Mood and essential oils

Aromatherapies - Tried and True  Image courtesy of Michael Leunig
Image courtesy of Michael Leunig

I love this cartoon by Michael Leunig, it so beautifully illustrates the power of aromas on how we feel.   For something a little more portable and easier to access, I sometimes use essential oils instead 🙂  

Here are suggestions on some oils you can use for getting through our busy lives, and some blends for mood and health. 



Use around children or for a lighter scent, mandarin reminds us that life is not all about work and that we also need to play sometimes.


For a more refreshing scent Lime can re-energise you while providing a lovely sweet citrus note to any blend.


A fresh smelling, head clearing oil great for headaches or when overwhelmed with too much going on.


Used in meditation to help deepen the breath. Ever notice how taking a deep breath can be calming?  Used also in religious ceremony for grief, this oil is helpful when you need to ‘let go’.


Another beautiful oil often used in prayer and meditation because of its ability to calm, centre and provide a sense of groundedness. A good oil to use when you feel your boundaries have been trampled.

Your favourite essential oil

It doesn’t matter whether your favourite oil is considered a good stress oil or not, because if it makes you feel good then it is right for you.  Your nose knows best as it has a direct link to the emotional centre of your brain.  Breathe it in and notice how it makes you feel. 


Overcome Fatigue  

When  feeling fatigued, exhausted and in need of energy, some ‘get up and go’ to get things done, then this blend applied over the kidney area can give you a quick boost:

  • Scotch Pine – this warming oil gives a sense of confidence and strength, and can be used instead of eucalyptus in respiratory blends.   It is a tonic to the kidneys and nervous system and can help during recovery from illness.
  • Rosemary – known to be stimulating to the mind, and generally refreshing, this oil has been used for memory, pain, gout and liver.

Use in equal amounts, by 3 drops of each directly onto the area or into a teaspoon of jojoba oil. This quick fix is for occasional exhaustion and fatigue.  If you suffer from ongoing exhaustion or chronic fatigue, or have kidney disease please see a Naturopath for a treatment specific to you.

Stress Relief 

I am often asked “which is the best oil for stress?”, and my answer is invariably, which oil do you love the most?   Your favourite oil makes you feel good, and that helps you to feel less stressed.  I have also found that we often bottle up our emotions, deny our stress, and soldier on, because it’s expected.  If this sounds like you, then read on. In recent years new Australian oils have been introduced which have a profound effect on the emotional and physical levels.  This blend is one I have use with many clients for all manner of pain, emotional and physical, or transition through change.

  • Kunzea – key word for this oil is ‘support’, it provides a base and support emotionally so that you can face what life brings.
  • Fragonia – my experience of this oil is that it can cause deeply held emotions to be released.
  • Eucalyptus Blue Mallee – my favourite eucalyptus for its purifying and protective energy.

To use, blend in whatever proportion you intuitively feel is right for you, and add 4 to 6 drops to a diffuser.  If you inexplicably start crying, then go with it and release the emotions you have bottled up.  More Kunzea and less Fragonia will make the emotional release gentler.

Sleep Soundly

Over the smell of lavender but need a good sleep remedy?  Here are 3 alternatives:

  • Patchouli – this one is your oil if you love earth smells, or can remember the hippy era fondly.
  • Geranium – if flowers are your preference, then geranium is very healing to the soul as well as sedating to the nervous system.
  • Orange – love the smell of citrus and get a little anxious? then sweet orange is your oil

Mix it up a little and create your perfect blend by combining any 2, or all 3 oils into a diffuser.  Use the diffuser in the hour before going to bed, turn down the lights, and wind down gently until your body understands it is time to sleep.

Ease Depression 

Do you sometimes feel life is hopeless? That nothing is going your way? Have no motivation to get out of bed in the morning?   That there is no one around to help? Then let this blend remind you of what it’s like to not be depressed, and then consider what you need to do to get out of your drepression:

  • Sandalwood – imparts serenity and calmness, and helps over come isolation.
  • Mandarin – brings out the playful energy of the inner child that can laugh effortlessly full of joy.
  • Lemon Myrtle – fresh smelling and soothing, with the energy of a warm hug.

Good nutrition, herbal support, energy healing, counselling and sometimes medical intervention is needed to turn it around.   If you are depressed then you know it can take some effort to overcome, make a call today, reach out for help you can’t do it alone and nor do you need to!

Overcome Grief 

We grieve for people we lose in our lives.  Dr Elisabeth Kübler-Ross described a 5 step process consisting of: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Whether due to death or to other circumstances, you still need to honour the grieving process and go through the stages – at your own pace!    This simple blend can help with this process of letting go:

  • Frankincense – helpful for anxiety and stressful conditions as it deepens and slows down the breath, brings calm to the body as it does so.  This oil is said to attract angels and dispel evil spirits.
  • Orange – sweet and warm, orange reduces fears and encourages an optimistic outlook.

Boost Motivation 

This blend of essential oils is for those times when you just can’t get going.  A list of things to do, a life to live, all there for your enjoyment BUT you just can’t be bothered right now.  You know those days I’m talking about!

  • Ginger – puts some zing back into your life!  Warming and stimulating, the aroma is energising.
  • Cypress – space clearing, dispels negative energy that maybe holding you back.
  • Grapefruit – the key word here is ‘detox’.  In this blend grapefruit is used to detoxify negative thoughts and emotions, making way for a fresh start.

Blend the oils in any proportions you find to please you – put a total of 4 to 6 drops into a diffuser, breathe deeply and find you are now ready to get on with life.