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.
Some health professionals were criticizing aromatherapy and considered it to be a pseudoscience, but, in fact, aromatherapy is a well-established medicine.
The US National Library of Medicine stated that there were more than 6500 studies which showed the health benefits of the essential oils. Furthermore, this number is increasing every 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
Bergamot is part of the citrus family and is fresh and uplifting. A study conducted using bergamot essential oil concluded that even ten minutes of weekly inhalation of bergamot oil resulted in a significant reduction of blood pressure and heart rate, while balancing nerves and reducing anxiety. The study authors selected elementary school teachers known to work under significant stress as their subjects.
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.
Lavender is one if the most popular scent in aromatherapy. It’s also widely used in personal care items like soaps, lotions, bath products and massage oils because of its calming abilities.
Lavender has been proven to have anti-anxiety, antidepressant, mood stabilizing, sedative, and neuroprotective properties. It’s also used in the treatment of pain and tremors.
In fact, a 2007 study showed that lavender aromatherapy reduced serum cortisol—which plays a central role in the body’s response to stress—in healthy men.
It’s important to know what kind of lavender essential oil you have purchased: Lavender L. angustifolia is the relaxing breed of lavender, while lavandin Lavandula intermedia is a stimulant.
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
Mix the Epsom salt and the baking soda in a jar, and then add the essential oils to the mixture. Stir well so that you make sure that the ingredients all mixed well. Keep the jar in a cool and dark place. For one bath, you would need to use a quarter to a half cup of the mixture.
2. Anti-stress blend
– Two drops of bergamot essential oil
– Three drops of sage essential oil
– Five drops of lavender essential oil
– Four oz. of purified water
In a 4 ounces spray bottle, carefully add all of the essential oils. Top off the bottle with purified water and tighten the cap. Mix well and store in a cool, dark, place. To use, shake and spray away from your face. Flick your wrist in a forward motion to brig the mist closer to your nose.
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.