How Lavender Essential Oil Helps Reduce Stress & Depression
We've all felt it at one time or another, the looming cloud of depression. However, when the blues hit, did you know there is much you can do to improve your symptoms away from the pharmacy? It’s true. If the mild depression has you down, why not try the age old alternative practice of using lavender essential oil therapy?
There is a disclaimer. Depression can be a serious and chronic condition. If you feel sullen, it is always best to first make a visit to your physician. Yet, if you are having a basic bout with the blues, lavender essential oil is efficient in stimulating mood and can often help to bring thoughts back into relationship with healthy emotions.
How does lavender essential oil work therapeutically? To begin, this description involves basic chemistry. Lavender essential oil is a distillation from the lavender plant itself. The plant essence is distilled into liquid with a delicate chemical process. Its concentrate is saved and kept in a dark bottle free from sunlight.
In this pure form, lavender’s floral scent is able to stimulate the emotive portion of the brain and can also help to purify the respiratory system (Ref. Essential Oil Desk Reference, Essential Science Publishing).
Basic rules: First, be sure to use only pure essential oils, including lavender essential oil. Labels that indicate a pure notation ensures the oil is free from fillers, additives and other impure chemicals that often find their way into grocery store brands, including those labeled as "therapeutic grade".
To use: Take a couple drops of lavender essential oil into the palms of the hands along with a "carrier oil." If you are new to essential oils this could include jojoba oil or another vegetable oil that you’ve purchased or one that you may have on hand. Next, rub the palms together a few times, then cup the hands around the nose and inhale. This simple process can instantly lift the spirits and move you out of a dark mental space.
A word of caution about lavender essential oil. Many people are sensitive to lavender as it can cause skin irritation or other skin reactions when used "neat" or straight from the bottle. For this reason, always use a carrier oil such as jojoba (at least in the beginning of your lavender essential oil therapy). Many experts also suggest, wait until you know how your body reacts to the lavender before you start experimenting with lavender essential oil.
Too, should you have the misfortune of getting any essential oil into the eye or mucous membranes it is wise NOT to use water to wash it out. Although this does seem illogical at first, basic chemistry suggests like attracts like. Therefore, a small amount of carrier oil on a cotton ball swabbed across the top of a closed eyelid will instantly remove any residue of the offending essential oil.
Other ways to use lavender essential oil include:
* creating or purchasing aromatherapy incense or candles
* creating a massage oil by mixing with a carrier oil like jojoba
* creating sachets from aromatherapy recipes that can freshen drawers and closets * using essential oil diffusers to beautify, as well as purify the air of pathogens and toxins
A few more intelligent ways to include lavender essential oil into your day include:
* buying an aromatherapy necklace that will diffuse essential oil under you nose during the day
* mix lavender with baking soda, spread across the rug, wait for 20 minutes and then vacuum
* simply inhale lavender essential oil during the day to lift to the psyche
Other ways to use lavender for relaxation include: placing a few drops in the hands and rubbing them on the bottoms of the feet before bed. In addition, sweep your lavender infused hands over the pillow to create a floral, relaxed effect.
Coupled with a healthy diet, moderate exercise, ample water consumption and a stress-free lifestyle, lavender essential oil is a compliment to any relaxation and natural anti-depressant therapy.