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Are you 1 of millions of people who suffer from a decrease in energy, emotional imbalance and  the “Blues” during the fall and winter seasons? The Winter Blues is real.  In fact, in the early 1980’s, a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health by the name of Norman Rosenthal established that humans showed signs of depression during the fall and winter months, times when less sunlight appears each day.   These symptoms would only occur during the fall and winter months, and would virtually disappear during the spring and summer months when sunlight is at its longest daylight rotation. Rosenthal “described winter depression as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and pioneered the use of light therapy for its treatment.” (1) 

SYMPTOMS: According to the Mayo Clinic (2), SAD symptoms can include: 

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experience changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide (extreme SAD)
  • Heightened stress and anxiety
  • Loss of libido

WHAT CAN YOU DO? There are several natural ways to suppress some of the symptoms of SAD in order to regain your energy, combat sleeplessness and get your emotional balance back on track.  Norman Rosenthal’s full spectrum light therapy (3), which has been proven to help lessen the clinical symptoms of SAD.  The Light therapy uses special lights to mimic daylight exposure.  You are prescribed a certain length of time to use the light during specific times of the day.   A lack of Vitamin D due to less exposure of sunlight during these months may call for a boost by taking a daily supplement of 2,000 IU of Vitamin D. (4) Along with the additional Light Therapy and Vitamin D boost, Aromatherapy and the use of certain essential oils may also be beneficial to your overall well being during these darker months.  Let’s take a look at a few and how they may benefit you during these less lighted months.

Bergamot (Citrus aurantium bergamia):  This wonderful citrus’s origin is Italy and Morocco.  The essential oil is cold pressed from the rind to extract the essential oil.  Bergamot is known for its calming, yet uplifting properties, hormonal support, helps alleviate occasional nervous tension, maintains already normal blood sugar levels, supports a healthy digestive tract, and when diffused or directly inhaled can uplift your mood. It is also an ingredient used in the famous Earl Grey tea.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea): Clary Sage is steam distilled from the flowering tops of the plant.  An important component of this essential oils is the Diterpene: sclareol.  Clary Sage’s aroma is nutty, sweet, floral, yet earthy.  Its properties are known for reducing occasional nervous tension and unease, soothes inflammation, supports hormone balance in both men and women, and supports your digestive, circulatory, nervous, reproductive and respiratory systems.  Clary Sage is emotionally calming, supports mental fatigue, and occasional stress and anxiety when diffused or directly inhaled.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica):  Cedarwood’s bark is steam distilled to produce this woodsy, warm, and balsamic aromatic essential oil.  Cedarwood promotes a restful sleep, and creates a relaxing and comforting atmosphere when diffused or directly inhaled.  It’s known for its properties to support healthy blood circulation, healthy joint support, and is also great for treating winter hair frizzies and dry scalp.  Add a couple drops in your shampoo for an invigorating and uplifting scent to achieve less frizz and dryness and combats hair loss due to normal aging.  Cedarwood stimulates the limbic region of the brain, which is the center of your emotions. This essential oil also support the pineal gland, which releases natural melatonin.  Its a great oil for children and adults for its calming and purifying properties.

A study published in 2014 in Phytotherapy Research showed that when a menopausal woman, and other individuals, was suffering with depression inhaled Clary Sage essential oil it increased the 5_HT plasma, while plasma cortisol levels decreased significantly.  This study involved 22 menopausal women aged in their 50’s.  There were two groups, normal and depression tendency.  Clary Sage essential oils was placed on gauze and given to each participant to inhale for about 5 minutes.  Even though this was a very small study with very few participants depicting severe depression, researchers believed that the study supported anti-depressant activity of the Clary Sage essential oil because the cortisol levels in these individuals were significantly decreased while the 5-HT concentration was significantly increased in the participants. 

“The different change rate of 5-HT concentration between normal and depression tendency groups was variable according to the depression measurement inventory. When using KBDI-I and KBDI-II, 5-HT increased by 341% and 828% for the normal group and 484% and 257% for the depression tendency group, respectively. The change rate of cortisol was greater in depression tendency groups compared with normal groups, and this difference was statistically significant when using KBDI-II (31% vs. 16% reduction) and Self-rating Depression Scale inventory (36% vs. 8.3% reduction). Among three inventories, only KBDI-II differentiated normal and depression tendency groups with significantly different cortisol level. Finally, clary sage oil has antidepressant-like effect, and KBDI-II inventory may be the most sensitive and valid tool in screening for depression status or severity.” (5) 

Caution: Before using Clary Sage essential oil you should talk to your physician if you are planning on getting pregnant, are pregnant, or breastfeeding.


Frankincense (Boswellia carterii):  Frankincense is extracted by steam distilling the gum/resin from the tree.  Frankincense is considered the “holy anointing oil” in the Middle East and is known for its religious ceramonies for thousands of years.  It’s aroma increases spiritual awareness, is grounding, promotes meditation, uplifts your spirits and improves your attitude.  Its properties also support occasional stress and anxiety, respiratory and the immune system.  This essential oils is best diffused or directly inhaled for balance and grounding purposes.  Its also used in skin care products to promote a healthy looking appearance of the skin and symptoms caused by prematurely wrinkled skin.


Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia):  There is not enough that can be said about the properties of Lavender Angustifolia, a/k/a the “Swiss Army Knife of Essential Oils”.  Lavender is a great essential oil to help occasional restless sleep, occasional stress and anxiety, and is long known for its calming fragrance.  Use 4 drops of carrier oil with 1 drop of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) on your wrists, the back of your neck and massage on your feet before bedtime to promote a good night’s sleep.  For an extra boost, along with this Lavender regime, diffuse Cedarwood essential oil for about 1/2 hour in your bedroom before sleep.  Lavender supports your nervous system due to its floral, sweet, fresh and herbaceous aroma.  It also supports the cardiovascular, digestive, musculoskeletal, reproductive/endocrine, skin body systems, and promotes an emotional calming and balance.

In a study performed in 2012, when inhaled, Lavender significantly decreased blood pressure, heart rate and skin temperature.  Subjects who inhaled the Lavender essential oil in this study indicated that they felt more active, fresher, and relaxed then the individuals who were placed in a group that only inhaled a carrier oil. (6) *Carrier oils are vegetable oils such as sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil and olive oil.


Lemon (Citrus limon): Lemon’s aroma is uplifting, fresh and clean, and is especially stabilizing and calming during potential emotional outbursts because of its refreshing aroma.  Its essential oil is extracted from the rind by cold pressing.  When diffused alone or with other citrus essential oils, an emotional sense of happiness occurs.  Lemon essential oil is just a very refreshing essential oil to have around.  Its also has the following therapeutic actions, natural-diuretic, reduces age related wrinkles in skin care products, supports the circulatory system, reduces occasional stress and anxiety, supports the digestive system, is a natural cleaning agent, and is also great to use as a flavorant in food if you use indigestible safe essential oils.  Lemon is very rich in limonene which has many medicinal properties.  In a 1995 study, 12 patients experiencing depression received relief after having been exposed to the citrus aroma.  Their immune function and hormone levels also improved. (7)


Orange (Citrus sinensis): As with other citrus fruits, the essential oil is cold pressed from the rind of the fruit.  Orange essential oil has uplifting and energizing therapeutic properties when diffused or inhaled directly.  It is also a circulatory stimulant, and a natural diuretic. Much like Lemon essential oil, Orange has an uplifting aroma when diffused or directly inhaled, and is also a great option for use as a natural cleaning agent.  


Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin): Patchouli’s plant origin is Indonesia and the flowers of the plant are steam distilled to produce this lovely, aromatic essential oil.  Patchouli has a musty, earthy, strong aroma which stimulates a relaxing atmosphere when diffused or inhaled.  This essential oil easily blends well with Lavender, Clary Sage and Orange essential oils for a wonderful uplifting blend.  Patchouli supports the digestive system, healthy joint function, and helps alleviate occasional nervous irritability, tension, stress and anxiety.  


Peppermint (Mentha piperita):  Peppermint is steam distilled from the leaves and stems of the plant.  Peppermint’s therapeutic actions are abundant and includes supporting your gastrointestinal system, promotes healthy bowel function and gut function, supports the respiratory system, and has a very uplifting and happy  stimulating aroma when diffused, directly inhaled or worn topically with a carrier oil.  Peppermint helps to clear your mind, and helps alleviate occasional stress, anxiety and irritability, and helps alleviate nausea.


Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile/Anthemis nobilis): Mothers have used Roman Chamomile for centuries to ease and clam crying children due to its relaxing properties.  Roman Chamomile’s sweet, and fruity aroma helps alleviate occasional nervous irritability, stress and anxiety.  This essential oil also supports the digestive, musculoskeletal, nervous, reproductive/endocrine and skin body systems. Roman Chamomile along with Lavendar and Orange essential oil would make the perfect relaxing blend in a diffuser


Immunity Essential Oil Blend:  An immunity essential oil is a blend which contains Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata and Rosemary essential oils.  This blend of essential oils is not only wonderful for supporting a healthy immune system all year around, but has a spectacular, uplifting, spiritual aroma that just screams “ahhhh, relaxing, wonderful, fun, and happy” all in one bottle.  You will find yourself picking up the essential oil bottle from time-to-time just to smell this oil blend because it is so effective in creating a sense of happiness and joy when inhaled.  


Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides): Vetiver plants are grown in Haiti and Ecuador, and the root is steam distilled to create this amazing, super relaxing essential oil.  Its aroma is earthy, grounding, sweet, warm and woody.  When diffused it has a calming and relaxing effect on your emotional well-being.  This essential oil blends well with patchouli and Lemon.  Vetiver alleviates occasional stress, anxiety and irritability.  It is also a great essential oil to support occasional muscular tension.  Vetiver is well known for its superior grounding and stabilizing capabilities, and creates a sense of security and clarity.  It’s a very balancing essential oil.


Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata):  Ylang Ylang (a/k/a flower of flowers) is a beautiful and powerful yellow flower grown in Madagascar and Ecuador.  The essential oil is steam distilled from the flowers.  This essential oil is known for its powerful support to the circulatory system, and alleviates occasional stress, anxiety and nervous tension when diffused, inhaled directly or worn topically with a carrier oil.  Ylang Ylang has an exotic, sweet, uplifting and rich floral scent, but is not overpowering.  It’s also a wonderful essential oil to use to promote romance.  The aroma of Ylang Ylang supports your, nervous system, and mental and emotional well-being.

Here are a few great essential oil blends to diffuse, inhale, or apply topically that may help. 


  • 3 drops Orange essential oil
  • 3 drops Grapefruit essential oil
  • 2 drops Ylang Ylang essential oil

Add essential oils to your diffuser, or in the alternative, take 1 drop of each essential oil into your hand with 4 drops carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil, and apply to your pulse points and behind your neck. 

Stress Reducer Blend

  • 3 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops Frankincense essential oil
  • 3 drops Bergamot essential oil

Add essential oils to your diffuser, or in the alternative, take 1 drop of each essential oil into your hand with 4 drops carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil, and apply to your pulse points and behind your neck. 

Nervous Tension Reducer Blend

  • 1 drop Clary Sage essential oil
  • 2 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops orange essential oil
  • 1 drop Geranium or Ylang Ylang essential oil

Add essential oils to your diffuser, or in the alternative, take 1 drop of each essential oil into your hand with 4 drops carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil, and apply to your pulse points and behind your neck. 

Peaceful Blend

  • 2 drops Vetiver essential oil
  • 2 drops Cedarwood essential oil
  • 3 drops Lavender essential oil

Add essential oils to your diffuser, or in the alternative, take 1 drop of each essential oil into your hand with 4 drops carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil, and apply to your pulse points and behind your neck and the bottoms of your feet. 

DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are for educational purposes only, and we encourage you do your own research and decide what is best for your family. They are not meant to treat diagnose, prevent or cure any disease or illness. 

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