Aromatherapy: Herbs and Scents to Alleviate Depression, Anxiety, and Stress

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

There are medications that can address mental issues including depression and anxiety. However, if you’re the type who prefers to go all-natural, certain scents, herbs, and essential oils work to ease mental tension too.

Aromatherapy is an alternative medicine that utilizes aromatic oils and herbs to alter the mood. Scents have a powerful effect on our mood and emotions. Using essential oils and aromatic herbs triggers the release of happy hormones in the brain. This helps uplift the mood, soothes frayed nerves and promotes relaxation. Of course, aromatherapy alone shouldn’t be used to cure mental problems. However, it can definitely help ease tension, minimize stress and relax the mind and body.

Types of Aromatic Oils and Herbs that Reduce Stress and Prevent Depression

Next time you want to relax or clear the head, keep these scents and herbs in handy:

Grapefruit and Lemon Oils

All types of citrus scents will invigorate the mind, curb depression and even improve memory. Just a whiff of grapefruit extracts or essential oil is enough to restore alertness and invigorate the body. Trying to lose weight? Grapefruit scent will boost the metabolic rate and even minimize food cravings.

The same thing goes with lemon oil or extract. It uplifts the mood, improve performance and minimize mental fogginess. Lemon oil also strengthens the immune system, reduces nausea, and prevents depression.

Lavender Oil

We know how lavender oil can induce deep sleep. That’s because this scent triggers the part of the brain that releases sleep hormones. Apart from improving sleep, the lavender scent also soothes migraines, pounding headaches, and depression. It protects from hypertension, extreme nervousness and fear by calming the body and mind.

Rose Oil

Rose oil stimulates the nervous system. It promotes better health and well-being. It also soothes tired, frayed nerves, calms a weary mind as well as supports body relaxation.


A classic scent that balances male and female energies, ylang-ylang restores vigor and improves performance. This scent is often used to treat depression, anxiety and insomnia.

Wild Orange

The zesty scent of orange energizes the body, uplifts the mood and prevents depression. It also soothes feelings of panic, anger, irritation and fear.

Ways to Use Essential Oils and Scents


To diffuse the scent of your favorite essential oils, use a diffuser or an oil burner. Just add a couple of drops of essential oil to a diffuser and slowly, the whole room will be blanketed with a relaxing aroma. If you’re using an oil burner, put the right amount of water on the well. Add several drops of essential oil and light a tea candle. The heat will slowly disperse the scent.


There are different ways to use essential oils or aromatic herbs to alleviate the mood. Add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil on the palm of your hands. Rub the hands together and cup them over the nose. Take deep breaths to inhale the scent.

You can also use cotton balls to disperse the scent for inhalation. Get a couple of cotton balls and put it in a Ziploc bag. Next, add several drops of essential oil into the bag and start sniffing. If you’re not using the bag, just seal it.

Finally, you can add several drops of soothing aromatics on your pillow. So every time you go to bed, you are treated to the relaxing scent of your favorite essential oil.


Add several drops of your favorite essential oils to the massage oil of your choice. Make sure the massage oil has a mild scent so it will interact well with the essential oil. Proceed to using the mixture as a massage oil.

Relaxing Bath

Just add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil to your bath water and soak for at least 20 minutes to alleviate the mood.

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