Depression is a persisting sadness and lethargy which removes the desire and courage to carry out ideas and activities. It may also be a coping mechanism – a signal that responsibilities or situations are overwhelming. There is usually a precipitating factor or trigger for bouts of depression – the loss of a loved one, a bad turn of events, or a change in a relationship. There are feelings of loneliness and isolation, with easily changing moods, and times of weeping without outward cause. Some bouts of depression may be anger turned inward. Depression can also be partly due to physical problems. Nutritional and biochemical imbalances play a role in causing depression.
Most people feel depressed occasionally. The difference between “feeling depressed” and having the mental illness known as depression is that people who are actually ill cannot lift themselves out of their misery. Their depression persists, deepens, and eventually interferes with their ability to lead normal lives. If you or others in your family have occasional periods of low spirits that disappear after a few days or weeks, you have no cause for concern.
SAD: a depression which reoccurs with the dark, damp winter months and disappears annually in spring. This is known as seasonal affective disorder.
Top Notes: basil, bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, niaouli, orange, petitgrain, tea tree, thyme, clary sage
Middle Notes: chamomile, camphor, cypress, geranium, lavender, hyssop, juniper, marjoram, pine, rosemary, rosewood, Melissa (lemon balm)
Base Notes: cinnamon, frankincense, immortelle, neroli, patchouli, rose, sandalwood, vetivert, ylang ylang, jasmine
Some Tips Using Essential Oils:
In the Air:
- To lift depression, vaporize 3 drops thyme and 3 drops sweet orange. Thyme creates a feeling of release and calm and helps dissolve feelings of heaviness and restriction.
- To lift depression, vaporize 3 drops lemon-scented eucalyptus and 4 drops tangerine
- To lift depression and renew hope, vaporize 2 drops Spike Lavender with 4 drops Lemon
- To lift depression and ease away any sense of hopelessness, vaporize 2 drops cinnamon leaf and 4 drops sweet orange
- To lift depression and relieve feelings of low self-worth, vaporize 3 drops elemi and 3 drops frankincense
- To lift depression and bring a sense of release, vaporize 3 drops eucalyptus and 3 drops peppermint
- To transform apathy and listlessness into renewed zest for life, vaporize 2 drops West Indian bay and 2 drops cinnamon leaf
- To help relieve depression and lift dark moods, vaporize 4 drops grapefruit and 2 drops frankincense.
In the Bath:
- To relieve nervous exhaustion and lift depression, take a bath with 4 drops orange leaf and 2 drops neroli
- To soothe away depression and anxiety, take a bath with 2 drops Moroccan chamomile and 4 drops lavender
- To lift depression and ease anxiety, take a bath with 2 drops Spanish sage and 4 drops orange leaf
- To ease depression and raise low self-confidence, take a bath with 2 drops lemon tea tree and 2 drops neroli
- To relieve depression and overcome a lack of self-worth, mix West Indian bay with sweet orange and neroli in a carrier oil and smooth the blend gently into your body whenever you feel the need.
Massage Blends To Lift the Spirits:
Add these essential oils to 20 ml/4 tsp carrier oil:
- 4 drops Australian sandalwood
Massage into areas of tension
Synergistic Blend For Depression:
If you think a mild form of depression is lasting too long or beginning to deepen, a vacation, active sports, or a hobby may help you pull out of it. It may not be possible to do this, however, if you have a depressive illness, so if these measures fail, it is important to see your physician.
When to see your Physician:
Depression: Feelings of sadness, futility, unworthiness, and/or despair that may make you feel unable to cope with normal life.
Q: Did the onset of depression follow a distressing event such as a death in the family?
If yes: A period of depression is normal in these circumstances.
Q: Have you recently recovered from an infectious illness such as flu, infectious mononucleosis, hepatitis or brucellosis?
If yes: Such illnesses are often followed by depression. Consult your physician if the depression gets worse or lasts longer than 2 weeks
Q: Did you just have a baby?
If yes: Many women become temporarily depressed in the weeks following childbirth.
Q: Have you been drinking a lot of alcohol, OR are you currently taking any medicines?
If yes: Alcohol in large quantities and many drugs may cause depression.
Q: Do you have two or more of the following symptoms that has been ongoing for more than a couple of weeks?
- Difficulty in sleeping or getting out of bed
If yes: These are signs of a depressive illness.
Golden Root – Rhodiola rosea – relieves anxiety: To relieve depression and anxiety, take 1 cup golden root infusion up to three times daily, as required.
Infusion: finely chop 3 tsp dried golden root, place the chopped root in 1 cup just-boiled water and infuse for at least 4 hours. Strain.
To reduce fatigue and promote deep, restful sleep, take 2 or 3 size 00 capsules filled with powdered golden root immediately before bedtime, as needed.
Sage – Salvia officinalis – to enhance mind and spirit – for an uplifting tonic to strengthen the nervous system, relieve anxiety and depression, improve memory and sharpen the senses, drink a small glass of sage tonic wine every day with your evening meal.
Tonic wine: 200g (7 oz) dried or 100g (3 ½ oz) fresh sage leaves in 1 litre (2 pints) wine. Use white wine for green sage leaves and red wine for purple.
Borage - Borago officinalis - is a natural and effective anti-depressant. Juice from the leaves and blossoms exerts a specific stimulating effect on the glandular system. To ease the mind during times of stress, depression and insomnia, take 1 cup borage infusion up to three times daily, as needed.
Infusion: 1 tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh borage (whole herb/any part of the herb) in 1 cup just-boiled water. Standard method.
St John’s wort - Hypericum perforatum – nerve tonic for cases of depression and nervous exhaustion caused by stress.
To relieve mild to moderate depression, take 1 tsp St John’s wort tincture three times daily for four to six months.
Tincture: 200 g (7oz) dried or 400g (14 oz) fresh St John’s wort flowers in 1 litre (2 pints) vodka-water mix. Standard method.
To ease anxiety, take 1 cup St John’s wort flower infusion up to three times daily, as needed.
Infusion: 1 – 2 tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh St John’s wort flowers in 1 cup just-boiled water. Standard method.
Lemon balm – Melissa officinalis – To relieve nervous tension, anxiety or depression, take 1 cup lemon balm leaf infusion up to three times daily, for as long as necessary.
Infusion: 1 tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh lemon balm leaves in 1 cup just-boiled water. Standard method
Blue skullcap - Scutellaria lateriflora – the aerial parts of this plant are a restorative nerve tonic for all types of anxiety and stress as it has a soothing effect on the muscles and the nervous system. It can also help reduce the symptoms of withdrawal from some drugs (including alcohol and barbiturates).
To calm nervous anxiety, depression and insomnia, mix ½ cup blue skullcap infusion with ½ cup lemon balm leaf infusion and drink up to three times a day, as needed.
Infusion: 2 tsp fresh blue skullcap flowering tops in 1 cup just-boiled water. Standard method.
Gemstone for Healing:
Carry or wear
Reflexology areas to emphasize:
- Pituitary gland – master gland for the endocrine system
- Big toe / neck – for psychological benefits