Aromatherapy to Battle the Blues


Have you ever walked into a room and felt instantly better? Maybe the scent of freshly baked bread was in the air. Maybe it smelled citrusy or calm like lavender. Scent has a powerful effect on your mood and emotions.  Aromatherapy is so powerful because smell goes through the nose directly to our olfactory center and right to the amygdala,   a part of our brain that can trigger a fear or a relaxation response.   It can stimulate you into action. It can also relax you and induce sleep. If you struggle with the blues, you can use aromatherapy to improve your mood.    

What Is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the use of scents to alter mood. You can use essential oils through a diffuser or even place them in diluted form directly on your skin. You can also use lotions or creams on your skin. Another option is to burn a candle with your favorite scent. Finally, some people like to steep the scent or brew a tea.

There are many essential oil products for sale, and the quality varies widely.   The most powerful benefits come from using therapeutic grade oils, which have to meet a higher standard in how they are processed.   I particularly like and recommend Young Living   essential oils, which are steam distilled, very high quality therapeutic grade oils.   You must purchase them from a distributor (some health food stores may carry them) or for better pricing, you may join as a distributor and order directly from the company.     Young Living has a wide variety of oils and essential oil products as well as supplements and personal care items without toxic chemicals.

Scents Commonly Used to Treat Depression

While there are a number of combinations and scents used to elevate mood, relax, diffuse anger or create calm, these scents are commonly used specifically for depression:

* Basil
* Bergamot
* Cedarwood
* Clary sage
* Frankincense
* Geranium
* Grapefruit
* Lavender
* Lemon
* Jasmine
* Myrrh
* Neroli
* Rose
* Sandalwood
* Spruce
* Orange
* Ylang ylang

The citrusy scents elevate mood and awaken the senses. Scents like jasmine and lavender induce a state of calm and relaxation. You may want to play with various scents to find which works best. Of course, you’ll also have personal preferences.

As mentioned you can use aromatherapy in a number of ways. You can combine essential oils into a bottle. With a dropper you can place the oils on the edge of your pillow or on clothing you’re wearing. Test the oils befoe   applying directly to your skin.   Some oils are “hot” and can be irritating, and some can make the skin more light sensitve (the citrus oils and bergamot).   This is one of the reasons to use a therapuetuic grade oil versus a more commercial oil that may be more diluted and may have carrier oils that are not the best for us.   When putting oils directly on your skin it is best to try first diluting them with an unscented almond or sesame oil you can get from your health food store. You can also simply inhale the essential oilby bringing the bottle up to your nose, putting the oil on a cotton ball or tissue, or using a diffuser.

Alternatively, you can add the essential oils to a lotion base. This will diffuse the strength of the oils so it’s safer for skin application. If you enjoy baths, you can add a drop or two of your choice essential oil to a bath and enjoy the calming effects. The oil will mix better with the water if you drop it onto a cupful of unscented sea salt or Epsom salt and then toss the salt into the water.  

There are a number of ways to enjoy aromatherapy and to reap the mood-enhancing benefits. You can also find blends or recipes on how to blend scents online. Or visit your local natural store and find recipes there. Young Living has a specific group of oil blends that can be very helpful…Valor, Joy, White Angelica, and Harmony.

Aromatherapy is a depression treatment that you can use each and every day. It’s safe and effective. Find your favorite scents or combination of scents and start feeling better today.

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