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ESSENTIAL OILS
AS MOOD ENHANCERS

Essential oils can assist us in so many ways, on both psychological and physiological levels. When using essential oils to elevate our mood, one of the most effective means of obtaining their substantial benefits is through direct inhalation. When the oil is rubbed into our palms (diluted with a carrier oil if necessary) and inhaled, its beneficial properties travel instantly to the limbic system, the main area of the brain that is deeply connected with our emotions.

One of the very best oils for balancing and lifting the mood is Bergamot, a type of bitter orange. Its citrus scent is rich yet not overwhelmingly sweet, with a refined, bitter note that is quite grounding. On a psychological level, Bergamot helps us relieve stress, mental fatigue, emotional conflict, and all those symptoms of an overactive mind. It harmonizes our moods and feelings, creating optimism and giving our minds a chance to relax. It's been hailed as "The Supreme Mood Balancer". Other top picks for oils with a balancing effect include Rose, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Lavender and Geranium. When our moods become overrun by nervousness or anxiety, or we feel tense and over stimulated, we look to oils that help us sedate and relax. These include Rose, Lavender, Marjoram, Clary Sage, Neroli, Camomile and Helichrysum. Distilled from fresh herb and flower, Helichrysum is wonderful for general restlessness and agitation, as well as those more intense emotions such as fear, anger and sorrow. It harmonizes the mood while at the same time "talking the mind down." It helps diffuse shock or trauma after an injury - I've used it with great success after being stung up and down the arm by a wasp stuck in my sleeve - and can also relieve us from mental and emotional burnout (too many things happening at once). Helichrysum is a most rich and robust honey-sweet oil with excellent fragrance retention, and delicious, smoky undertones.

Some oils are actually considered euphoric and are useful (as a temporary measure at least, while the root cause is explored) for most types and of depression and severe mood imbalance. These oils include Jasmine, Neroli, Clary Sage, Ylang ylang, Patchouli and Atlas Cedarwood. They help us recover from mental over stimulation, including shock and trauma, as well as those pesky, nagging feelings of low self-esteem, guilt, and insecurity. Ylang ylang, distilled from the tantalizing and intoxicating fresh flower, assists our minds by planting seeds of optimism. Its rich sweetness is undeniably sensual and actually helps to enhance our self-esteem. Historically, Ylang ylang was spread across the beds of newly wed couples as a blessing on their special night. It can help us all in restoring balance to our sexual energy. A close friend of Ylang ylang, Jasmine oil is extracted from fresh, unbruised jasmine flowers, picked at dawn, just after having released their most potent wave of fragrance. Jasmine creates a warm, sweet, nurturing effect on our mood, relieving our minds from burnout and over stimulation. Jasmine's gentle sweetness balances emotions that either flow too freely or aren't flowing at all. It brings about a peacefulness that's helpful in relationships and tough negotiations - asking for a raise? Buying a new car? Jasmine, "Queen of the Night," is ruled by the moon and helps us cultivate that inner calm. These oils that work wonderfully on our emotional and mental well being through direct inhalation can also be applied directly (in a carrier oil if necessary) to the temples, forehead, acu-points on hands and feet; or used in a nebulizer or diffuser.

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