Aromatherapy for Depression: Harnessing the Scent of Healing

Aromatherapy For Depression_ Harnessing The Scent Of Healing
Aromatherapy For Depression_ Harnessing The Scent Of Healing

Aromatherapy works when chemicals in essential oils trigger the smell receptors in your nose and send a message to the part of your brain that controls your mood. Much research is needed to prove how effective Aromatherapy is for depression, but evidence suggests that it does, in fact, possess benefits.

A review published in the “Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine” found that Aromatherapy may help alleviate symptoms of depression. While you can trust Aromatherapy to impact your mood and lessen depressive effects, always use this type of therapy alongside prescribed therapies.

Dr. Mason Turner, Chief of Psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, suggests, “Scents bring up memories the way no other senses can. They can be very powerful in jogging fond memories.”

Even as someone who’s medically or self-diagnosed with depression, you can use Aromatherapy for stress support and boost your mood at any time since they are easy to use and inexpensive. Let’s look at different methods for incorporating essential oils through Aromatherapy and the ideal types of essential oils to help with depression.

Methods of Aromatherapy

Before buying an essential oil to start your therapy, avoid products made with synthetic fragrances or artificial fragrances since they may not offer the same benefits as pure essential oils.

There are ways you can incorporate Aromatherapy so you can choose a method that you prefer and best suits your routine.

1. Diffusion:

Mix your essential oil in a diffuser to spread the essential oil’s scent across your room or home.

2. Room sprays:

Turn your essential oils into a spray and apply to an area. You can either make your own essential oil spray or mix some oil into a premixed bought spray.

3. Massage:

Essential oils are popularly incorporated into massage oils for the best way to receive a relaxing massage and ease your stress.

It’s important to never apply essential oils directly to your skin and always mix them with massage oil.

4. Hair and Skin Products

Mix essential oil into your soaps, lotions, or hair products and carry the scent wherever you go.

5. Baths

With scented bath oils, you can turn your bath and shower experiences into something rejuvenating and serene.

Aromatherapy For Depression_ Harnessing The Scent Of Healing
Aromatherapy For Depression_ Harnessing The Scent Of Healing

Once you’ve decided on the type of Aromatherapy to acquire a calm and relaxing mind, let’s look at some of the best essential oils to use for depression.


Bergamot oil is exceptionally stimulating, making it a good candidate for alleviating depression. It has the tendency to activate feelings of joy, energy, and freshness by improving blood circulation in your body.

A 2011 study hypothesized that applying a blend of essential oil that includes bergamot to participants helps treat depression.

Participants were examined based on their pulse rates, blood pressure, breathing rates, and skin temperature. Subjects also rated their emotional condition to assess behavioral changes.

Subjects in the blended essential oil group described their feelings as “more calm” and “more relaxed” than subjects in the control group, demonstrating the relaxing effect of a mixture of bergamot oils and providing evidence for its use in medicine for treating depression or anxiety in humans.


Lavender has a long history of helping to fight the battle of depression.

A study showcasing how Lavender aromatherapy improves mood was tested on 47 people who had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can cause depression. When the participants used lavender oil daily, it displayed signs of enhanced moods and helped decrease depression by 32.7 percent. It also dramatically decreased sleep disturbances, moodiness, and overall health status in people suffering from PTSD.

When applied, lavender oil shows no adverse effects, which is good considering psychotropic drugs often have many adverse side effects.

Cedar Wood Essential Oil

This oil possesses a strong earthy smell like the one you’d find on a rainy day in a forest. Aside from the ability to boost your mood and alleviate depressive symptoms, it also helps with inflammation and menstruation regulation. Cedar wood can help you improve your focus and encourage better sleep. The calming and soothing effects contribute to the peaceful sleep factor, allowing you to have a regulated mood and go stress-free throughout your day.

This oil works marvelously in a diffuser and just requires a couple of drops in warm water to inhale before bed.

Some critical factors to note are that since the oil is strong, it may cause nausea, thirst, or, worst-case scenario: damage to your digestive system.

Bottom Line

Prepare yourself for the type of Aromatherapy you want to indulge in since it takes many forms that are all effective and relaxing for your mood. Depending on the kind of scent, you can choose the essential oil that is best suited for depression. Bergamot is stimulating, making it a perfect candidate for boosting your mood. Unlike psychotropic drugs, lavender has no side effects and can improve your mood and sleep. Finally, for an earthy and calm scent, you can use cedarwood essential oil. All of these recommended essential oil work best with prescribed therapy sessions for depression. We hope you find this article insightful.

References –