It may come as a surprise that one in four people will suffer from some form of diagnosable mental health disorder in any given year.
More than likely you already know someone who has experienced an intimate relationship along the very broad and complex mental health spectrum. I say broad because the spectrum can range from mood disorder, anxiety and depression to more serious forms of mental disorder such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Bi-polar and Schizophrenia.
Like mental health, stress is also a common component of modern society. Though less severe and not catergorized as a mental health disorder, it still seems to be a main feature in our lives.
But do not underestimate the silent killer that is responsible for 60% of all human illness and disease. Stress increases your risk of stroke by 50% and is a major contributor to mental health problems.
Mental health is the scary reality of today’s society and a topic that is gathering more and more media awareness and attention. Stress is the inevitable price you pay for a half-decent lifestyle in an ever-increasing demanding world!
However in today’s blog I’m focusing more on introducing you to essential oil and how they may be used as a natural alternative for anxiety, depression and to relieve every day stress.
By the end of the article you should have a basic understanding of the origins and usage of essential oil. You will also learn the importance of choosing a high grade therapeutic oil and perhaps some new terminology if you’re brand new to essential oil.
Click here for further reading on the science behind essential oil
Introduction to Essential Oil
Essential oil has been used throughout history by ancient cultures. Traditional Chinese medicine, Indian Ayurvedic and ancient Egyptian culture recorded the use of essential oils that were later used by the Greeks and Romans.
They were primarily used for medicinal and therapeutic purpose due to the natural organic compounds extracted from leaves, stem, flower and the root of the plant. They were also known for their powerful fragrance and distinctive aromatic qualities.
Physiologically essential oils form part of the naturally occurring defence mechanism of the plant protecting it against pathogenic micro-organisms such as bacteria or fungi. And whenever a hungry herbivore came sniffing by, the plant’s essential oil also proved to be a great deterrent.
It is this defence mechanism that provides a similar healing and protective quality against disease causing microbes in humans. And due to the high concentration of the essential oil extracted from the plant, it has the ability to deliver the same powerful healing properties.
Essential oil in plants are non water-based phytochemicals made up of several volatile organic molecules. This means they can be easily absorbed in to the skin due to the structure of these molecules and as such, a main accessory for any reputable massage therapist.
Essential oils also exhibit potent anti-oxidant activity. Their use is wide-spread amongst holistic practitioners and those who prefer a more natural remedy for a range of health concerns and greater sense of well-being.
You may enjoy reading Dr Mercola’s article on essential oil.
The Aromatic Effect of Essential Oil
Whether we realize it or not, our entire lives are affected by smell. When inhaled, essential oil stimulate the 50 million smell receptors inside the nasal cavity.
The brain’s emotional centre called the amygdala is located in the limbic system and is directly connected to our sense of smell. So if you’ve ever wondered why certain smells bring about a deep sense of nostalgia, it’s because the limbic system governs emotions, pleasure and memory along with motivation and sexual arousal.
Certain smells influence the production of endorphins and other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin that make us feel good.
Smell can be both pleasurable and comforting and without doubt our sense of smell can be extremely powerful, producing a physical and emotional response almost immediately.
As a young girl, I loved the delicious smell of my aunt’s homemade bread on Saturday mornings. Now, each time I walk passed the local bakery I seemed to re-live the moment over and over with deep remembrance and affection. I often stop just to take in that fresh baked smell of Aunty Nella’s homemade bread! 🙂
Here’s a wonderful article on smells and your well-being from the Huffington Post.
What You Should Consider Before Choosing Your Essential Oil
Before I dig deeper into the benefits of nature’s best kept secret here’s the most important consideration when it comes to choosing essential oil.
Quality is far more essential (excuse the pun ) 🙂 that quantity. To get the most out of essential oil, you must choose a therapeutic-grade that is NOT adulterated.
Adulterated oils contain synthetic chemicals or compounds than may contain fillers or artificial ingredients. Not only will this dilute the natural composition of the plant extract but it can also cause harm to your body.
Secondly because of the potency of therapeutic- grade essential oil, when used topically, you should blend it with a carrier oil to ensure it is safely diluted. Carrier oils include sweet almond oil, hemp seed, grapeseed oil, jojoba, olive oil and fractionated coconut oil.
Now let’s get to the benefits of Mother Nature’s special gift paying particular attention to those that help with anxiety, depression and stress.
Also keep an eye on essential oil for your overall sense of well-being, mind and Spirituality which are great for bringing more balance and harmony to your life.
Benefits of Essential Oil:
- Reduces stress, anxiety and depression. (Lavender, Orange and Bergamot).
- Has therapeutic qualities that bring about peace and calm your emotions. (Ylang ylang, Blue Tansy).
- Antibacterial and can protect against bacteria, virus, fungi and parasites. (Tea tree, Peppermint).
- Anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation, pain and swelling) (Thyme, Rose, Eucalyptus ) Antispasmotic (suppresses muscle spasms) (Nutmeg and Sandalwood) and Antipyretic (reduces fever). (Lemongrass and Lime).
- Can be used as an insecticide both for warding off insects around the home. (Oregano and Mountain Savory).
- Antimicrobial properties can provide a safe alternative to household cleaners. (Lemon, Peppermint, Tea Tree).
- Can balance your human energy field to help bring about emotional healing. (Cedarwood, Cyprus).
- Improves mental clarity. (Basil, Rosemary).
- Can be used in massage therapy. (Ylang,ylang, Tea Tree and Grapeseed and Almond as carrier oils).
- Helps against insomnia. (Lavender, Chamomile, Marjoram).
- Helps rejuvenate your hair and skin improving conditions such as eczema, acne, dry skin and stretch marks. (Bergamot, Rose).
- Can bring relief to digestive conditions. (Citrus, Peppermint).
- Excellent for weight loss. (Lemon, Peppermint).
- Have disinfectant properties and can be used as part of your oral hygiene program. (Rosemary, Basil).
- Can improve your overall health and wellbeing and some essential oil can be used for Spiritual enhancement. (Frankincense, Myrhh).
To view an amazing presentation on the use of dōTERRA essential oil by Daniel McDonald click here. Daniel McDonald is the author of the book, Emotional Healing with Essential Oils.
It Must Be Therapeutic Grade!
I absolutely love essential oil but there are so many heavily adulterated versions out there, you’d be hard pressed to find the quality required to achieve the desired healing effects.
You may be surprised to know that only about 2% of so-called essential oil is of the highest quality and can be considered Therapeutic Grade. That is oils that have not been adulterated in any way, retaining their true plant essence derived from singular plant species.
It’s pretty much a case of all that glitters isn’t gold when it comes to essential oil but I am ecstatic to have found a brand that meets and exceeds the highest standard. Not only is this gold gem complete in its chemical component, their internal standards guarantee 100% sourcing and testing of pure aromatic botanical extracts using independent testing laboratories.
In other words there a few producers of essential oil that come anywhere close to perfecting such a grade. That is why I’m so excited about dōTERRA.
Why choose dōTERRA?
- Their essential oil is 100% pure natural aromatic compounds carefully extracted from plants.
- They do not contain fillers or artificial ingredients that would dilute their active qualities.
- Proper extraction and quality control methods also ensure that dōTERRA’s essential oil is free of any contaminants such as pesticides or other chemical residues.
- In addition to being 100% pure and natural, dōTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils are subjected to further quality testing that ensures the correct composition of the active natural compounds found in each oil.
Read here to find out more about the history, uses, extraction methods, grade and safety of dōTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils.
Best Essential Oil for Anxiety, Depression and Stress:
For Anxiety: Lavender, bergamot, rose, clary sage, lemon, Roman chamomile, orange, sandalwood, rose-scented geranium, and pine
For Depression: Bergamot, clary sage, frankincense peppermint, chamomile, blue tansy, lavender, and jasmine.
For Stress: Lavender, lemon, frankincense orange, bergamot, peppermint, vetiver, pine, and ylang ylang.
For Wellbeing: Bergamot , geranium, Frankincense, Myrhh, rose, sandalwood, ylang ylang.
Start feeling better today and look forward to a calmer tomorrow.
If you are new to essential oil you will simply love the aroma and the effect they have on you, your family and around your home. Rubbing just a small amount of Serenity on the bottom of your feet at bedtime for example, works wonders to promote a good night’s sleep.
I’ve really enjoyed writing this blog and giving you an opportunity to indulgence yourself in the beautiful world of essential oil. Thanks for reading. 🙂
Essential oil truly is an essential ingredient for better health and well-being.
PS If you need help in choosing any of dōTERRA’s essential oil or with your order, drop me a line using the ‘contact us’ form on my website and I’ll be more than happy to give you a call. (U.S only and Skype).