Essential Oils for Mood Management
Essential Oils are the rage. With a growing number of high-quality brands on the market, it is easy to incorporate oils into your wellness practice. One of the most powerful uses of essential oils is to alter and manage your moods.
What exactly are EOs?
Essential oils are one of the oldest forms of a natural medicine, dating as far back as the ancient Egyptians. Essential oils are aromatic liquids that are found in a variety of plants, flowers, trees, roots, shrubs, and seeds. This “life blood” is extracted from the plant through the process of steam distillation.
3 Ways to Use EOs
This is the traditional way to use Essential Oils. Smell is the sense most strongly linked to memory. The brain is highly activated by scent.When we smell something, we first process the input via the olfactory bulb, which is at the base of our brain and connected to the amygdala and hippocampus, the parts of our brain associated with emotion and memory. You probably know this by your experience of being human. Certain smells take us right back to a moment in our personal history, reminding us of people, places, and experiencing in our lives. Along with that comes the emotions and energy linked with the memory. In addition, certain smells universally stimulate different parts of our brains.
There are two ways to use EOs aromatically:
Dispense one or two drops on the palm of one hand and rubbing both hands together. Cup hands in front of your face and draw a long, slow breath through your nose. Exhale through your mouth, slowly. Repeat 2x.
There are many diffusers designed specifically for use with Essential Oils. Mix 2-8 drops of essential oil with distilled water and place into a diffuser. The diffuser breaks apart the oil into tiny molecules and disperses them through the air.
Essential oils are rapidly absorbed by the skin, mostly because of their molecular structure. When applied topically, EOs are fully metabolized within a few hours. And it only takes about 20 minutes for an oil to affect every cell in the body. Because they are extremely potent and the body absorbs them so easily, it is important to properly dilute them when using them topically.
A general rule of thumb for a safe dilution ratio is: 1-2 drops of EO in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil. Coconut, olive, almond, sesame, avocado, and jojoba make great carrier oils, as they have nutritive qualities of their own to supplement the benefits of the essential oils you add to them.
To give you an idea of how concentrated Essential oils are, one drop of peppermint oil is the equivalent to 25 cups of peppermint tea. Some people, even Aromatherapists, believe ingesting EOs can be hard on the digestive system, liver, and other internal organs. Though many swear by using EOs internally, and can point to some compelling results. Educate yourself and consult an experienced practitioner before you experiment extensively. A good starting point is adding 3-5 drops of any essential oil in 1 quart of fresh, clean drinking water and consume over an hour or two.
Which EOs to Use
When it comes to altering mood, there are general two directions to go. If you suffer from depression, you will want a pick-me-up. If you suffer from anxiety, you will want to be soothed. If you suffer from a combination of the two, try combining scents from each category.
Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Vetiver, Frankincense, Chamomile, Lemon
Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Wintergreen, Bergamot, Orange, Grapefruit, Rosemary
A Final Word
The most important thing when experimenting with Essential Oils for managing your moods is to tune into the way you feel. If you respond positively to any particular oil, then go with it. No two people are exactly alike. If you find a particular EO that gives you the desired result—no matter what it’s supposed to do—then stick with it. Find your happy place and enjoy!