Herb garden essential oils for mental health

The herb garden is a magical place in which you can find and add many varieties of herbs to create a natural and beautiful spot in your garden. At this time of year, the herb garden will be in full bloom. You may catch the smell of lavender drifting in the breeze, hear the buzz of bees enjoying the lemon balm or smile at seeing the sweetest little white flowers on your Thyme.

There are many benefits to adding, or already enjoying, a little herb oasis to your home. Here are a few of my favourites:

  1. One of the best benefits to growing a herb garden is you will have fresh herbs at your fingertips to add to any recipes you enjoy creating.
  2. You don’t need a lot of space. Herbs can be grown in a small area of your garden, in pots or even on your windowsill, meaning everyone can enjoy the benefits of herbs.
  3. The enjoyment of growing something from seed, seeing the first seedling peeping through the soil, then seeing it turn into a healthy plant which you can pick. It is such a wonderful feeling watching your little plant grow!
  4. Many herbs you can grow can also be used for medicinal purposes. Rosemary can be infused in coconut oil to help with scalp psoriasis (I’ve made this myself and its done wonders for my scalp), or lavender sprigs can be picked and used in baths to help with insomnia. The list is endless. Please see a previous article for some great ways to enjoy the powers of the summer herb garden
  5. Spending time outside, digging, weeding, and picking herbs is great for our physical health as it keeps us active, but it also does wonders for our mental health, too. Mindfully picking herbs to add to a salad, drink in a tea or to infuse in a carrier oil will help you to stay in the present moment. Staying in the present stops us from feeling anxious and can help with any worries we may have.

As well as the herb garden being wonderful for your mental wellbeing there are also many of those herbs used in aromatherapy and these essential oils can support your mental health, too. 

My top ‘herb garden’ essential oils to support mental health

  • Basil is an extremely popular herb, and it is the same in aromatherapy thanks to the nervine actions found within the essential oil. Basil can support nervous tensions such a stress, mental unrest, and indecisiveness.
  • Clary Sage is one of the best essential oils to help with insomnia. It is a highly sedative oil so best used before bed. It is also extremely beneficial to help with PMS or perimenopause symptoms such as anxiety and mood swings.
  • Apple scented Roman Chamomile smells delicious in your herb garden on a warm summer’s day. As an essential oil it is a great choice to help balance emotions thanks to its calming and soothing properties.
  • Dill Seed is a sweet-smelling essential oil. Although its plant power is often used for digestive problems, it can also be beneficial if you are suffering from nerves.
  • Geranium, although not a herb, is a great addition to any garden. Geranium is one of my favourite essential oils to support both the nervous and endocrine systems. It can help to balance hormones, ease mood swings and irritability. It also happens to have a beautiful sweet and floral scent. Summer in a bottle!
  • A herb garden would not be complete without Lavender. It is often used to help with sleep disorders, but it can also be beneficial if you are suffering from anxiety, depression, and other stress conditions.
  • Melissa (more commonly knowns as Lemon Balm) is Greek for “honey bee” and anyone who grows Melissa will know the bees absolutely love this lemon-scented herb. It is my top oil for treating anxiety and grief. A must for your herb garden but also for your aromatherapy collection.
  • Peppermint has an uplifting and refreshing aroma. A great essential oil to use to help focus your mind if you are suffering from mental fatigue.
  • Rosemary is found in many herb gardens and as an essential oil it can be used to help with fatigue. It can also be used to help boost concentration and to aid in those moments of brain fog.
  • Sweet Marjoram essential oil has such a beautiful herbaceous aroma. It is wonderfully relaxing, thanks to its sedative action and can be useful if you suffer from broken sleep.
  • Sweet Thyme is a light, mild and gentle essential oil. It is an excellent nerve tonic that can be effective in treating stress and nervous exhaustion.
  • Although, Calendula (Marigold) oil is not an essential oil, I felt I had to add it to my list. Every year I make sure this vibrant orange flower can be found in my herb garden. There is something quite magical about seeing a marigold flower. Calendula oil is beautifully nourishing and soothing for the skin and can be beneficial for several skin disorders. 

Herb garden essential oil recipes to support mental health

Here are my favourite herb garden essential oil blends to try:

Sleepy Herbs Pillow Spray

Add 10 drops of Clary Sage, 12 drops of Lavender and 8 drops of Sweet Marjoram to a 100ml atomiser spray. Combine equal amounts of Polysorbate 20 emulsifier to the essential oils added to the bottle, shake the bottle, and then fill the bottle with Chamomile Hydrolat. Spritz in your room and on your pillow to help get a good night’s sleep.

Focus the Mind Diffuser Blend

Diffuse 1 drop of Peppermint, 2 drops of Basil and 2 drops of Rosemary, in water, in either an electrical aromatherapy diffuser or candle burner into your chosen room for a maximum of 20 minutes. Due to this blend being very stimulating do not use before bed.

Calm your Nerves Balm

Add 5g of Bees Wax and 35ml of Calendula infused oil to a bain-marie on a low heat. Once the bees wax has melted turn off the heat and add 2 drops of Geranium, 3 drops of Lavender, and 3 drops of Melissa. Stir and pour the liquid in to a 30ml jar. Leave to cool and apply when you need the calming herbs to soothe you in moments of stress.

Mood Balancing Bath Soak

Geranium, Roman Chamomile and Clary Sage are the perfect essential oils to help balance hormones, bring a sense of calm and help ease any irritability. Mix 1 drop of Roman Chamomile, 2 drops of Geranium and 2 drops of Clary Sage to 50g of Epsom or Himalayan Pink Salts. Add to a warm bath and let the flower and herb blend work its magic.

As well as enjoying time in your garden there are so many wonderful herb garden essential oils for you to discover, to help with your mental wellness and bring a little of the outdoors, inside. 

Kirsty Summerbell
Consultant Aromatherapist

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