Used by natural healers for centuries, aromatherapy provides safe drug-free relief for anxiety and depression. Aromatherapy involves using natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems and leaves to enhance physical and psychological well-being. In recent years, aromatherapy methods that incorporate lavender and rose essential oils have emerged as effective anxiety treatments and to provide natural remedies for depression.
Numerous studies have shown that aromatherapy works by sending signals to the olfactory nerve that affects the central nervous system. The sense of smell is closely associated with memory and feelings related to what researchers call “the emotional brain.”
Lavender has been used throughout history to reduce stress and promote restful sleep. Its fragrant flowers and leaves are used either dried or distilled into essential oil. Because it is so relaxing, lavender oil is often used during massages and it is also used in lotions, soaps and other bath and beauty products. Teas derived from lavender are often recommended for people suffering from excessive stress or insomnia.
Roses have been cherished for centuries for their beautiful fragrance. Essential oil derived from roses has therapeutic properties, especially for relaxation and for the treatment of depression. Several studies, including one recently published in The Journal of Natural Medicine, have confirmed the therapeutic use of rose oil as a mood enhancer.
Essential oils can be added to the bath, massaged into the skin, inhaled directly or used in candles or diffusers to provide soothing aromas in a room. Here are some common ways to use essential oils:
- Add a few drops of essential oil to a hot bath
- Put a couple of drops on your wrists, hands or pulse points
- Combine a few drops of oil with your favorite lotion or shampoo
- Pour a few drops on a tissue and inhale as needed
The flowers of roses and lavender can be dried and used in eye pillows, soothing sachets or potpourri. Many people carry small pomanders of the dried flowers in their briefcases or purses for easy access.
If you are suffering from anxiety or depression consider embracing the healing power of aromatherapy. You don’t have to go to an expensive spa in order to benefit from this natural remedy for depression. Aromatherapy is safe, effective, affordable and convenient.