What Are The Best Essential Oils for Depression?

best essential oils for depression

What Essential Oils Go Well With Depression?

Research has shown that using aromatherapy for depression is powerful for enhancing mood. The body is known to respond to the power of smell. Aromatherapy is a natural remedy that employs the power of essential oils and their fragrance to alleviate depression. When you perceive the aroma, the molecules received by the nose triggers the limbic system in the brain. The limbic system is the seat of emotions, and whatever prompt it receives from the brain is replied accordingly ? happiness, sadness, contentment, depression, anxiety, fear, or excitement.

The Limbic system does not just handle emotions; it is attached to the areas of the brain where breathing, blood pressure, hormone and stress levels are regulated. The use of essential oils helps to regulate the functions of the limbic system and makes us stay ?happy.'

The 9 Best Essential Oils for Depression

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is famous around the world as an excellent sleep aid and insomnia relief. It has an amazing aroma that improves mood and hinders depression. Lavender Oil is versatile; in that, it pops up almost in every natural oil blends for various health conditions. It is excellent for stress and anxiety. A recent study showed that Lavender oil helps the cardiovascular system of the body to stay healthy by reducing serum cortisol.

The Oil also provides relief to headaches and migraines, which may contribute to the pangs of depression. Compared to other anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs, Lavender Oil performs better and leaves no side effects.

Usage: You can use the oil with your diffuser before sleeping to ensure a good night rest and relieve stress. For topical application, rub the oil behind your ears.

Bergamot Oil

An Oil from the citrus family, Bergamot has antidepressant properties that uplift the soul in its downtimes by making it release pent up feelings. These feelings cause depression, insomnia, and mood swings. With its fruity fragrance, Bergamot Oil also provides the body with homeostatic balance ? a situation where your hypothalamus helps you stay calm and push off the depressive feelings. It also contributes to getting rid of negative energy.

When blended with Lavender Oil, it helps to restore calm and relaxation. It will also lower the blood pressure and pulse rate.

Usage: You can inhale the oil directly by pouring 2 or 3 drops on your palm and cupping over your nose. For topical applications, rub the oil on your neck, stomach, back or neck.

Clary Sage Oil

With excellent antidepressant properties, Clary Sage oil is one of the best essential oils for depression. It is good for nervous disorders like anxiety and depression and gets rid of every negative feeling.

According to a study, the effect of Clary Sage oil is efficient in a stressful situation. It improves mental health, boosts your confidence and uplifts your mood.

Roman Chamomile Oil

Roman Chamomile oil has a charming and delicious aroma, that when inhaled, can induce a sort of happy feeling. The aroma can be sweet or fruity, and the oil has been in use for a long time as a treatment for various mental health conditions like ADD (attention deficit disorder), insomnia, and nausea. It gives a calming effect and helps the mind to stay healthy and focused.

The oil induces relaxation and helps the body fight stress. It is an efficient natural remedy for depression. It is also a popular component in soy oil candles and many other aromatherapy products.

You can use Roman Chamomile Oil with a diffuser or inhale directly.

Ylang ylang Oil

In discussions related to depression, anxiety, or stress, Ylang ylang essential oil is bound to pop up because of its effectiveness. A tropical plant from Asia, Ylang ylang has mild sedative effects, which is good for relaxation by calming your nerves, and for fighting off negative emotions. It helps to keep a regular blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing pattern, ensuring that you do not feel panic, anger, or anxiety.

It is also a good oil for controlling sebum production, preventing ??acn??e and its annoying scars ? a known cause of depression in adolescents.

You can use Ylang ylang oil with a diffuser or rub onto your body.

You can also blend the oil with Bergamot oil to enhance its effects.

Jasmine Oil

Jasmine is one of the most popular oils used for treating depression. It works by increasing the activities of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which in turn regulates depression and feeling of anxiety. It relaxes and calms the nerves, thus helping to relieve stress.

Sandalwood Oil

Useful for its ability to restore inner peace and calmness, the sandalwood is one of the best essential oils for depression. You will find its woody, creamy and delicious aroma very helpful in the struggle against depression.

Frankincense Oil

Frankincense Oil is a valuable oil for treating depression. It helps to restore calm and alleviate feelings of fear, anxiety, tension, nervousness and stress.

It also helps the body to sustain cellular balance.

Usage: You can massage 2-3 drops of the oil on your neck, stomach, and feet. You can also blend with the wild orange oil.

Basil Essential Oil

Basil oil helps to boost and uplift your spirit. It also efficiently helps to alleviate stress, and restore energy. Basil Oil has also been proven to enhance blood circulation and clear the mind of negativity.

Usage: You can use the oil with a diffuser or inhale directly.

Other notable essential oils for depression are:

  • Rose Oil
  • Geranium Oil
  • Lemon Oil
  • Wild Orange Oil
  • Sweet Marjoram

How to Use the Oils For depression?

Diffusing: This is the most efficient way of using essential oils for depression. Simply add a few drops into your diffuser, set the timer, and you are ready to go.

Inhalation: For a much quicker use, you can pour 2-3 drops of the oil on your palms and rub them together. Cup your hand over your nose and breathe in.

Topical Application: I would suggest you dilute 8-10 drops of the oil with 3 ounces of carrier oil like sweet almond, jojoba or grapeseed oil to avoid possible skin irritation. Then rub over your neck, chest, feet, or behind your ears to achieve relaxation and calm.

For baths: Put a few drops of the Oil in your bath water and immerse yourself in it for up to 30 minutes to enjoy full relaxing and therapeutic effects.

Essential Oil Blends for Depression

You can prepare different essential oil recipes for depression by blending different oils together. You get an oil with enhanced effects.

Anti-Depression Bath Oil


  • 8 drops of grapefruit oil
  • 2 drops of marjoram oil
  • 8 drops of lavender oil
  • 1 drop of chamomile oil
  • 1 drop of geranium oil
  • 2 fl oz of jojoba oil

Mix the ingredients above together and store in a bottle, covered and away from sunlight.

Put one-quarter of the blend in your bath water and mix thoroughly. Afterward, immerse yourself in the bathtub to enjoy the benefits.

Anti Depression Massage Oil

  • 2 drops of Orange Essential Oil
  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 2 fl oz of your preferred carrier oil

Blend the essential oils with the carrier oil in a container. Shake well and store away from sunlight.

Lavender and Chamomile recipe


  • 20?30 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 20?30 drops of chamomile essential oil
  • 2 ounces of grapeseed oil

Blend the ingredients together and store in a jar. You can use as a massage oil by applying daily to your neck, ears or sole of your feet before sleeping.


  • You should use essential oils sparingly due to their potency and concentration.
  • Consult a medical practitioner before adding essential oils to your prescribed medications.
  • Most essential oils are unsafe for pregnant women.

About the author

    Sally Wong

    Sally Wong is a manual therapist for about 15 years now and also a massage specialist. She is actively taking care of her body to stay healthy and in shape by doing Yoga and Tai Chi. She has a lot of knowledge and interest in Essential Oils because of her Oriental background. She learnt many things from her Grandmother. Originally from a small village in South China, now she lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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