I am a great advocate of natural therapies to supplement alongside any conventional therapies that might be needed. Essential oils (or Aromatherapy) being one of them. There are oils for almost anything, I used them enormously during pregnancy when I was unable to use over the counter medications for things such as headaches, sinusitis and more.
Essential oils can massively help depression and anxiety as well as insomnia caused by both, I have below listed some useful essential oils and what they can be used for. Please note that I have only detailed the relevant (to depression and anxiety) benefits of each essential oil, they may have further benefits that I have not mentioned below. There are also many many more oils that I could have included below, however I have chosen the best ones for each condition instead of bombarding you.
For methods of usage, see bottom of page.
Bergamot – sedative yet uplifting. Calms anxiety and feelings of anger.
Clary Sage – relaxes the muscles and releases tension including that caused by depression and anxiety. Can have a euphoric effect and cause drowsiness (especially when taken with alcohol). Encourages a positive attitude. Reduces postnatal depression. Helpful for use when in withdrawal from substance abuse.
N.B – Not to be used when pregnant or with alcohol.
Geranium – eases depression and anxiety. Lifts the spirits and puts the mind back into balance.
Grapefruit – uplifting and euphoric. Can help with Bipolar as well as Depression. Improves fatigue.
Jasmine – eases severe depression. Restores energy and increases confidence. A relaxant that produces a feeling of euphoria.
N.B – Not to be used when pregnant.
Lavender – the most versatile of all of the oils, can be used for numerous conditions and ailments. One of the few oils that can be used directly onto the skin without a carrier oil. Used for calming nerves and balancing mood swings (Bipolar). Eases an overactive brain and helps induce sleep.
Bergamot – as above
Chamomile – soothing and relaxing. Inhibits feelings of anger and fear. Calms the mind and helps with sleep.
Clary Sage – as above.
Neroli – soothes hysteria and shock.
Sandalwood – relaxing and sleep promoting. Soothes anxiety and tension. Can ease symptoms of OCD.
Ylang ylang – reduces symptoms of anxiety, shock and anger.
Chamomile – as above
Marjoram – calming effect on the nervous system. Relieves anxiety and stress. Promotes sleep.
Sandalwood – as above
Valerian – highly effective sleep initiator. Very expensive but effective.
Vetiver (Indian name ‘Oil of Tranquillity’) – promotes sleep. Useful in helping people to come off of tranquilisers. Deeply relaxing.
Methods of usage
Massage - using 3-5 drops of essential oil to 30ml of carrier oil (such as Sweet Almond oil). A full body massage would be most beneficial, if not, concentrate on neck and shoulders where stress is usually carried.
Bath - add up to 10 drops into a hot deep bath. Lay back and relax with candles.
Inhalant - inhale directly from the bottle when needed or using 3-5 drops of essential oil to 30ml of carrier oil, dab on wrists and behind ears.
Diffuser - using 3-5 drops of essential in diffuser or as directed.