5 Best Essential Oils for Depression


Essential oils have been proven to be Mother Nature’s gift to many of our health problems. This we already know for a fact. And when it comes to managing depression, there are clearly some essential oils that stand out from the rest because of their ability to lift our spirits and give us a renewed sense of hope. For many health and psychology experts, depression can be likened to anxiety as we don’t necessarily feel good about ourselves.

But before we go on deeper into the 5 essential oils that civilizations since ancient times and have been proven by science to be effective in the management of simple depression, we need to look first at what depression really is. Then we will share with you some of the recipes of essential oils including the different blends that many people use to treat or manage their depression. Hopefully, by the time you are done reading this, you will be more than empowered to take full control of your depressive episodes.

Depression – A Part of Life?

All of us have felt sad, gloomy, dejected, or miserable at some point in our lives. When we see a sad film we feel sad as well. When we hear news of other people’s sufferings, we tend to sympathize with them. And if you can remember the 1990s film Patch Adams, then you know what depression is and how it can be particularly devastating to someone’s life.

But, being sad sometimes is all part of life. It’s needed to balance something – excessive happiness. Even people who are considered to be very optimistic and positive about all things can also experience sadness at certain points in their lives. The only difference is that they know how to deal with their moments of sadness or depression. This is what clearly differentiates someone who is bound for clinical depression and one who is merely experiencing one of life’s downs in a sea of ups.

Let us look at a particular example so you will have an idea of what we are talking about. Let us say you found out that your best friend lost her life in an accident. Normally you will go through different stages of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression before you can learn to accept the loss. Different people go through these phases of the grieving process at different rates. Some are stuck in the denial stage while others breeze through the acceptance stage without much fuss. If you were able to get over the loss of your friend and resume your normal daily life, then the feelings of sadness were only temporary. For some people they will still call this depression. Now, if the loss has clearly affected you in that it has been 2 years and you are still morbidly affected by your friend’s death that you simply don’t care anymore about your own life and those around you, then you are in clinical depression.

The whole point is that when depression sets in, even activities that normally would bring us pleasure and joy are not really helping. And this has something to do with the way our brain releases some of its neurotransmitters. It is here where many essential oils are known to exert their effects by stimulating or regulating the synthesis and release of these natural brain substances to help us feel a lot better about ourselves, to lift our spirits.

5 Best Essential Oils to Help You Manage Your Depression

There are many essential oils that have been used for many millennia in the management of depression. However, we have only listed here 5 of the most commonly used essential oils as these have already been proven by a variety of studies to be helpful in managing depression.

1Bergamot Essential Oil 

One of the best essential oils for lifting one’s spirits is bergamot essential oil. It has been shown to improve blood circulation particularly to the brain and provide a boost in energy. This, in turn, can foster feelings of joy. It has been shown to provide a very relaxing effect on many test subjects allowing them to manage their depression and anxiety a lot better. Bergamot essential oil has also been shown to improve vigor, alertness, attentiveness, and mood while at the same time improving the states of calmness and relaxation in an individual experiencing depression.

2Lavender Essential Oil 

In one particular study in 2012, lavender essential oil was given to a group of women who have recently given birth. The aim was to determine whether lavender essential oil can help reduce the risk and incidence of postpartum depression. The results were remarkable. It showed that lavender EO can significantly reduce both the risk and the incidence of postpartum depression. A similar study was also conducted but on individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder. The study revealed that lavender essential oil can reduce the occurrence of sleep disturbances and moodiness which both have been considered as hallmarks of PTSD which can eventually lead to depression. These are just some proof as to the effectiveness of lavender essential oil in the management of depression.

3Chamomile Essential Oil 

Roman chamomile essential oil has been used for many centuries in the management of mental health problems including depression, intense fear, post-traumatic stress disorder, anger, irritability, and even loneliness and anxiety. It is particularly beneficial in the management of insomnia by helping the individual feel a lot more relaxed and calm. This can also have its wonderful benefits on the management of depression as chamomile essential oil. It is therefore no wonder that chamomile is often infused in many beverages such as chamomile tea because of its relaxing and calming effects. This helps individuals feel a lot better about themselves.

4Clary Sage Essential Oil 

While clary sage essential oil is best known for its use for eye health, it also has an excellent antidepressant effect. Some studies have shown that clary sage essential oil, when used as an adjunct in the management of clinical depression to support other anti-depressant therapies, can significantly reduce the severity of the depressive symptoms compared to when clary sage was not given at all. This provides one of the proofs for clary sage essential oil’s ability to boost self-esteem, enhance one’s self-confidence, restore hope in one’s self and in life, and strengthen one’s mental capacity. This is why clary sage essential oil deserves to be in our list.

5Ylang Ylang Essential Oil 

This very fragrant essential oil is a favorite in the cosmetic industry as well as those in aromatherapy. But aside from its cosmetic uses, ylang ylang essential oil is principally admired for its ability to lighten up someone else’s spirit and mood. In fact, it is one of the very first and oldest indications of ylang ylang essential oil. It helps to restore hope, lift one’s spirit, provide joy and gladness, and fight other symptoms of depression. It has been shown to be particularly effective in helping depressed individuals who may have had an acute emotional or nervous breakdown as well as those suffering from acute depression usually after a traumatic event or a life-altering event.

Some Essential Oil Recipes and Blends for Depression

Depression is a part of life. However, it doesn’t mean that you can let it control your life forever. We have listed here some of the recipes that people have been using to help manage their depression. One point you need to understand is to always check with your healthcare professional if it is safe for you to use these essential oils because their active ingredients are always in greater concentrations. That is why you will have to dilute them with a carrier oil. Typically, essential oil specialists will mix a teaspoon of their favorite carrier oil with 3 drops of the essential oil. For sensitive skin, pregnant women, or even babies and young children, the ratio is further reduced to 1 drop per 5 mL or 1 teaspoon.

Here are some recipes you can try.

1. Recipe for Aromatherapy Inhaler

You can use this recipe for instant antidepressant effect. You can conveniently take this wherever you are. Just take it out of your pocket or purse, sniff, and you can already feel your spirits lifting up.

What you’ll need:

  • 10 drops of bergamot EO
  • 5 drops of chamomile EO
  • 4 drops of lavender EO
  • 1 drop of clary sage EO
  • 1 drop of ylang ylang EO
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt; get the coarsest you can find
  • Small PET plastic or heavily-darkened glass bottle

What to do next:

  • Place the coarse sea salt in the bottle
  • Add the different essential oils

How to use: Take it out of your purse or your pocket, sniff the aroma, and wait for its effects to lift your spirits. 

Additionally, you can also try the following blends:

  • 10 drops of rose EO, 4 drops of lavender EO, and 4 drops of sandalwood EO
  • 8 drops of lavender EO, 8 drops of grapefruit EO, 2 drops of marjoram EO, 1 drop of chamomile EO, and 1 drop of geranium EO
  • 5 drops of lavender EO, 4 drops of bergamot EO, 3 drops of clary sage EO, and 1 drop of ylang ylang EO
2. Recipe for Aromatherapy Diffuser 

While the aromatherapy inhaler can be very convenient on the go, you will need a more systematic method of delivering the benefits of these essential oils in your home. This is where aromatherapy diffusers come in. 

What you’ll need:  

  • Any of the following blends

Blend 1 – 3 drops of bergamot EO and 2 drops of clary sage EO

Blend 2 – 1 drop of lavender EO, 1 drop of ylang ylang EO, and 3 drops of chamomile EO

Blend 3 – 1 drop of rose EO, 3 drops of bergamot EO, and 1 drop of lavender EO

Blend 4 – 1 drop of ylang ylang EO, 2 drops of clary sage EO, and 2 drops of bergamot EO

  • A small dark-colored glass

What to do next:

  • Multiply the amounts of the essential oils of your chosen blend by 4 to get 20 drops total
  • Place these oils into the dark-colored glass
  • Gently roll the glass in between your palms to help mix the essential oils

How to use:

  • If you are using a commercially available aromatherapy diffuser, just follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the number of drops you are supposed to add to the diffuser.
  • If you are using a homemade candle diffuser, just add a drop of the essential oil mixture to the melting wax of the candle.
  • If you are using a homemade steam diffuser, just add 3 drops in a cup of boiling water.
3. Recipe for Bath Oil 

Did you know that you can actually take a bath with essential oils? Just add your choice essential oils into your bath water and you can very well be on your way to feeling a lot better about yourself.

What you’ll need

  • The same recipe of blends as in aromatherapy diffuser
  • 2 ounces of carrier oil like jojoba oil or coconut oil
  • Small dark-colored glass or PET plastic bottle
  • Large dark-colored glass about 100 mL

What to do next:

  • Multiply your chosen blend by 3 to get 15 drops of essential oil mixture
  • Put this is a dark colored glass and roll in between your palms
  • Pour carrier oil into large glass
  • Add the essential oil blend
  • Mix well by rolling the bottle between your palms

How to use:

  • Fill your bathtub with water.
  • Add 7 to 8 mL of the essential oil mixture.
  • Disperse the oil mixture well in the bath water then hop in.
  • Make sure to re-disperse the oil after every several minutes as they tend to clump together in one part of the bath.
4. Recipe for Bath Salts 

If you like to have your own salt bath, then you need to give this recipe a try. It’s like having an aromatherapy bath but with the addition of salt. It should be great for other health purposes as well.

What you’ll need:

  • Recipe for the aromatherapy diffuser
  • 3 cups of sea salt; you can also use Epsom salt, Dead Sea salt, or Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tablespoon of carrier oil; we recommend coconut oil or jojoba oil
  • Small dark-colored bottle
  • Large container or jar with tight-fitting lid

What to do next: 

  • Follow the same procedure as in preparing for the aromatherapy diffuser recipe
  • Place your chosen salt in a bowl and add the carrier oil; mix thoroughly
  • Add your chosen essential oil blend; mix well
  • Place inside the large jar or container and tighten the lid
  • Store until ready to use

How to use:

  • Add half a cup of the bath salt mixture in your bathtub water just before hopping in.
  • Make sure to disperse and dissolve the salt mixture properly.
  • Enjoy a relaxing salt bath.
5. Recipe for Massage Oil

Massage can really make you feel more relaxed and good about yourself. At the very least, you will feel more encouraged right after. For a massage essential oil you can use the following recipe.

What you’ll need:

  • Recipe of blends for aromatherapy diffuser
  • 1 ounce of carrier oil like sweet almond oil
  • Small dark-colored bottle

What to do next: 

  • Multiply the blend formulation by 2 to get a total of 10 drops
  • Add the essential oil blend to the carrier oil in an air-tight and dark-colored bottle
  • Mix well by rolling the bottle between your palms

How to use: Apply small amounts of oil mixture on the hands to be kneaded onto the different muscles.

6. Recipe for Air Freshener

If you don’t have an aromatherapy diffuser and you prefer an air freshener spray, you need to look at this recipe.

What you’ll need: 

  • Recipe for the aromatherapy diffuser blends
  • Small dark-colored bottle
  • Clean spray bottle
  • 5 ounces of distilled water
  • 5 ounces of Vodka, Everclear, or any other alcohol with high proof

What to do next:

  • Multiply the aromatherapy diffuser blend recipe by 6 to get a total of 30 drops
  • Fill the spray bottle with distilled water and alcohol. If you decide not to use alcohol, you can simply double the amount of distilled water to make 3 ounces. Alcohol actually helps the scent of the essential oil last longer.
  • Add the essential oil blend; mix well

How to use:

  • Before spraying, make sure to thoroughly shake the spray bottle. There should be ample space left inside the bottle to help you disperse the liquid molecules inside.
  • Spritz all over your room except the furniture and on open beverages. You can also spray some on a cotton ball to be whiffed anytime you desire.

Feeling sad and miserable sometimes can really be devastating. You suddenly lose interest in a lot of things that otherwise would have been very enjoyable. Your social life suffers. Your work productivity also dips. Your family and household responsibilities are eventually neglected. You don’t have to enslave yourself with these sad and depressing thoughts. You only need to follow the recipes we have listed here and you can gain the joy in your life back.

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Claire Cross
Hey! My name's Claire and I am the head of content for Oilevo! We hope you enjoy our site and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact myself or one of the team!