Using Aromatherapy to Improve Mood and Treat Depression Naturally

Updated on August 8, 2018

Many people face depression at some point in their lives. Although there is no substitute for professional medical care, especially in cases of severe or chronic depression, essential oils can be used to treat depression naturally, particularly for more mild cases. They can improve mood and soften the pitfalls of depression, providing help and perhaps an alternative to prescription medication.

How Essential Oils Treat Depression Naturally

Essential oils, through the sense of smell, can treat depression naturally. The body quickly interprets the information carried through this sense, resulting in an immediate improvement in emotional well-being. Using aromatherapy for depression is not intended to cure this serious illness, yet it can offer soothing relief. The natural extractions of plants and herbs, using essential oils as a natural treatment for depression is a subtle, yet effective and chemical-free way to lift spirits and improve mood.

Some of the active compounds in essential oils, the volatile oils, are responsible for the aromatic and medicinal qualities of each essential oil. Molecules from these beneficial phytochemicals are picked up by the olfactory glands when inhaled. They then trigger a response in the brain, altering brain wave patterns and releasing neurotransmitters. The result is a physical change in the body, merely from smelling the intoxicating scents of essential oils.

The Best Essential Oils for Depression


Although most essential oils improve mood in some way, either by reducing anxiety or promoting a sense of energy and rejuvenation, there are several specific essential oils for depression.

  • Jasmine essential oil has a soothing, balancing effect, ideal for depression and emotional disturbances.
  • Ylang ylang essential oil quells stress, anger, and fear. It is beneficial for treating depression naturally, as well as insomnia and high blood pressure due to stress.
  • Rosewood essential oil helps to restore emotional imbalances. It can be used to treat depression, tension, and PMS.
  • Geranium essential oil has antidepressant and hormone balancing properties. It acts as an overall tonic for the nervous system, either stimulating or calming, whichever action the body requires.
  • Neroli essential oil is good for depression, nervous tension, and insomnia. It is particularly useful for stress-related headaches.
  • Bergamot essential oil has an overall balancing effect which reduces feelings of melancholy.

How to Use Essential Oils for Depression and to Improve Mood


There are different methods for using essential oils to treat depression naturally. The simplest way is to use an essential oil diffuser. Add drops into a diffuser and inhale the aroma as it spreads throughout the room. Usually, only a few drops are necessary. For an uplifting essential oil blend to improve mood, use five drops each of jasmine, orange, and bergamot essential oil.

For treating depression naturally with aromatherapy, essential oils can also be added to bath water or blended with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil, and then applied to the skin as a massage oil. Another very easy method is to place drops in a bowl of boiling water.

Aromatherapy can be used to heal many different ailments, although essential oils are particularly useful for emotional and mental disturbances. Essential oils for depression, through their impact on brain chemicals, help to promote feelings of mental relaxation and uplifted spirits. Regardless of the benefits of aromatherapy as a natural treatment for depression, always consult a professional if dealing with depression.

How Aromatherapy Works


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Balch, Phyllis A. " Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006).

Hoffmann, David. "The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies." (Element Books, 1996).

Page, Linda. "Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone." Eleventh Edition (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


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