The Lighter Side of Aromatherapy
by Brian Skinness

Essential Oils can help overcome depression. Consider for a moment how being given a bouquet of roses can soften your heart. Of course you appreciate the gift and behold their beauty, but there is something more subtle going on. When you bring a rose to your nose and inhale its sweet aroma, the effect goes straight to your brain...literally. The aromatic molecules from the rose stimulate your olfactory nerves that send impulses to your limbic system. The limbic system is the seat of memory and emotions. Through the hypothalamus, it influences the endocrine system via the pituitary gland to achieve a balanced chemistry throughout the body system. While grief and depression suppress the body's ability to produce this hormonal balance, essential oil aromas stimulate your body's natural system to restore a healthy balance. In this way, the deliberate use of essential oils can help overcome depression.

Essential Oils: Natural Anti-depressants

Bulgarian Rose oil, also called Rose Otto, is one essential oil used for depression. The Rose Otto is steam-distilled and it takes about thirty roses to produce a single drop of essential oil making it extraordinarily concentrated. A second type of Rose oil is produced through a solvent extraction method and is referred to as an 'absolute.' The Rose absolute is not as potent in relieving depression, yet has its place in making exquisite natural perfumes.

Hormone related depression responds particularly well to Clary Sage, Geranium and YlangYlang essential oils. These oils either imitate or encourage estrogen production. Some additional essential oils that are considered to be Anti-depressants are: Basil, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Melissa, Neroli, Orange, Patchouli, Petitgrain and Sandalwood. The Bergamot oil is thought to help with grief and depression brought on by the loss of a loved one. When selecting essential oils, choose those that you find personally pleasing.

Essential oils can be diffused in the air with an Aromatherapy diffuser. Several different types of diffusers are available. Some of the easiest to use are the low-heat types that gently encourage the evaporation of the essential oil in small to mid-size rooms. Diffusion is a good method of enjoying the oils throughout the day.

The way to health is to have an aromatic bath
and scented massage everyday.

- Hippocrates -

Bathing for Pleasure

An Aromatherapy Bath and Massage is a luxurious and effective way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils. Try adding a few drops of the pure essential oils to your bath or blend the essential oils into a carrier oil, such as sweet almond or golden jojoba. Add the oil to a warm bath just prior to entering. Consider a few candles for a softer light and treat yourself to a luxuriously personal experience. The ritual of bathing for pleasure is another wonderful way to ease depression and renew your spirit!

Copyright 1997 - 1998 Brian Skinness. Brian has written numerous articles on Aromatherapy and lectures at the White River School of Massage. He is the owner of The Joint Adventure Company that offers Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Products to Manufacturers, Retailers, Therapists and Individuals.

Be sure to check out The Aromatherapy Catalog and try some of these oils for yourself,
or browse the Books about Aromatherapy from the catalog.

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