essential oils and mental health

Posted by Sinead Duffy on

essential oils and mental health

this week is mental health awareness week and the movement to de-stigmatize and increase awareness and acceptance of mental health issues has never been more evident. 

it is very frustrating that there are not considerably more research studies into the effects of essential oils on mental health. we know how essential oils affect mood and emotions.

brain geography

in our more primal states - our sense of smell was absolutely vital to our wellbeing - to distinguish good food from bad, to determine a suitable mate, a potential threat.

we know of the primacy of the sense of smell from the fact that at one point in our development, our brains were made up of over 50% smell receptors!

as the brain evolved - our other senses developed (for example the sense of sight evolved quickly when we became bipeds), the part of the brain dedicated to smelling shrank - but it never lost its prime location in the limbic brain - the part of the brain that governs mood and emotions

we may not perceive smell as vital to our survival as we once did - but we know that it bypasses the thinking mind and goes straight to the part of the brain that determines mood and emotions

and there are some studies - on bergamot for relieving anxiety and clary sage's effect on depression (both among other oils have been shown to reduce cortisol hormone in the body - the anxiety hormone)

before the pandemic - mostly people bought our oils for themselves or for birthday/christmas gifts

''over this past year - there's been a change - with many buying for others for mood and emotional support - one woman told me - when she's speaking to the people she's gifted - what's most evident is the emotion that the oils have elicited...that as soon as they use it they become aware of the self-care that they may have been neglecting in caring for others - and that's in their hands now'' - Sinead, founder of yogandha

so though we would love more studies so that its use could be more widespread in clinical situations - in truth we can clearly and instinctively feel the evidence for ourselves.