Essential Oils For Depression

essential oils for depressionEmotional disorders such as anxiety and depression have become much more common place in this day and age. People feel much freer to talk about their struggles and there seems to be much more support by the medical community as well as the general public for those dealing with depression. The definition of can range from mild sadness at certain times to clinical depression that is long lasting and need to be treated by a physician. (Of course, you should always be under the care of a regular doctor to make sure that you are healthy and can help you with any medical needs that you might have.)

For many of us, our depressive mood swings or episodes of sadness may not be such that we need medication, but we are looking for a natural way to give ourselves a boost when we are feeling anxious or down. There are many natural remedies that various people have tried for depression, and one of the most natural ways that you can go about treating mild symptoms of depression or anxiety is through the use of essential oils for depression. Whether you are simply having a sort of blue day or you are fighting against cloudy and rainy weather, try some of these essential oil ideas in order to lift your spirits and restore your mood.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils may not be exactly what you think.  Made exclusively from plants, essential oils are botanical which are extracted from the parts of the plant (flower, stem, leaves, peel, etc.) through a pressing or steam distilling process. The result is that the essence of the plant is extracted into a pure, liquid form that can be used in a variety of ways, with molecules so small that they can cross the barriers of the blood and the brain. A wide variety of plants are made into essential oils including flowers, herbs, fruits, and truly almost any other type of plant. Some plants have very helpful properties that are well known, while others are more obscure and are still being studied.

How Do Essential Oils Work?

In the case of lifting the spirits, essential oils very much rely on the olfactory center of the brain to bring calm and peace. Natural plant oils can stimulate various areas of the brain that control factors such as limbic, immune, and endocrine systems. These systems directly impact anxiety and depression, and essential oils can help to change the mood in a positive manner, sometimes almost instantly. Balance of thoughts and spirit can often be restored in a natural way when incorporating essential oils for depression into your daily life.

How to Use Essential Oils

essential oils for depression steamWhen considering essential oils, be sure to purchase only those that are therapeutic grade so that they will provide you with the strength and properties you need. Most essential oils should not be ingested, or even applied directly to the skin as they are highly potent. There are a few exceptions to this so be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using essential oils.

Typically essential oils are either diluted with water and steamed into the air, added to bath water, or diluted with what is referred to as a “carrier oil” (such as almond oil or grapeseed oil) and applied topically. Some essential oils that can be placed into caplets and taken orally for certain specific health benefits. Each oil has its own set of directions to follow in order to get the best results.

Essential Oils for Depression

Certain Essential Oils have properties which boost the mood by giving the brain and body a much needed dose of uplifting. Some of this comes from simply the smell of the scents, while other benefits are gleaned as the oils are absorbed through the skin. There are dozens of essential oils that can benefit the mood, but here are some of the favorites for depression and anxiety.


Many citrus fruits are particularly helpful in providing the mind with a bit of energy. One of the most well-known citrus oils for lifting depression is bergamot (Citrus aurantium or bergamia). Known for assisting with feelings of pain, anxiousness, and sadness. This one has been studied when used in conjunction with lavender for a calming effect.

Clary Sage

Known for actions that lift the spirits and bring a bit of a euphoric mood, Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) is well used in a diffuser or added to a warm bath for a soak. Clary Sage is believed to be useful in reducing stress, particularly in females, and for bringing contentment. Also helps with insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Mix with Ylang ylang for a lovely, balanced bath soak.


This essential oil works best to slow down breathing and avoid tension and anxiety. If your depression is coupled with anxiety then breathing frankincense (Boswellia carterii) blended with a bit of lemon and jasmine oils can bring about a great deal of relief when used as a massage oil, air freshener, or with bath salts.


As with many other citrus oils, grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) gives just the right amount of boost without being quite as pungent as its cousins, Lemon and Orange. Often appreciated when blended with a calming scent such as lavender or ylang ylang. Diffuse in the air or add to oil and use for massage.


One of the most popular scents known for relaxation, lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) help support good rest which, in turn, can often have a mood-lightening effect. Recommended by the British Pharmacopoeia for mild to moderate depression, lavender aromatherapy helps to reduce the body’s response to stress in healthy men.  Try diffusing lavender in the air, placing a few drops on your pillow, or even adding it to your tea in the evening. Massage a few drops into your temples as a natural aid to calm emotions.


Often used in times of grief and sadness (think roses at funerals) Rose essential oil is useful for combatting sadness and bringing comfort relieving stress. Rose (Rosa damascene) is often less expensive and is typically made out of the flower petals. The scent of rose has an effect of stimulation on the nervous system and allows for the mind to have a sense of well-being. Try mixing with sandalwood and orange for a massage oil or diffuser blend.

Ylang Ylang (pronounced Eeelang Eelang)

This highly concentrated oil has an irresistible scent that allows for the mind and spirit to be uplifted simply by smelling it. Can be used for anxiety and depression, as well as insomnia, Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata or genuine) can bring restoration to equilibrium as well as promoting confidence in both men and women. Ylang ylang can also be used to ease frigidity, which can help with easing depression as well. For a quick boost throughout the day, try adding a few drops to sweet almond oil and rub on the palms of hands and breathe in the scent regularly.


Other Essential Oils that are known to lift the mood are the citrus oils, including lemon, sweet orange, mandarin, lime, and wild orange. Essential oils to relieve tension and anxiety include sandalwood, palmrosa, geranium, neroli, marjoram, basil, chamomile, and jasmine.

The Best Essential Oils


Essential oils can have an amazing impact on the way that you live and view the world. Of course, seeing a medical doctor is critical to ensure that your body and mind are healthy. However, the essential oils for depression listed above may be used generously and you may wish to experiment with your favorite blends until you come up with your favorites. You may be surprised at what a difference just a few little oils can make on the outlook you have on your life!

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