Part II: Essential Oils for Depression

Odour can be a powerful healing tools. It directly activate emotion centers in the brain and can trigger childhood memories, or even past life memories. But it can be very personal too which means it beneficial to one person may not be for another.

I remembered Jane Shutes shared it in her course that sweet orange essential oil trigger one of the participant’s childhood bad memory. She link this ordour to her sad memory. Although sweet orange is usually is love by all children, but this is a special case.

The link between smell and emotion is very strong. Therefore, when you preparing the essential oil blend for inhalation for psychology issues, it is really depends on individual. The following essential oils I recommend are based on general circumstance. Kindly choose and mix your own combination that specifically for you.

Essential Oils for Depression

There are many essential oils can be used for treating depression, it includes lavender, jasmine, rosemary, rose, roman chamomile, cypress, geranium, basil, sweet marjoram… I just provides some of it for your reference.

I think it is a good idea to mix and match the essential oil based on the following concept:

Citrus Essential Oils

Citrus essential oils is the good choice, the fruit part of the plants symbolize manifestation, it brings warmth and zest of life. Most of the citrus oils (monoterpenes) fall under the hot/dry nature which is able to balance the phlegmatic humor type of the depression. It has uplifting and joyful effects. According to Komori et al (1995), citrus was found to relieve depression and improve immune function.

The citrus essential oils are sweet orange, bergamot, grapefruit and lemon.

Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara)

Salvatore Battaglia describes in his book:

…neroli oil is regarded as one of the most effective sedative and antidepressant remedies and is recommended for the treatment of insomnia and states of anxiety and depression.

Also has high percentage of limonene, same as citrus oils, the neryl acetate is able to calm nervous and psychological states.  

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)

Imagine the growing conditions of frankincense trees… in dry and harsh growing area (dry, poor soil and under the hot sun). Not many plants can survive in this condition. However, this valuable aromatic resins derived from frankincense tree compare favorably with gold and myrrh, and was used in many religion rituals for purification.

The harsh growing condition of frankincense tree gives us the strength to go through all our challenges in life and remain as pure as we are. In clinical study presented by Price & Price (2007), frankincense oil can slow down and deepen the breath and it is good for nervous depression.

St. John’s Wort Macerated Oil (Hypericum perforatum)

St. John’s Wort is well-known in Europe tradition for treating depression, therefore, you can consider mixing this carrier oil when preparing your topical products. it is a nervine tonic. In Germany, Hypericum extracts are permitted as medicinal for treatment of depression, anxiety and nervous excitement.


Battaglia, S. (2002). The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (second edition). Brisbane: The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy.

Pizzorno, J. E & Murray, M. T. (2013). Textbook of Natural Medicine. 4th Ed, Elsevier.

Price. S & Price. L, 2007. Aromatherapy for Health Professionals. 3rd edn, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

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