Mental Health and Essential Oils
I feel so damn fortunate to have been able to have met with these beautiful gifts of Mama Earth I am about to share with you now. These oils are now my go-to mood hacker, depending on what I wish to be feeling that day.
I have to be honest, when I did start using the oils, I didn't look to the research at all. I started using them, and felt for myself the difference they had, whether it was Frankincense on my temples to stabilise mood through my day, lavender on my heart and upper lip to relax me before I went to sleep, the grounding blend rubbed on the bottom of my feet morning and night to ground me or smelling rosemary to ease my cortisol stress levels in my body. For me, I jumped straight in and starting trying them after hearing so many people keep speaking about the amazing benefits they were having with the oils!
But, I do know that there's some of you all who want to know more about the scientific and study side of whether these oils could be supporting you and your mental health! When I use the word mental health, the common fact of the matter is - that we could all be feeling more and more well right? often we associate mental health with the labels such as depression, anxiety and mood disorders... but when I speak of mental health, I don't believe there's a cap on how good we can feel - we can just give ourselves permission to feel better and better! With this in mind - I think these are a GIFT to anyone who wants to feel more pleasure, joy and happiness within their body!
So, let me share about the oils that I have tried so far to support my mental health + I have called on the help of Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, who is a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and clinical nutritionist with findings around this.
Mood Management Kit
My first go-to was the mood management kit which included 4 essential oils and blends, which was the most simplistic way for me to give the oils a try to see how I could use them to hack my mood. My wellness needs was looking at how I could ease anxiety, supporting insomnia and to feel sparked up with creativity and a boost of energy in the mornings and in my 3pm dip in the arvo.
Balance - for emotional and physical grounding
This blend is so calming, helps me to be more present and supports me to feel more balanced with a deeper connection to my body and emotions. This is part of my daily routine:
- 2 drops on the bottom of my feet in the morning when I get out of the shower to ground me for the day, and also 2 drops in the evening before going to sleep
- Use it throughout the day to my wrists or to smell it, whenever I feel like I need to feel balanced and more grounded if I am up in my head thinking/analysing too much
- I apply this to my forehead/third eye area, smell it or to the bottom of my feet before meditation, yoga or when going on a nature walk
Lavender Peace - My bedtime Saviour!
This is in my top favourite essential oils! This oil is a blend of Lavender Flower, Cedarwood, Ho Wood Leaf, Ylang Ylang Flower, Marjoram Leaf, Roman Chamomile Flower, Vetiver Root, Vanilla Bean Absolute and Hawaiian Sandalwood Wood.
- Add a few drops to your bath for a relaxing self care ritual
- Diffuse at bed time, shutting the door an hour before bed and be infused with the relaxing aromas once you're ready to go to bed - such a good addition to a bed time ritual! My bed time ritual includes this, turning my phone on aeroplane mode an hour before bed and writing down 3 things I am grateful for that day
- Make up a roller and use it throughout the day time to soothe emotions by rolling it on your heart, smelling it, rubbing it on your top lip or on your wrists or temples
- Mix it with Balance in a roller which is also in the mood management kit and it can become a beautiful soothing and calming perfume to wear
A study published by the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice reported that 80-milligram capsules of lavender essential oil can help alleviate anxiety and depression. The study also showed that there were no adverse side effects from using lavender oil to treat anxiety and depression. This is great news since we know that synthetic medications and psychotropic drugs often have many negative side effects. (3)
A 2012 study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice evaluatd 28 women at high risk for postpartum depression and found that by diffusing lavender in their home, they had a significant reduction of postnatal depression and reduced anxiety disorder after a four-week treatment plan of lavender aromatherapy. (4)
Yet another study showcasing that lavender aromatherapy improves mood was done on people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can result in depression. Lavender had amazing results, showing signs of enhanced moods. The results revealed that the lavender oil, when used daily, helped decrease depression by 32.7 percent and dramatically decreased sleep disturbances, moodiness and overall health status in 47 people suffering from PTSD. (5)
Citrus Bliss - Uplifting and energising invigorating blend
This is a warm vanilla and citrus blend. This is a combination of the powerful essences of Wild Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Bergamot, Tangerine, and Clementine with a hint of Vanilla Absolute.
- My go-to when I want an uplifting energy boost in the morning as the citrus smell really wakes me up
- I diffuse this when I am writing, immersing in a creative topic or just want to make my home feel uplifting and an energising space to be in
- Add it to bliss balls or home made chocolates and it is so yummy as a pick me up healthy snack during the day
Elevation - Joyful blend
This is also an uplifting blend, however it is more vibrant than the citrus blend. I am all about feeling more and more joy, aren't we all? So when I feel like I want to lift my vibration, see things from more expansive perspectives - then this is a favourite of mine too.
- I diffuse it in my room to change the mood
- Wear it as perfume diluted in a roller whenever I want to feel more joy
- Add this to be part of your aromatic dressing routine mixed with the Balance blend
- Smell this before I sit in Cacao Ceremony to re-connect to more heart, or before dancing to awaken more bliss, joy, ecstasy and pleasure within my body
Vetiver Essential Oil - Soothing Anxiety
A 2015 study investigated the effects of vetiver oil as a tool that helps with anxiety and the neurological actions in the central amygdaloid nucleus. The central amygdaloid nucleus connects with brainstem areas that control the expression of innate behaviors; it’s responsible for the perception and results of emotions, such as changes in heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.
When vetiver oil was given to rats, it altered this neuronal activation from stress. In fact, vetiver oil had the same impact as Diazepam, a medication that treats anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures and other medical conditions.
- I like to diffuse vetiver, lavender peace and balance for a soothing, grounding and relaxing blend to support moods
Bergamot Essential Oil
2011 study in Thailand found that bergamot lowered the anxiety response in rats. (1)
Another 2011 study hypothesizes that applying a blended essential oil that includes bergamot to participants helps treat depression. The blended essential oil mixed bergamot with lavender essential oil, and participants were analyzed based on their blood pressure, pulse rates, breathing rates and skin temperature. In addition, subjects had to rate their emotional condition in terms of relaxation, vigor, calmness, attentiveness, mood and alertness in order to assess behavioral changes.
Compared with the placebo, blended essential oil caused significant decreases of pulse rate and blood pressure. At the emotional level, subjects in the blended essential oil group rated themselves as “more calm” and “more relaxed” than subjects in the control group. The investigation demonstrates the relaxing effect of a mixture of lavender and bergamot oils, and it provides evidence for its use in medicine for treating depression or anxiety in humans. (2)
- I diffuse bergamot and lavender together, or create an oil blend and rub this on my wrists when feelings of anxiety arise
Source: Source: https://draxe.com/essential-oils-for-depression/
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile benefits your emotions by providing soothing qualities to help with depression. According to research from Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine and Pharmacognosy Review, inhaling chamomile vapors using chamomile oil is often recommended as a natural remedy for anxiety and general depression. (6, 7)
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Ylang ylang may have a funny name, but it has amazing benefits for helping stave off depression and negative emotions associated with depression. Inhaling ylang ylang can have immediate, positive effects on your mood and act like a mild, remedy for depression. Research shows it can help release negative emotions such as anger, low self-esteem and even jealousy! (8)
Ylang ylang works because of its mild sedative effects, which can lower stress responses helping you relax. To enhance confidence, mood and self-love, try diffusing the oil in your home or massaging it into your skin.
Patchouli Essential Oil
Dr Axe speaks about Patchouli acting as a natural anti-depressant because of the effects inhaling patchouli oil has on our hormones, it encourages the release of serotonin and dopamine; these hormones ease feelings of anger, anxiety and anxiousness.
Rosemary Essential Oil
I have also been using Rosemary essential oil to lower cortisol levels within my body. Instantly after smelling rosemary, my experience with this oil is that I feel the calming effects of this which softens my body out of feeling like I am caught in fight or flight mode.
To learn more about essential oils and how you can incorporate them into your life, click here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.