimulating the brain to secrete relaxation hormones. The other way it does this is by working through the stomach.
Sandwiched among other organs in the stomach is the Enteric Nervous System, popularly referred to as the body’s “second brain”. This organ contributes to bad moods, stress, and depression when exposed to inflammation. German Chamomile is effective in curing inflammation in the stomach, hence reducing the chances of suffering from stress and depression.
We ingest German chamomile to get the most out of its anti-depressant and anti-anxiety benefits. You can also inhale it just like many other essential oils for depression.
How to Use Essential Oils for Depression
There are several ways to use essential oils to cure depression. The applications depend on the type of essential oil as well as the patient’s preferences. They include:
Inhalation is the best way of using essential oil to cure depression. The nose connects to an important sensory organ known as the olfactory nerve. All scents that pass through this nerve directly transmit to the brain for purposes of smell. This, consequently, hastens the effect of essential oils when it comes to depression (a condition affecting your brain).
We inhale Essential oils for depression directly or burn them with incense. This, again, depends on the type of essential oil as well as the patient’s preferences. They have a calming and soothing effect that is often accompanied by the release of hormones capable of fighting depression.
Just as the olfactory nerve transmits all scents directly to the brain, other organs and nerves all over the body are also capable of transmitting signals and other elements to the brain. However, these take more time and effort. Therefore, applying essential oils to the body also helps to fight and cure depression.
We apply directly through massages to the whole body. The sensation felt during massage also helps to calm the mind and produce relaxation hormones that also contribute to the treatment. However, complement direct application with inhalation to ensure maximum effect, especially in severe depression cases.
Aromatic baths combine both inhalation and skin application when using essential oils for depression treatment. You simply add several drops of essential oils to warm bathing water and soak in it. The oil runs all over our body, as you inhale the steam generated from the warm water. This method, consequently, is the most effective.
Please note that this article is purely based on the known effects of essential oils against depression. Do not confuse it with treatment advice. Depression is a serious mental condition, and I advise you to visit a physician for proper medical care.