Depression affects millions of people all over the world and can cause a person to feel hopeless and lost. There are countless medications sufferers can turn to to ease their symptoms and get them back on their feet, but not everyone wants to take medications that have questionable ingredients and can change your eating and sleeping habits, lower your libido, and have other adverse affects on their mood.

Luckily for those of us who are suffering and don't want to go the medical route, there are essential oils for depression that will make us feel back to our old selves again.

What is depression? It can affect the way you feel, how you think, and the way you act. It can cause both physical and emotional symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, sadness, despair, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, and so many more ailments.

Remember that if you want to use essential oils to help treat depression, they are not a heal-all solution that can replace doctor-prescribed medications, so if you are taking medications, do not stop unless you talk to your doctor first. Without further ado, let's jump right in to look at the top ten best essential oils for depression.

Essential Oils We Reviewed

Our team spent much time and effort researching different essential oils to bring you this unbiased best-of list featuring only the best essential oils for depression. We reviewed these ten items based on the following parameters: their respective unique features, their advantages, and their setbacks. We reviewed:

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Lavender
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Bergamot
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Tangerine
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Basil
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Ginger
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Rose
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Chamomile
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Sandalwood
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Jasmine
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Clary Sage
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Top 10 Essential Oils for Depression

Lavender

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Features

This essential oil has a floral, earthy aroma and is highly valued for its calming effects. Research suggests aromatherapy with lavender will help relieve anxiety, decrease stress, improve the mood, and promote relaxation. Studies show the herb itself may help depression as well through the tincture of the plant and adjuvant therapy. You can diffuse this oil, apply it topically, or inhale it directly.

PROS

  • Calming effects
  • Relieves anxiety, decreases stress, improves the mood, and promotes relaxation
  • The herb and the tincture may help depression
  • Tincture might be a beneficial adjuvant therapy

CONS

  • Skin sensitivity may occur
  • May cause nausea, vomiting, and/or headaches
  • Avoid if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, or have allergies
  • Do not ingest

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Bergamot

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Features

This essential oil has been show to reduce anxiety and lift the spirits in patients awaiting an outpatient surgery. Although it's unclear how bergamot eases apprehension, it may help reduce the release of stress hormones during stressful situations. You can apply this essential oil topically or diffuse it.

PROS

  • Indirectly helps depression
  • Calms and uplifts through aromatherapy
  • Reduces anxiety in stressful situations
  • Releases stress hormones effectively

CONS

  • May cause photosensitivity
  • Apply sunscreen after using bergamot oil
  • It may lower your blood sugar level too much
  • Stop using at least two weeks before surgery

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Tangerine

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Features

This is one of the best essential oils for depression because it soothes irritated nerves and works as a relaxing agent. It has sedative effects that relieve nervousness, anxiety, and depression and will cause you to feel a release from tension and emotional imbalances while using this oil.

PROS

  • Uplifts a person's mood
  • Brings out spontaneous creativeness
  • Soothes irritated nerves and works as a relaxing agent
  • Sedative effects that relieve nervousness, anxiety, and depression

CONS

  • Skin sensitivity may occur
  • Do not apply if you'll be in direct sunlight within 12 hours
  • Do not use near sparks, heat, or flame

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Basil

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Features

This is one of the best essential oils for depression because it has naturally high antioxidants and vitamin C. It reduces inflammation, eases stress, and calm the nervous system. It also stimulates the adrenal glands and revitalizes energy levels by easing even severe fatigue. You can add this oil to your diffuser but make sure you don't use it if you are pregnant.

PROS

  • Naturally high antioxidants and vitamin C
  • Reduces inflammation, eases stress, and calms the nervous system
  • Stimulates the adrenal glands
  • Revitalizes energy levels and helps fatigue

CONS

  • Do not use if you have epilepsy
  • Avoid contact with sensitive areas like the eyes or ears
  • Don't use if you're pregnant

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Ginger

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Features

This essential oil has great antidepressant qualities, it's thought the essential oil of ginger may activate the serotonergic system which is a system of brain transmitters associated with depression. It may also slow the release of stress hormones.

PROS

  • Excellent antidepressant qualities
  • Activates the serotonergic system
  • Eases depression
  • Slows the release of stress hormones

CONS

  • Keep out of eyes, ears, and nose
  • Always perform a patch test before using

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Rose

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Features

This is one of the most amazing essential oils for depression because it is very fragrant and a little goes a long way. It's great for easing symptoms of depression because its main constituent geraniol, which has been shown to have anti-depressant qualities.

It promotes feelings of happiness, stimulates the libido, helps to boost confidence, and encourages hopeful thoughts, so it's great to use when battling depression. You can inhale this oil directly or apply it topically.

PROS

  • A little goes a long way
  • You can inhale this oil or apply topically
  • Geraniol has anti-depressant properties
  • Stimulates the libido and helps boost confidence

CONS

  • Excessive use can lead to skin sensitization
  • Keep out of eyes, ears, and nose
  • Caution: it's very potent

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Chamomile

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Features

This floral, herbaceous scented oil is well-known for the calming effects it has on the mind and body. By helping relax both the mind and the body, this oil helps ease insomnia, which is often associated with low moods and depression. You can inhale this oil directly or diffuse it.

PROS

  • Known for its calming effects
  • Eases insomnia
  • Inhale directly or infuse the oil
  • Relaxes the mind and body

CONS

  • Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding
  • May cause an allergic reaction to those who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family

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Sandalwood

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Features

This is one of the best essential oils for depression because it has a warm, calming, woody aroma. It's great to diffuse when meditating as it helps increase mental clarity and focus. The scent of this oil has a powerful therapeutic effect on the brain's limbic system and the oil is an excellent emotional balancer.

It also has sedative properties that allow it to enhance sleep quality and ease depression. You can diffuse this oil, inhale it directly, or use it in a relaxing massage blend.

PROS

  • Warm, calming, woody aroma
  • Increases mental clarity and focus
  • Powerful therapeutic properties and positive effects on the brain's limbic system
  • Sedative properties and emotional balancer

CONS

  • Keep out of ears, eyes, and nose
  • Excessive use can lead to skin sensitization
  • Perform a patch test before using

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Jasmine

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Features

This is one of the best essential oils for depression because it can be as calming as the anti-anxiety drug valium for overcoming anxiety and stress. It has an aromatic floral scent and a mild sedative and calming effect because of its concentrations of linalool. It will ease anxious thoughts, relieve stress, and ease depression. It also stimulates the brain and helps uplift the mood and promote feelings of self-confidence and optimism.

PROS

  • Can be as calming at the drug valium
  • Mild sedative and calming effect from a concentration of linalool
  • Eases anxious thoughts, relieves stress, and eases depression
  • Uplifts the mood and promotes feelings of self-confidence and optimism

CONS

  • Do not use internally
  • Avoid putting in the ears, eyes, or nose
  • May cause skin sensitivity in excess

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Clary Sage

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Features

This oil promotes feelings of hopefulness, increases confidence and is uplifting. Studies show this essential oil is an effective anti-depressant by changing dopamine pathways in the brain. It can also ease feelings of fear and anxiety and trade them out instead for feelings of calmness and relaxation.

PROS

  • Promotes feelings of hopefulness
  • Increases confidence and is uplifting
  • Effective anti-depressant by changing dopamine pathways in the brain
  • Eases feelings of fear and anxiety and switches them out with feelings of calmness and relaxation

CONS

  • Do not use when pregnant, especially during the first trimester
  • Do not use with infants or toddlers
  • Avoid after use of alcohol

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Product FAQ

We found and answered a few important frequently asked questions regarding what essential oils for depression are, how to use them properly, what the risks and warnings are, and what additional treatments for depression there are.


What Are Essential Oils for Depression?

Essential oils are most commonly used to treat depression in aromatherapy through the use of pot-pourri sachets, body care products, and oil diffusers that incorporate all-natural essential oils. In aromatherapy, essential oils are inhaled through the nose or mouth, or rubbed on the skin with a reliable carrier oil.

Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants. The oils capture the plant's scent and flavor or its "essence." Unique aromatic compounds give each essential oil its characteristic essence. To get essential oils, one must use a process called distillation or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing.

Once the aromatic compounds have been extracted, they are mixed into a carrier oil to create a product that's ready to use. The specific process to make the oils is important as extracting the organic compounds through a chemical processes yields a product that isn't considered a "true" essential oil.

How to Use Essential Oils for Depression?

The most common methods for scent inhalation to reap the benefits are: inhaling the scent directly from the oil's bottle or inhaler tube, dabbing a few drops onto a cotton ball and inhaling directly, adding several drops to a diffuser and inhaling directly, creating an aromatherapy massage by adding a few drops to your favorite massage oil.

You can also combine essential oils to help depression; a study showed patients with terminal cancer received an aromatherapy massage oil for a consecutive week with frankincense, lavender, and bergamot essential oils experienced less pain and depression.

Risks and Warnings for Essential Oils for Depression?

People with respiratory problems, pregnant women, and children shouldn't use essential oils unless under the supervision of a doctor or a trained aromatherapist. All essential oils may cause an allergic reaction so make sure you never apply them to your skin undiluted and perform a patch test to make sure you won't react negatively.

If you plan to apply an essential oil blend to your skin, add one ounce of carrier oil for every 3 to 6 drops. Great carrier oils include olive oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil.

To perform a patch test, dab a small amount of your essential and carrier oil mix to a small patch of skin at least 24 hours before your planned application. This will allow you to see if the mix will cause your skin to have a reaction.

Keep in mind that the US Foods and Drug Administration doesn't regulate essential oils so make sure you only buy oils from a reputable manufacturer. If possible, ask a trained aromatherapist for a recommendation.

Additional Treatments for Depression?

Never replace your current depression treatment plan with essential oils without your doctor's approval. Essential oils serve as a complementary treatment besides your current regimen.

Conventional treatments for depression include: prescription antidepressants, psychotherapy, including one-on-one group sessions, inpatient psychiatric treatment for severe cases of depression, electroconvulsive therapy for people who are not responding to medication, can not take antidepressants, or are at high risk of suicide, transcranial magnetic stimulation for people who don't respond to antidepressants.

Untreated or mismanaged depression may lead to physical pain, anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts, and/or substance abuse.

The Verdict

No one likes to feel anxious, stressed out, and depressed but thankfully there are plenty of natural solutions out there to help you feel better. We hope our top ten list has given you a few substantial options for natural solutions to feeling poorly and that these ten oils will help you feel back to your old self again.

Pick out your favorite essential oil from our list and head to Amazon to purchase it for yourself. What are you waiting for?

Featured Image via Pixabay

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