Essential Oils are quite versatile, they can be used as a natural mosquito repellents and pain relievers. However a new study has just supported that essential oils have the ability to assist in treatment of depression. Depression is a mental disorder that is common yet still serious. It affects how you think, act and feel on a daily basis. Oils are not a cure for depression and should not be used as an alternative to prescribed medications.
Essential oils should be used as a joint therapy, complementary to conventional medications and treatments, such as counseling and antidepressants. Studies regarding this claim are often difficult to conduct because of the double bind nature where both the researcher and the subjects being tested do not know what oils are being used ahead of time. Therefore, most of the studies conducted yield insufficient results about the legitimacy of the claim.
Essential Oils are essences that are derived from parts of plants such as bark, leaves, flowers, roots and stems. When used in aromatherapy, the oils are inhaled nasally or through the mouth or used topically. When used in a topical sense, essential oils are mixed with carrier oils such as olive and coconut, before massaged into the skin to prevent anaphylaxis, sun burn and irritation.
There have been many research articles reviewing and explaining aromatherapy and its use for mental disorders such as depression, dementia and anxiety as well as for conditions such as hypertension and pain. It has been concluded that it is an effective therapy companion. Essential oil’s reduce symptoms and can enhance the effects of the other conventional treatment. The oils and their chemicals interact when absorbed into the body via the skin or openings and diffused into the bloodstream. When it enters via the mouth or nose, it is able to interact and stimulate sections of the brain. The areas of the brain- needed for memory, emotions and mood- the limbic system is one area that can be influenced by the essence of the oils.
Reported in an article by Healthline, “according to study done in 2008, 58 hospice patient with late stage cancer received general massage or a hand massage for seven consecutive days. Those who received the aromatherapy massage has significantly reduced depression and reported less pain.”
To further explore how essential oils can be used in companionship with other treatment and medications more in depth research must be done.