Most of us are feeling burned out by winter at this point. The calendar is declaring that it’s spring, but the view from my window proves otherwise at the moment. This is normal for Vermont. I get that. But it can help to have a pick me up to get through this last stretch of winter weather.
If jumping on a plane and zipping off to a warm beach somewhere isn’t in your budget or responsibilities are keeping you here, there’s another option.
Essential oils can give you a shortcut to improve your mood. Whether you want to lower your anxiety or reduce depression, concentrated oils from medicinal plants can help.
Essential Oils for Reducing Anxiety and Depression
Many people think of anxiety and depression as being opposites, with one being wound too tight and the other as coming unwound. In reality, they’re both just parts of the same spectrum. Since most essential oils work to balance us, it stands to reason that many of them would be able to bring balance to both ends of whichever spectrum they work on.
Here are some of the best and/or common oils used for anxiety and depression. The ones marked with an asterisk * are photo-sensitizing and will cause you to burn more quickly in the sun so don’t apply them to the skin if you plan to be in the sun (or tanning booth) within 24 hours.
- Sweet orange
- Bitter orange
- Bergamot *
- Roman Chamomile
- Lemon *
Remember, every oil will have a different effectiveness for each of their properties. This means the oil that works great to lower your anxiety isn’t necessarily the best one to help mitigate your depression and vice versa.
On the other hand, you can’t choose an oil strictly by the numbers either. So… just because research found oil A to be 98% effective against anxiety and oil B to be 62% effective, oil B might actually be the oil that helps you the most. This is because essential oils are more than just a list of properties or chemicals. They are synergistic blends of chemicals that must interact with the synergistic blend of chemicals, emotions, experiences, and preferences known as you. And each of us is a unique synergistic blend that is going to interact with the synergy of each essential oil in its own unique way.
All of that is to say: the essential oil that will work best for any condition is dependent on many factors like other physical conditions present, past/current emotional experiences, overall resiliency, and personal scent preferences, so take this information as it’s intended… just one small piece of the puzzle.
I always offer essential oils free with any massage at Emerge. If you’re looking for a local source for high quality essential oils, I highly recommend checking out Aromed. Their staff is very knowledgeable about the properties of essential oils and are happy to guide you when selecting essential oils to help you with various ailments.