Aromatherapy for Depression

What is aromatherapy for depression?

Experts don’t know how aromatherapy works. The Mayo Clinic suggests that essential oils could trigger your nose’s smell receptors to send messages to your brain, which controls your mood.

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To determine if aromatherapy can be used to treat depression, more research is necessary. Some evidence does suggest that aromatherapy may have some benefits. A review published in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggested that aromatherapy may help with depression.

But, it shouldn’t be used alone to treat depression. Consider combining it with other prescribed therapies.

These essential oils may be of assistance:

  • jasmine
  • sandalwood
  • ylang-ylang
  • Clary Sage
  • Basil
  • Bergamot
  • rose
  • geranium
  • neroli
  • petitgrain
  • lavender
  • Chamomile

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What are some aromatherapy methods?

There are many ways to incorporate the benefits of essential oils into your life. Look for essential oils that are pure when you make your purchase decision.

Avoid synthetic or artificial fragrances. Artificial fragrances might not provide the same benefits that pure essential oils.

There are many ways to enjoy essential oils’ scents, including:

  • Diffusion

To diffuse essential oils in a room or throughout your home, you can use a device called a diffuser.

  • Room sprays

A room spray can be used to quickly add essential oils to any area in your home. You can buy pre-mixed room sprays or you can make your own using essential oils and water.

  • Massage

Massage oil can be enriched with essential oils. Aromatherapy and massage can be combined to help you relax and reduce stress.

It is important to not apply essential oils directly on the skin. Mix essential oils with massage oil instead.

  • Baths

You can also get scented bath oils or salts to make your shower or bath a relaxing experience.

  • Products for hair and skin

You can carry essential oils’ scent wherever you go with you by using scented soaps, lotions and hair products.

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What are the benefits to aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy can help you relax and improve your mood. Essential oils can be used easily and are also very affordable. There are many ways to combine essential oils with other traditional treatments such as counseling and medication. It is possible to combine it with complementary therapies such as massage or meditation.

Dr. Mason Turner, Chief Psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, says that aromatherapy can bring people into the present moment.

Inhaling comforting smells can also trigger a conditioned response.

Dr. Turner explained that scents are able to bring back memories in a way no other senses could. They can be powerful in jogging fond memory.

What are the potential risks associated with aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is generally safe. However, essential oils can cause allergic reactions if inhaled. Talk to your doctor if you are sensitive to strong aromas.

Essential oils can be toxic if eaten. Some essential oils can irritate the skin, particularly if they are applied directly to the skin without being diluted first. Always mix them with a massage oil.

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Aromatherapy, like all other alternative therapies should not be used to replace your doctor’s treatment plan. Talk to your doctor before you stop taking medication, counseling, or any other prescribed therapies.