It is undeniable that the emotional, spiritual, and physical body plays an integral part in mental health. The chakra system involves the four bodies – mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. While this article is focused on the benefits of essential oils for mental health, good health is dependent on all aspects of the human being to find balance and well-being. Essential oils have a true effect on activating memory and healing for inner peace and restoration. You can use an essential oil on many levels – for example, to relieve physical ailments such as respiratory challenges, to enhance your mental acuity, to heal emotional issues such as sadness or embarrassment, and/or to deepen a spiritual practice.
Essential Oil Safety
There are many ways for essential oils to have positive effects on the body, mind, and spirit. The three ways I recommend using essential oils, whether as single notes or part of a blend, are:
1 Diffusion Cold-water mist from a diffuser or mister into the air.
2 Inhalation Smelling the oil or blend directly from the bottle or as a mist.
3 Topically Application to the skin (usually the soles of the feet) with the use of a carrier oil or lotion.
Inhalation is the preferred method. Use essential oils in moderation and mindfully. Do not use the same oil repetitively, but rather use various oils that potentially provide similar benefits in moderation.
The Grades of Essential Oil — Not All Products Are Created Equal
Aromatherapy products have entered the commercial marketplace by force. There are many commercial-grade products marketed as “aromatherapy,” but they are either not made with quality essential oils or contain synthetic fragrances. Therapeutically, it is essential to know and understand the differences between the various grades of essential oils.
True medical-grade oils provide real therapeutic results. They bring about a physiological, mental, emotional, or spiritual response immediately.
The following is an overview of the various grades of oils you will encounter on the market:
- Pure Medical Grade essential oils are 100% pure and completely natural. This means they do not contain any synthetic or unnatural adulterations. They are determined to be pure through quality control from the point of growth, processing, and laboratory analysis.
- Pure Grade Organic essential oils are from organic flowers, plants, and trees that are certified by U.S. standards and inspections. They are considered pure medical grade oils.
- Aromatherapy Grade essential oils are adulterated with natural and unnatural components and additives.
- Commercial Grade essential oils have been distilled again, creating a lower grade oil or have components added or removed to improve odor or safety.
I use medical grade oils for therapeutic reasons. Being the largest organ of the body, the skin is the key location for the absorption of the essential oils directly into the bloodstream. To use therapeutically, add the chosen oil or synergy to carrier oil, as described earlier, and apply it to the soles of your feet to maximize the integration of the oil’s physiological benefits. Application to the feet also avoids sensitivity challenges in those with sensitive skin; irritation is less likely to affect the soles of the feet, which are generally thicker-skinned than the rest of the body.
Recommendation for Beginner’s Use
I recommend inhalation and diffusion as the preferred method of use until you get to know your essential oil allies a little better. Always remember that essential oils have true chemical constituents with real effects on your body. Medical grade essential oils are much more potent than a roll-on fragrance oil. So use them sparingly, as a little bit goes a long way. Once you know a particular oil well, you can then graduate to the next level by applying the essential oil in a carrier oil to the soles of your feet. Refrain from applying the oils directly on your body and do not take them internally. Other than that, have a good time exploring the many uses of nature’s aromatic gifts and turn to the myriad of vibrational support available to you as you begin creating aroma-energetic blends with far-reaching beneficial effects.
Essential Oils for Mental Health
Angelica – can be used with the intention of calming the mind’s incessant chatter. Providing a sense of serenity, this oil is beneficial for times when too many things are happening at once and you need to regain your mental focus. It is a good oil to add to a synergistic blend with the intention of promoting inner peace and restful sleep. Angelica can help release emotional wounds. It supports release through dreaming, journaling, crying, emoting, and/or processing your emotions. Use this oil to help clear away unnecessary emotional baggage and outside negative influences. For your safety: This oil is phototoxic. Therefore, avoid exposure to direct sunlight when using topically. Do not use if pregnant or nursing.
Clary sage – relaxes the judgments in the mind, allowing you to let go and let other’s live their lives. As you release judgment of others and yourself, you become the objective observer. Clary sage relaxes, comforts, and grounds feelings and emotions. It replaces the energy of hysteria with a sense of well-being and euphoria. It is especially beneficial when emotions are rampant. Use it for calming and releasing anger and frustration. Clary sage lowers the blood pressure. For your safety: Has a sedative effect; avoid prior to driving and when it is necessary to stay alert. Avoid when drinking alcohol, as nausea may result. Use sparingly or occasionally as overuse may cause headaches. Do not use if pregnant or nursing.
Lime – brings mental clarity. The sweet scent of lime helps to counteract dark thoughts and bring awareness to the sweetness of life. Lime assists you in feeling joy and finding inner peace. Use it to recover from periods of the blues or low self-esteem. This oil raises your awareness so you can work through your feelings, validate them, and move on to more joyful pursuits. Place a bit of lime oil in a diffuser or on a hanky to inhale while journaling to achieve both emotional and mental clarity. For your safety: This oil is phototoxic; therefore, avoid exposure to direct sunlight when using topically.
Palmarosa – is useful for decompressing and releasing pressure in your mind. It helps to expand your mental pathways so that you can more easily generate new ideas. Palmarosa is helpful for reducing stress and anxiety. Use it as an aid when you are trying to release problems and truly want to let them go. This oil can help release any anxiety you are feeling and allow your affairs to unfold with ease. Add this scent to synergistic blends to help let go of feelings of insecurity/lack of confidence and to help drive away the blues and relieve the symptoms of depression. No known contraindications.
Petitgrain – shines light on mental obstacles. Use this oil for manifestation and to activate the power of the mind to create reality. This essential oil activates creative thought processes, helping you to bring forth inspiration. It calms the mind, relieves mental stress, supports mental activity, and increases positive thinking. Petitgrain is a calming aroma and therefore relieves agitated feelings. It is a perfect ingredient in synergistic blends for lifting you out of the blues and improving personal power and awareness. No known contraindications.
The mental uses of essential oils offer benefits of clarity and positive affects for the central nervous system. The energy and scent realigns the mind. The mental subtle body contains all the thoughtforms in your consciousness that create your reality. To manage and balance your thoughtforms is paramount in creating a happy, healthy, and productive life. Use the oil with intention to keep your mind focused on the positive: what you do want, not what you don’t want.