Alleviating Depression with Lavender

Alleviating Depression with Lavender

Feelings of sadness or melancholy are a normal reaction to life’s rough and challenging events. When these feelings of sadness persist for a long time or grow worse, you could be dealing with depression. Common symptoms of depression include, but are not limited to, fatigue, loss in the pleasure of life, difficulty concentrating, feeling empty, guilty, helpless and worthless, overeating or loss of appetite, and thoughts of suicide.  Depression is an illness and should be evaluated by a qualified medical professional. There are many ways to treat depression and we are going to look at one very effective, yet natural, way to alleviate mild to moderate depression---lavender.

Chances are if you visit a medical doctor complaining of depression she might prescribed an antidepressant medication. These medications have helped several people with their depression symptoms, but they are not always without side effects. Unpleasant antidepressant side effects include nausea, dry mouth, insomnia, headache, loss of sex drive, weight gain and muscle weakness. These effects can range from very slight to severe. While the benefits of antidepressants may outweigh the risks of their associated side effects there are other, less invasive ways to relieve depression symptoms.

Lavender is present in many cosmetic products including perfumes, soaps and lotions. Lavender Essential Oil, however, is the most effective form to use when treating depression. An essential oil is a liquid that is extracted from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other aromatic elements of a plant. Essential oils have several healing properties associated with them. 

Lavender’s soothing scent is one way it is effective for depression. Experts believe that scent receptors in a person’s nose send chemical messages to the brain’s limbic system. The limbic system is a set of brain structures that support functions including emotion, behavior, motivation, long term memory, and olfaction. Lavender, then, directly influences emotional responses when smelled. There are several ways to smell your way to happiness using lavender. One way is to add a couple drops of it to an Aroma Diffuser.  You can also combine it with a bit of water and spritz it onto your bed sheets.  Not only will this alleviate your depression symptoms, it will also help you fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply and give you more restorative sleep.  For one of the quickest way to get the benefits from lavender, simply apply a few drops to a handkerchief and inhale.

You can also receive lavender’s benefits by applying it to your skin. Some aromatherapy experts agree that lavender is so mild that it can be rubbed directly onto the skin. Others advocated diluting it beforehand to minimize the chance of becoming sensitized to it, which means having a reaction to the oil like a skin rash.  Combined with a good carrier oil, lavender oil is wonderful for massage. Not only do you receive the healing effects of the essential oil when it’s absorbed into your skin, you also glean the therapeutic benefits of a relaxing body massage —a “one-two punch” for depression. Lavender can also be combined with water and spritzed onto your body or dropped into a bath for a stress-busting getaway at the end of the day.

The healing benefits of lavender don’t end with treating depression. It is also used to heal skin conditions like acne, burns, infections and eczema. It also alleviates asthma, migraines, muscle pain, and menstrual disorders.  Lavender also blends well with other essential oil—like all Mandarin Essential Oils—making effective blends for host of other ailments.  Being one of the mildest essential oils, lavender is safe to use and runs a low risk of causing an adverse reaction. 

Lavender is one essential oil that is “essential” to have.  Clinical studies have shown that it is an effective remedy for depression as well as a host of other ailments. If you think you might be suffering from depression, get treatment from a doctor and start implementing lavender into your daily routine. You might be surprised that such a sweet, floral scent can be so powerful. 

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