Supporting Depression with Essential Oils

April 30, 2020

By Rebecca Carden

Mental Health.
It’s a big topic receiving a lot of attention at the moment and rightly so because this lockdown situation we find ourselves in is far from normal.

I know there are a lot of people struggling with feelings of depression and anxiety so let’s chat about one of my favourite essential oil combinations to support those feels.

I remember a workshop I did a while back, there was a lovely woman there who was open about her battle with the black cloud. I handed her Bergamot and Frankincense, she put a drop of each in the palm of her hand, cupped her hands over her nose and promptly burst into tears. I asked if she was ok and she responded with “I feel so held by this aroma and I can feel the heaviness lifting off my shoulders so much so that it’s making me emotional”.
It was a really touching moment.

Why did I hand her those two oils specifically?

Bergamot, across five separate studies has repeatedly induced a state of relaxation and reduced stress response in participants. A slowing of the heart rate, easing of blood pressure and attenuating the corticosterone response to acute stress.

Bergamot studies have also shown that it has the ability to support positive levels of GABA in the hippocampus which is important to impeding those feelings of anxiousness. GABA being the brakes of the brain and incredibly important to soothe irrational fears and racing thoughts. Bergamot also has the capacity to trigger the release of serotonin and dopamine, our neurotransmitters for happiness, positivity and motivation.

Bergamot is sunny skies in a bottle and incites feelings of happiness in the darkest of Winters…..I wonder if that’s why Bergamot flowers bloom during Italian winters……she knew that spirits needed lifting when the sun couldn’t grace us.

Frankincense is what allows the sunshine of Bergamot to linger for longer in our minds…. the teeny tiny sesquiterpene molecules are like delicate bubbles that infiltrate the deep recesses of our brain carrying brain fog lifting oxygen that fortifies the mind.

For those dealing with Chronic Fatigue, Mast Cell Activation Disorder, Mould Illness and other environmental related illness, hypoxia is common. Hypoxia meaning insufficient oxygen to thrive particularly to the brain which results in those feelings of fatigue, brain fog, density of thoughts and cognitive incoherence so often experienced.  I do believe Frank is one of the best oils we can utilise to support oxygen transportation throughout the body.

Frankincense wraps us in a warm embrace and whispers “it’s going to be ok” and “this too shall pass”. It is rich in aldehydes and esters that gently calm and sedate the nervous system triggering the slowing of our breathing, the quietening of mental chatter and decelerating the racing of our heart.

The best way to use these two oils is to simply inhale with long deep breathes but specifically through your left nostril. Studies show that the left frontal lobe is more active in positive states and the right is dominant when we are feeling fear, panic or depression.

Activating your left frontal lobe by closing down your right nostril and inhaling through your left can have profound effects on our sense of wellbeing. This action can bring about balance and harmony between the right and left lobes which lead us to a state of calm.

This simple act of mental health care and self-love can bring about dramatic shifts in our outlook on life and the ability to cope in a rapidly changing environment.

Have you tried this combination and technique before?

x Bec

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