Lately, there were many discussions about emotional disorders. It is estimated that 1 in 8 Americans, are affected by depression. 80% of people who suffer from depression do not receive the proper treatment.
However, almost 20% of the population or 40 million adults are affected by anxiety disorders which are definitely the most common mental illness in America.
A recent study showed the connection between dementia and anti-anxiety medications and that there are many reasons why you should replace the pharmaceutical drugs with essential oils.
Aromatherapy is one of the most effective ways which can treat the symptoms of these conditions.
It was criticized as a pseudoscience by many health professionals, but actually, it is a well-established medicine.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, there were more than 6500 studies which showed the health benefits of essential oils. Moreover, their number is increasing day by day.
When used in aromatherapy, essential oils are extracted from various plants and distilled. These oils can be inhaled indirectly or directly, or you can apply them to the skin through lotions, bath salts, and massage.
The smell receptors in the nose are stimulated with the aromatherapy, thus sending a message through the nervous system to the part of the brain responsible for controlling the emotions known as the limbic system.
3 Essential oils to relieve anxiety and depression
It grows primary in Italy and it is a variety of orange. Even though the fruit is too bitter to eat, bergamot oil can be made by its peel.
Many historical reports have proven that bergamot oil has antidepressant and calming properties. But, these claims are confirmed with scientific studies. A study from 2011 conducted in Taiwan included elementary school teachers, which work under major stress. They were supposed to use an inhalation of bergamot essential oil.
The results showed that 10-minute inhalation even in a week will reduce the heart rate and blood pressure, and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Moreover, those who have high and moderate degrees of anxiety have more benefits compared to those with a light degree of anxiety.
An animal study has proven that bergamot oil can have as strong anxiety relieving properties as diazepam.
Sage has antidepressant properties and a wonderful smell and taste. An animal study from 2010 showed the effectiveness of sage essential oil for depression and anxiety.
Even though it can be difficult to find sage oil in the natural health food stores, you can always order it online. Moreover, you can grow your own plant at your home. In order to release the essential oil, you need to rub the leaves between your fingers.
One of the most popular scents in aromatherapy is lavender. It has calming properties which are the reason why it is used in products for personal care such as soaps, bath products, massage oils, and lotions.
It has been proven that lavender has antidepressant, sedative, mood stabilizing, neuroprotective and anti-anxiety properties. It is used in the treatment of tremors and pain.
A study from 2007 showed that serum cortisol or the stress hormone in healthy men can be reduced by a lavender aromatherapy.
You should know what kind of lavender essential oil you have bought:
Lavandin Lavandula intermedia is a stimulant and Lavender Angustifolia is the relaxing breed of lavender.
How to enjoy aromatherapy
You should not use the essential oils directly near the eye because they are highly concentrated. Some of the oils if are applied directly to the skin, it can cause irritation.
If you want to use the essential oil for a massage, you can dilute it with coconut oil. Or, use a diffuser if you want to inhale.
We show you some easy and simple ways how you can use the essential oils:
1. Relaxing bath
- A half cup baking soda
- One cup Epsom salt
- 10 drops bergamot essential oil
- 10 drops sage essential oil
In a jar, mix the baking soda and the salt. Then, add the essential oils, and make sure to mix them well. Keep it in a dark and cool place. You need to use a quarter to half cup per 1 bath.
2. Anti-stress blend
- 3 drops sage essential oil
- 2 drops bergamot essential oil
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- 4 oz purified water
Firstly, carefully add all the essential oils in a 4 ounces spray bottle. Top off the bottle with purified water and tighten the cap. Make sure to mix them well. Keep it in a dark and cool place. When using, shake and spray away from the face. To bring the mist closer to your nose, flick your wrist in a forward motion.
If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression and feel overwhelmed, talk to your doctor, naturopath or mental health provider to find a strategy to help you get back to your regular self. Aromatherapy is just one of the many tools that can help you recover.