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11 March 2023 / Laura Garvin Gomez

The Best Essential Oils for Depression

Discover the top essential oils that can help alleviate symptoms of depression and improve your mood.

Woman hunched over and holding her legs close

Depression is a common condition experienced by millions of people around the world every day.

For many, it can be a struggle to find the right medication or tools that can help ease the symptoms, and the side effects of some drugs can sometimes make things worse.

For anyone who prefers a more natural remedy, essential oils provide another option. Whilst not a cure-all for depression, they can be used to ease some depressive symptoms, giving you a pick-me-up when you need it most. We look at the best essential oils for anxiety and depression and offer some suggestions for you to try.

What is depression?

Describing what depression is in technical terms is not always easy, but those who are affected by it certainly know how it makes them feel. Depression can impact your emotional state, the way you think and how you act. And it’s not a condition that is restricted solely to your mood, as it can affect you physically too, with a variety of symptoms revealing themselves depending on the individual and their personal experiences.

Can you use essential oils for depression?

When you think about essential oils being used for depression, they should be viewed as a complementary treatment. By themselves they are not a cure for depression and should not be relied upon as a long-term treatment. What essential oils do offer is a drug-free option that can be used to relieve some symptoms, so managing the condition becomes a little easier.

have shown that aromatherapy treatments, such as essential oils, can have a positive effect on relieving some symptoms associated with depression. There are also that can also help to increase the production of serotonin, which is responsible for several key bodily functions, including sleep and mood.

Woman adjusting an oil diffuser

What are the best essential oils for depression?

Everyone is different and will respond in their own way to using essential oils to relieve depressive symptoms. However, some of the most commonly used essential oils include:

  1. Lavender: Many people use lavender essential oil to lower their anxiety levels and to destress, with the flower’s wonderful aroma helping to create a sense of calm. It is also a popular choice for people who struggle to get to sleep at night and could prove useful when dealing with headaches. There are several ways you can use including as part of a warm bath, in a candle or soap recipe or in an oil burner. Alternatively, you can apply it directly to your body with a lavender roll on, which also contains coconut oil, so you can enjoy the health benefits wherever you go.
  2. Anti-Anxiety Blend: Rather than relying on a single essential oil to ease depressive symptoms, using a combination of oils could prove to be effective. For example, our anti-anxiety blend continues a mixture of and and a few drops can ease your mind and put you in a much better place to relax for a while. It works great as part of a massage treatment, added to the bath or with an oil burner so you can enjoy the peace of mind you deserve. An even more convenient method could be to use our anti-anxiety roll on, which is easy to apply to the body and also contains . Roll it onto pulse points on the neck, temple or inner wrists and allow the aromas take you to a calmer place.
  3. Bergamot: If you prefer to try bergamot essential oil on its own and not as part of a blend, its wonderful citrus scent can still help you to relax and uplift your mood. Depression and anxiety are different disorders, although they are often confused as being the same as they can occur at the same time. Bergamot is great at easing feelings of anxiety and can also be used to treat other ailments such as acne, inflammation and pain.
  4. Ylang Ylang: Similarly, you could also try ylang ylang essential oil on its own to treat bouts of depression and periods of negative emotion you may experience. Many people use it to give them a quick pick me up, as its beautiful scent offers an uplifting feeling for the senses. Whether it’s to boost your overall health, boost confidence or soothe stress, can be a wonderful addition to your toolbox when it comes to managing your emotional state.

Are there any risks to be aware of?

Essential oils are very potent and should be used with care. In nearly all instances they should be mixed with a carrier oil and the product instructions followed closely to avoid any issues.

Before applying any essential oils you should carry out a patch test. You can do this by adding a few drops to the inside of your forearm at the elbow and covering this with a plaster. If there is no reaction, the oil should be completely fine to use, but if you experience any redness, itchiness or irritation you should wash it off straight away and not use the oil.

If you are already taking medication to treat your anxiety or depression, first seek advice from a doctor about using essential oils. Only buy essential oils from a reputable seller, and young children and pregnant women should avoid using them.

Botanical Illustration

No-one is immune to experiencing a bout of depression, so it’s good to know there are natural remedies available that can help. Although, as we mentioned above, essential oils are not the solution for anxiety and depression, rather, they are a complementary tool that can ease your mind and give you a much needed lift. If you are struggling to deal with depression and are experiencing ongoing mental health issues, visit a doctor as soon as possible to discuss your situation so you can receive the help you need.

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