Aromatherapy for Depression and Anxiety

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How Aromatherapy can help to Relieve Depression and Anxiety?

Aromatherapy or essential oil therapy is a holistic treatment method in which essential oils are extracted from plants and used for the emotional and physical well-being of humans since ancient times. 

When essential oils are directly inhaled or absorbed through the human skin, they enhance mental health and ease physical discomfort.  In today’s society, aromatherapy is not much recognized as a valid form of treatment in the medical community, but this is mostly due to the lack of research. 

While no single essential oil has been proven to effectively cure anxiety or depression on its own, many oils have had success in minimizing certain symptoms of mental illness. Success rates for aromatherapy vary from person to person, but using these essential oils in conjunction with professional treatment might improve wellbeing.

So, we have listed some of the best essential oils that can give amazing results in relieving anxiety and depression:


Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender oil is one of the most commonly used oils in aromatherapy due to its numerous health benefits.  Lavender has a soft, pleasant aroma that creates a sense of calmness and tranquility. It’s also commonly used to cure sleep issues since it can act as a sedative.

In one study, it was found that lavender essential oil can improve the quality of sleep when it was added to a healthy bedtime routine. Moreover, the participants felt more energetic during the day time after taking sound sleep.

Another study was conducted in the dental offices during which lavender essential oil was diffused in the room. It was found that the patients who were waiting anxiously for procedures there, felt more at ease due to the calmness of lavender in the room. 

Similarly, midwives and doulas often encourage women in labor to use lavender essential oil to ease their anxiety and nervousness. In another study, it’s found that diffusing lavender after giving birth to a baby may help the mother to ease symptoms of depression associated with hormonal fluctuation. 



Cedarwood Essential Oil

Cedarwood oil has also stress-relieving properties. There are various types of Cedarwood oils, all of which may carry different levels of effectiveness depending on its usage. Cedarwood oils are very beneficial especially for those who experience high stress at work or school.  In one study, researchers found that inhaling Cedarwood oil at work improved the performance of the participants and promoted focus.

Another research was conducted on rats which confirmed that Cedarwood may be useful in treating symptoms of depression. This is yet to confirm in humans.

Essential Oil

Essential Oil Dripping into Hand

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense is well-known to help in lift mood and hormonal imbalance, especially in women.  In one study, researchers used frankincense essential oil alongside other oils that promoted relaxation. They found that the combination of different oils was effective in alleviating depression for terminally ill patients. Moreover, this combination may have helped them to relieve pain as well. 

In another study that was conducted on mice, the researchers found that frankincense stimulates the portion of the brain that regulates emotions. In addition to that, it activates a protein that plays a role in the perception of warmth. These effects together can create a sense of comfort and peace in the brain.



Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties. That’s why it is often used to treat many physical symptoms that are associated with inflammation. It can also restore balance to aggravated bodily systems. Moreover, chamomile has been known to get rid of depression and help increase motivation. 

Chamomile is quite beneficial when anxiety and depression are causing digestive issues. Besides promoting relaxation, it can also alleviate inflammation in the gut.  



Grapefruit Essential Oil

Grapefruit essential oil is well-known for an uplifting and invigorating effect. It helps to feel more energized.  It is especially recommended to people who are fighting for recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.

People who are in early sobriety often battle a wide range of mental health issues and withdrawal symptoms that may last for weeks or months.  In such a case, aromatherapy is a holistic method that may be added to an addiction treatment program to increase the chances of success and promote lasting wellness.


Woman Sitting on Rock with a view


Important Precautions before using Essential Oils

There are certain risks to take into consideration before beginning an aromatherapy practice.  Some people might suffer due to allergies or adverse reactions to certain oils.  Moreover, some oils that are considered safe for humans can have negative effects on pets, children, and pregnant women. So, it is necessary to proceed with caution when being exposed to a new type of essential oil.

Therefore, it is better to dilute the oil with water especially when diffusing oils into the air in your home or office, it is best to dilute the oil with water as much as possible. Additionally, some essential oils can have adverse interactions with certain medical prescriptions. So, it is important to consult your doctor before use.

While essential oils can have amazing benefits for many individuals struggling with addiction or mental illness, they are not a replacement for professional care.  Many effective treatment programs now incorporate a holistic wellness plan in their recovery plans, allowing you the freedom to find and select what works best for you.