18 Best Essential Oils for Depression and Blend Recipes


Essential Oils for Depression Relief

Essential oils for depression are plentiful and used often in aromatherapy. Finding an effective prescription medication is hit or miss, and it’s often discouraging when you have to wait for weeks, with no results, only to change medications and start the process again. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety I know the pain and frustration when it comes to finding relief. If you’re here reading this, then I assume you know too.

When it comes to natural depression remedies or treatments, essential oils are second to none. Their potency and availability make them simple to acquire and the results come quickly. For some, who don’t have medical insurance, this may even be the only option since essential oils are far more affordable, and longer lasting, than a single prescription for antidepressants.

The best essential oils for depression are ones that stimulate the limbic system to increase emotional well-being by regulating hormone imbalances and inducing the release of positive neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, as well as, oils that are sedative and nervine to help with anxiety and stress. These properties are what make some essential oils powerful antidepressants, and we’ll be covering which oils those are and how to use them.

Please do not take this information as an alternative to seeking true psychiatric help, especially if you’re reaching a breaking point. Above all else, don’t give up hope, there is relief out there and you will overcome the obstacles to find lasting happiness.

I’m going to try my best to give you plenty of options and information to find the right essential oils to ease your depression, as well as some personal life changes that are.. well, life changing and can guide you to smoothing out this emotional roller coaster.


 

Essential Oils for Depression

Clary Sage Oil

clary sage essential oil for depression

Clary Sage essential oil is a very uplifting oil. Avid users and aromatherapists find it to increase confidence and self-esteem, making the user more hopeful. This can help stave off the effects of depression. Better yet, there is evidence that Clary Sage modifies dopamine pathways and is an effective antidepressant. It is also an anti-anxiety, calming the nerves and easing the mind – this is especially important for those whose depression is triggered by anxiety or vice versa.

I really like this brand of Clary Sage, try it out.

Frankincense Oil

frankincense essential oil

Frankincense essential oil has been used for thousands of years in many forms. These days, frankincense essential oil is the most potent way to receive the benefits of this biblical-era natural remedy. Frankincense’s long history of uses includes calming of the nerves, reducing blood pressure, mental peace and relaxation, reducing panic and anxiety, and over-all increasing feelings of well-being and being at peace. Frankincense stimulates the limbic system, a grouping of lobes and areas of the brain that control emotion, memory, and behavior. By breathing in frankincense you are positively activating your limbic system and creating new pathways to happy memories which are then reinforced and become the dominant neural path, leading you to recurring happy thoughts instead of unhappy stressful thoughts.

I’ve been happily using Frankincense for mood. You can find my favorite brand here.

Myrrh Oil

Myrrh, like frankincense, has long been used for a myriad of ailments for over 2000 years. Myrrh is a very potent natural anti-depressant that has the unique ability to stimulate the natural production and release of Dopamine and Norepinephrine in the brain. These two hormones cause us to be happy and by increasing the production of these chemicals, Myrrh, acts in the same way as most prescription anti-depressant medications, but with none of the negative side effects.

Again, Myrrh has been my go to oil along with Frankincense, to uplift my mood, for years. Together they are even more effective. Get Myrrh essential oil here and try using them together for a potent antidepressant cocktail that rivals prescriptions.

Bergamot Oil

Bergamot essential oil is best known as the citrus oil that gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive taste. It is a hormone balancer and antidepressant thanks to its constituents Alpha Pinene and Limonene. It works as a great anti-anxiety as well due to its sedative effects.

I highly recommend trying Bergamot for depression. It’s worked wonders for me, and it can work wonders for you too.

Basil Oil

Basil essential oil and leavesBasil is an excellent essential oil to lower blood pressure, calm the nervous system, and reduce inflammation, thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C which help the body reduce stress inducing free radicals. These 3 things will lower your stress level, which in turn, helps to reduce your depression symptoms. Many also find Basil to be a beneficial essential oil in raising ones spirits and revitalizing energy levels. This reduces the fatigue felt by many depression sufferers which is a great help to reducing the symptoms of depression.

Jasmine Oil

Jasmine essential oil for depression

Jasmine essential oil is an aromatic oil that has a sedative effect, relieving stress and easing depression, thanks to it’s constituent linalool. It’s calming properties help you sleep and can take away that anxious “what have I forgotten to do” feeling, replacing it with a feeling of well being and even romantic hopefulness.

Get it here

Rose Oil

Rose essential oil is a fantastic essential oils for depression. It’s constituent Geraniol is a proven antidepressant and anti-anxiety. It can boost self-esteem and confidence, and it’s scent promotes happiness and relaxation. It’s a good oil to use for a daily routine to combat depression and blends well with other oils.

Geranium Oil

geranium essential oil for scarsGeranium essential oil is a natural sedative which can help those who suffer from depression induced insomnia. Many find Geranium to increase their positive emotions, as well as to calm their anxiety due to its ability to regulate imbalanced hormones that cause can cause depression. It’s mood enhancing properties are complimented by its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving abilities, which also help with depression by reducing stress to the body, which reduces stress of the mind. A great way to use Geranium for depression is by enjoying a cup of Geranium tea.

I highly recommend Plant Therapy’s organic Geranium oil. You can find it here.

Chamomile Oil

Chamomile comes in two species. Each is similar in effect, but they are unique in their constituents and their own personalized medicinal properties; luckily, both varieties share their anti-depressive abilities.

Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobilis / Anthemis nobilis) is reportedly more calming and can be considered a good sedative to accompany its use as an anti-depressant.

German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla / Matricaria recutita) is the more commonly used variety of Chamomile that you’d find in teas. It’s also calming and anti-depressive, but it’s more often used for its powerful anti-inflammatory abilities.

Both species of Chamomile essential oil have strong anti-anxiety and anti-depressant but I prefer Roman Chamomile essential oil for depression, because it is noticeably more calming and uplifting than its German counterpart.

 

These next three oils are all derived from Orange trees. Each has a similar but distinctly different scent. You will want to only use one at a time since citrus can be a very strong, and sometimes overbearing, scent.

Neroli Oil

Neroli essential oil is a sedative, relaxing the bodies systems and giving it a chance to rest. It’s also an antidepressant, thanks to its constituent Geraniol – which is also a constituent in other essential oils on this list, including lavender, and rose. It is extracted from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree, and has a light scent that is sweet, spicy, and green.

Petitgrain Oil

Petitgrain essential oil, from the leaves and twigs of orange trees, has the constituent Linalyl acetate which has a sedative effect and is great for calming anxiety. Another constituent present is Geraniol – for relieving depression. Many find that the scent of this oil is very soothing as well as uplifting and energizing.

Petitgrain shares the sweet and spicy scent of Neroli, but since it is made of the woody parts of the tree it has a heavier woody scent.

This oil is sometimes called the “poor mans Neroli” due to its different in price, so if you find Neroli is too expensive, then this may be the oil for you.

I recently bought this brands petitgrain and it is one of my favorites to date.

Orange Oil

Orange essential oil is a mood lifter, and a wonderful one at that. The oil is extracted from the peels of oranges and contain many anti-depressant constituents such as Geraniol, Alpha-Pinene, and Limonene. the scent is pleasant enough to use this oil regardless of its antidepressant and relaxing effects. It has been proven to reduce heart rate and cortisol levels due to stress and anxiety, and with links found between cortisol and depression it proves to be a very powerful remedy for depression

 

Ylang Ylang Oil

ylang ylang essential oil can help depression

Ylang Ylang essential oil is very good at balancing hormones, which can be thrown out-of-whack by stress and increased cortisol levels. It is good to pair Ylang Ylang essential oil with Orange essential oil. The Orange oil will decrease your cortisol levels, prepping you for restoring your hormone balance with Ylang Ylang oil.

 

Patchouli Oil

Patchouli essential oil is highly regarded for its pleasing earthy scent and it’s mood lifting capabilities, which is one reason it’s used often in aromatherapy. It increases dopamine and serotonin – perfect for an essential oil for depression – and is said to be great for helping relieve feelings of sadness and hopelessness, releasing disappointment, and easing tension for most people who use it.

Plant Therapy produces an amazing patchouli, and it’s part of their kids-safe line.

 

Valerian Oil

Valerian essential oil is an incredible essential oil for depression and for insomnia. The same constituents that calm the mind and ease you to sleep, also decrease stress hormones and ease depression and anxiety – it is said that Valerian is a great natural alternative to Valium. It’s also a great essential oil for mental sharpness and awareness, perking you up from the exhaustion of depression.

 

Lavender Oil

Lavender Essential Oil for Depression

Lavender essential oil is a favorite among EO users, and with good reason. Besides its endless uses and lovely aroma, it can combat depression, anxiety, and insomnia. It’s calming history can be dated back to the ancient Romans who used it for insomnia and to treat “insanity”. This is a very good essential oil to blend with other essential oils for depression.

 

Vetiver Oil

Vetiver essential oil is steam distilled from the roots of Vetiver grass. It isn’t an anti-depressant unto itself, but it is a nervine and sedative. It helps with depression and anxiety by calming the nerves and relaxing the mind, which makes it a good addition for a well rounded anti-depression blend.

 

Sandalwood Oil

Sandalwood essential oil is an anti-anxiety and mood lifter. It’s a common fragrance for incense and as an aromatic oil it has a very soothing and calming effect. Scent is a very strong memory trigger, and for some this oil may be reminiscent of happy times, as it is said to elicit a feeling of warmth and familiarity.

 


 

Essential Oils for Depression Blend Recipes and Applications

Essential Oil Diffusion and Aromatherapy

The most effective method for applying essential oils for depression is to inhale them. Aromatheraphy is the name for the method of breathing in essential oils for their intended benefit. Diffusion is the method in which you get the essential oils in the air. There are many ways and devices for diffusing essential oils.

The simplest way to inhale essential oils is to use your hands. Just place a drop of the essential oils on your hand, rub both them together, and cup them over your nose to breath in the oil. This is a really effective and potent method, and you may want to include a carrier oil to begin.

The next method to try is by using an essential oil diffuser. There are many on the market and there are some key differences in design. Some use ultrasonic vibrations to diffuse the oil and some use indirect heat – it should be noted that you should never burn your oils by applying fire or heat directly to them, this would ruin the compounds that make the oil beneficial.

 

Single Oil Topical Application

There are two methods for applying a single oil to the skin. The first is using a dab of pure essential oil, called neat application, but for many oils this is too potent and my cause mild to severe irritation. The second application method is to use a carrier oil. These are mostly inert or supportive oils that you can mix with your essential oil to dilute it for a more practical application regiment.

Quality carrier oils include:

When mixing together your carrier oil and your essential oil the recommended dilution ratio is 12 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of carrier oil.

 

Essential Oil Blend Recipes

Anti-depressant Blend #1

This is a powerful antidepressant blend that can increase dopamine levels, having a very strong uplifting effect.

Add this blend to every 100ml of water for use in a diffuser, increase drop amounts as you increase water amount.

Alternatively: add oils to a 4oz spray bottle and top off with water. Mist on your face – eyes closed – as needed. Make sure to shake well to disperse the oils in the water.

Anti-depressant Blend #2

3 constituents with anti-depressant effects are found in this blend, making it a powerful depression and stress fighter.

Add this blend to every 100ml of water for use in a diffuser, increase drop amounts as you increase water amount.

Alternatively: add oils to a 4oz spray bottle and top off with water. Mist on your face – eyes closed – as needed. Make sure to shake well to disperse the oils in the water.

Anti-Anxiety Blend

This blend acts as an antidepressant, but it is focused on helping anti-anxiety. A great blend for when you suddenly feel the onset of a panic attack or just to calm you after a stressful day.

Add this blend to every 100ml of water for use in a diffuser, increase drop amounts as you increase water amount.

Alternatively: add oils to a 4oz spray bottle and top off with water. Mist on your face – eyes closed – as needed. Make sure to shake well to disperse the oils in the water.

Hormone Balance Blend

This blend is crafted to restore harmony to the hormonal systems by suppressing stress horomones and increasing serotonin. Sandalwood is added, optionally, for added relaxation.

Add this blend to every 100ml of water for use in a diffuser, increase drop amounts as you increase water amount.

Use this often for the best results

Anti-depression Bath Blend Recipes

When it comes to depression there are no quick fixes , but a warm bath can bring a much-needed moment of relaxation and release from depression. These soothing soaks are infused with blends of essential oils designed to quiet anxiety and lift mood.

Clearing Bath Blend

this blend is nourishing to the skin, as well as the mind. It will relax you, and lift your spirits.

Instructions:

  1. Add your mixture of oils to 1/4 cup Epsom salt or 1/4 cup milk to disperse the oils, otherwise they will float on the surface.
  2. Mix in a non-reactive container, such as a pyrex measuring cup.
  3. Add to bath water as tub is filling.
  4. Get in and enjoy.

Rose Bath Salt Blend

This calming and uplifting blend will help ease your depression and anxiety. As an added bonus, it can relieve PMS and menopause symptoms as well.

Instructions:

  1. In a non-reactive container, mix salt and baking soda thoroughly.
  2. add essential oils to the mixture.
  3. Store the mixture, and add a couple of tablespoons to your next bath.

Energizing Citrus Bath Blend

Instructions:

  1. In a non-reactive container, combine the salt and the baking soda.
  2. Add the grapefruit and juniper essential oils and mix until there aren’t any clumps in the salt.
  3. Add to bath and enjoy

Herbal Treatments for Depression

When it comes to essential oils for depression they can help a great deal, but there are more tools to help you climb this mountain. Since essential oils are extracted from herbs and spices, it makes sense that those herbs and spices can help you in their whole food form. It is not recommended that you ingest essential oils unless you have consulted a certified and trained aromatherapist, but here at HealedWithHerbs.com, we do recommend eating healthy and using natures gifts for their medicinal values! Here is a short list of some herbal treatments for depression to help you along your way.

1. Organic Turmeric

turmeric essential oil for depression

Turmeric‘s main constituent, curcumin, has been found to have anti-depressive qualities when tested with animals. No long term human trials have been done, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from using it and attesting to it’s ability to lift up their mood. A shortcoming of Turmeric is that curcumin isn’t highly bioavailable, meaning that it is hard to break down and absorb. In essential oils this is helped by the high concentration of curcumin, but studies have shown that piperine, from black pepper, aids in the absorption of curcumin – which leads me to…

2. Organic Black Pepper

black pepper essential oil for depression

Black pepper has the constituent piperine which, as stated above, will boost the bioavailability of curcumin in Turmeric. What makes this pairing even sweeter is that piperine is an anti-depressant that increases serotonin. Together they are a sadness fighting duo that do a great job of kicking the blues to the curb.

You can try these capsules of curcumin and bioperine (a proprietary name for this companies use of piperine). I have read great things about its use, and you can find many reviews for it on amazon.com


 

More than just essential oils

There is more to over coming your depression than just using essential oils, I wish it could be that easy. You will need to look at your thought patterns, your environment, your eating habits and general health, as well as who you spend time with.

Changing the way you look at the world will change the world you live in, it sounds cliche but it’s true. You are only as happy as you can allow yourself to be, and by seeing the world as defeating, unforgiving, and lacking abundance of the things you want in your life, you allow that to be the weight on your shoulders. However, if you can find a purpose to all the chaos and disappointment, it changes the meaning of it into something more empowering. Life is hard, but you are strong and growing even stronger because of it!

I highly recommend reading, or listening to, the works of Berne Brown. Her research on vulnerability and shame and how it shapes us is eclipsed by her instructions on how to recognize when you feel powerless and small, and how to shift into a place of authenticity and “whole-heartedness”.

Whether it’s a job, a person or people, a situation, or anything that is an outside influence, you have control over how you react to what is put in front of you. By not allowing things to upset you, finding worth in other activities or people that make you feel good, and releasing the things that don’t make you feel good, you give yourself space for new thoughts and situations that are more beneficial to enter your life. But when you’re space is filled with grief, frustration, and disappointment it is hard to allow better things to enter your life.

For this I recommend reading more on the channeling by Ester Hicks of the teachings of Abraham. The power of manifestation is the topic of Esters channeling, and while it is a bit spiritually eclectic, the books and lectures by Ester/Abraham are a window into how your thoughts paint your world, and how to better understand them. You can find books by Ester Hicks on Amazon, or you can listen to seminars of her channeling on Youtube. It may be the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself.


Not all depression is situational or environmental, sometimes the cause is chemical and hormonal. This makes self-treatment and life changes especially difficult because the issue is with your physiological health. Often times changing your diet, your daily habits and your surroundings can help.

Our diets have a direct effect on the chemical processes our body undertakes. Some foods trigger hormones that are helpful to uplifting our moods and some are harmful to that. Eating unhealthy foods and meals that aren’t nutritionally balanced is the first thing to look at. Some foods are unnecessary and are only “comfort” foods, but that can be a misleading titles since these foods can be aiding in your depression – that’s not very comforting, is it?

Not only is nutrition important, but the processes your body needs to go through to digest certain foods, and even the by products of digestion, can be strenuous on your system and trigger hormones that also further your depression and anxiety.

Even the treatment of the food you eat could be aiding in your depression. It has been found that meat from animals in strenuous living conditions, such as cramped farms and slaughter houses, can negatively effect your health. The same hormones that cause your depression and anxiety are found in the same animals we eat. Living in that type of environment, these animals are under constant stress and those hormones saturate their body, eventually making their way to your dinner table.

Increasing your exercise or finding a healthy activity to engage in, from weight lifting to knitting, can be highly therapeutic. Exercise releases endorphins and other hormones that create a sense of euphoria, and the more you saturate your body with those the better you will feel. The feeling is residual too, eventually becoming a normal everyday feeling without much effort. Activities, especially creative ones, like knitting or painting, will slow down and focus your thoughts, giving you relief from the overbearing weight of negative or anxious thoughts.

Remember, there is always someone on your side. If you are having a hard time please contact someone you can talk to about your feelings. You can also visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to talk to some either by phone or chat.

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