Essential Oils and Mental Health: Insight from a Licensed Mental Health Counselor

How do essential oils really fit in with mental health? What do you suggest for those who are looking into incorporating essential oils into their daily routine as part of pursuing better mental health? We asked our own Gaby Poliseno, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, for her input on these questions.



In what areas can essential oils be used in mental health?

As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, I am frequently looking for ways to enrich the lives of my clients outside of our sessions. Mental wellness is a holistic pursuit and all aspects of life play important roles. For example, the level of stress in your life can drastically impact how your body functions, both physically and emotionally! Because of this, one must consider their physiological health, genetics, daily activities, diet, sleep, and many other variables.


Just to be clear, in no way am I saying that essential oils can magically cure any mental illness; however, research conducted on a variety of essential oils has medically proven that they can assist in your recovery in many ways!


After conducting my own research through education and reading medical journals, I was pleased to find many ways that essential oils can aid in this pursuit. Incorporating essential oils into your daily routine can help to alleviate symptoms of many mental disorders including insomnia, lethargy, feeling sluggish and unmotivated, nausea, increased heart rate, and mood changes.


Do you have any suggestions for those looking to add in essential oils in the pursuit of better mental health?

Yes I do! As I noted above, there are many ways that essential oils can help you in your daily routine, which can significantly impact how you sleep, how you function throughout the day, and how you relax. Here are some ideas to help you get started!


Insomnia

Anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour before you go to bed, diffuse any of the following essential oils (or use some in a blend!): Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Frankincense (Boswellia carterii), Vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides), or Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis).




There are many more essential oils that are known to have sedative properties, but these are just a few that I highly recommend. If you’re feeling a little congested, adding Eucalyptus radiata to a night time blend is helpful to calm and soothe the airways.


Nausea (not during pregnancy)

When we are nauseous, this is a signal from our brain that something in our body is wrong. It could be a reaction to a stressful environment, or it could be something we ate.


One thing to try is adding 1 drop of Peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil to a tall glass of water. Please remember, however, that ingesting essential oils should only be for those educated and comfortable with doing this. Ensuring the essential oil is approved for consumption is also of utmost importance in this practice.


Another idea is to apply a roller bottle blend of Peppermint (Mentha piperita) and Ginger (Zingiber officinale) essential oils diluted to at most 10% with a carrier oil to your wrists, on your temples, and over the abdomen.


Lastly, you can also diffuse a peppermint blend for a calming aroma; please ensure that no children under the age of three are near your diffuser while this oil is in use due to contraindications at that age.


Mood Support

Did you know that Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) and Bergamot (Citrus aurantium bergamia) have antidepressant and antianxiety properties? I love applying a rollerball with these two essential oils on my wrists and on my temples when I'm feeling down in the dumps.


For chilly mornings when I am feelings sluggish, a comforting blend of Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) or Cinnamon Leaf (Cinnamomum c. verum), Clove Bud (Syzygium aromaticum), and Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) diffused while I’m drinking a morning cup of tea can be both warming and uplifting!


What can I do if I have questions about essential oils or want to pursue a path of mental health with essential oils?

There are so many more ways to utilize essential oils as a natural way to support your mental health! You can always schedule a consultation with me to discuss a personalized regiment for your own goals, needs, and concerns. You can also reach out to us at Ampersand Essentials if you have any basic questions!


Stay safe, y'all!