It’s been a crazy week weather wise. Last week we had -30 degree wind chills and early this week we reached temps close to +50 degrees. I mean, these are not temps you normally expect to experience so close together in the same locale. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take the 50 degrees right about now… it feels downright tropical. But my point is that they’re pretty close to opposite ends of the weather spectrum. (Especially when -30 is involved)
Well, just like the past week’s weather, some essential oils are a seeming study in opposites. What I mean is they have properties that might seem to be opposites… like our weather. But in reality, they’re more complementary or synergistic than opposing in nature.
I’m only going to focus on one set of properties today, otherwise this is likely to become a novella instead of a blog post.
Before we continue though, we need a couple definitions…
Anxiolytic – Relieves or reduces anxiety
Antidepressant – Relieves or reduces depression
Many people think of anxiety and depression as being opposites, with one being wound too tight and the other as coming unwound. In reality, they’re both just parts of the same spectrum. Since most essential oils work to balance us, it stands to reason that many of them would be able to bring balance to both ends of whichever spectrum they work on.
Here are some of the best and/or common oils used for anxiety and depression. The ones marked with an asterisk * are photosensitizing and will cause you to burn more quickly in the sun so don’t apply them to the skin if you plan to be in the sun (or tanning booth) within 24 hours.
Remember, every oil will have a different effectiveness for each of their properties. This means the oil that works great to lower your anxiety isn’t necessarily the best one to help mitigate your depression and vice versa.
On the other hand, you can’t choose an oil strictly by the numbers either. So… just because research found oil A to be 98% effective against anxiety and oil B to be 62% effective, oil B might actually be the oil that helps you the most. This is because essential oils are more than just a list of properties or chemicals. They are synergistic blends of chemicals that must interact with the synergist blend of chemicals, emotions, experiences, and preferences known as you. And each of us is a unique synergistic blend that is going to interact with the synergy of each essential oil in its own unique way.
All of that’s to say: The essential oil that will work best for any condition is dependent on many factors like other physical conditions present, past/current emotional experiences, overall resiliency, and personal scent preferences, so take this information as it’s intended… just one small piece of the puzzle.