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How to Use Essential Oils for Depression Relief

If you want to include essential oils for depression relief in your efforts to feel better, select oils that can stimulate and strengthen your nervous system. The effectiveness of aromatherapy for depression will depend on your individual mental and physical condition.

If you are seriously depressed, please get professional help.

Skip to information about postpartum depression.

Depressed woman with hand on face

Essential Oils for Depression Relief

The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness suggests the following essential oils for depression relief:

  • Bergamot
  • Cedarwood
  • Grapefruit
  • Lavender
  • Neroli
  • Petitgrain
  • Ravensara
  • Rose
  • Rosewood
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang ylang

To that list, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy adds:

  • Benzoin
  • Black pepper
  • Cardamom
  • Clary sage
  • Geranium
  • Frankincense
  • Jasmine
  • Lemon
  • Mandarin
  • Roman chamomile
  • Sweet orange

The book notes none of the oils are a miracle cure but do complement and support other depression therapies.

Essential Oil Blends for Depression

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Diffuse a depression-relieving essential oil for 20 minutes three times a day.

  • Make a massage oil with 7 drops essential oil and 2 tablespoons carrier oil, and massage along your spine.

  • Add 4 to 8 drops essential oil(s) into one teaspoon carrier oil and stir into a warm bath.

Foot Massage Blend

Massage your feet with the following blend:

  • 5 drops angelica essential oil
  • 6 drops cardamom essential oil
  • 2 drops basil essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

Body Massage Blend

Get a massage with the following blend:

  • 3 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

Source: Essential Oils For Healing

Smelling Salts for Depression Relief

Blend the following ingredients in a small container that has a cap. Keep the container with you and smell as needed.

  • 3 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 2 drops geranium essential oil
  • 3 drops petitgrain essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon rock or other coarse salt

Source: Essential Oils & Aromatherapy for Dummies

Depression-Relieving Bath or Massage Oil

Use for the following blend for massage or add the blend to bath water and soak 15 to 20 minutes.

  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops neroli essential oil
  • 2 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 2 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 2 drops Roman or German chamomile essential oil
  • 3 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

Source: Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art

Aromatherapy for Postpartum Depression

For feelings of postpartum depression, try any of the following essential oils: 

  • Ylang ylang
  • Sweet orange
  • Rose
  • Roman chamomile
  • Neroli
  • Mandarin
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Geranium
  • Clary sage
  • Bergamot

Massage: Add up to 8 drops essential oil to one tablespoon of carrier oil. Get a gentle, full-body massage, with a focus on your back. 

Bath: Take a bath with an added 4 to 5 drops essential oil.

Diffusion: Diffuse the essential oil.

Air freshener: Add 5 drops essential oil to one cup distilled water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray around the room.

Baby Blues Bath Blend

  • 3 drops jasmine absolute
  • 3 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 3 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 1 drop mandarin essential oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon carrier oil

Combine the oils. Stir the blend into a warm bath.

Source: Massage & Aromatherapy: Simple Techniques

Other Essential Oil for Depression Postpartum

Blends recommended by The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for baby blues include:

  • 5 drops geranium, 10 drops neroli, 15 drops grapefruit
  • 2 drops rose, 5 drops clary sage, 10 drops bergamot
  • 4 drops petitgrain, 6 drops neroli, 8 drops sweet orange
  • 5 drops jasmine, 6 drops bergamot, 8 drops geranium

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