What aroma is good for reducing depression and can also help with studying?
Lemon essential oil (Citrus limonum) has shown in studies to reduce anxiety and depression in humans. It may also be a useful tool for studying. In a 2008 study, key constituents (taken internally) that reduced both physical and psychological stress included limonene and citral.
Studies Showing an Antidepressive & Anxiolytic Effect
- Aromatherapy with a blend of lemon, lavender, and ylang ylang was effective in lowering systolic blood pressure and the sympathetic nervous system in patients with hypertension.
- Aromatherapy massage using lavender, chamomile, rosemary, and lemon reduced anxiety and improved self-esteem in Korean elderly women.
- Lemon and valerian inhalation reduced depression in humans.
- Lemon vapor possessed anxiolytic, antidepressant-like effects in vivo. 
Studies Showing Improve Cognition
- Aromatherapy of rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange in the evening improved cognition of Alzheimer’s patients.
- In non-human studies, rats exposed to lemon aroma had improved learning. Further, two lemon essential oil components could reduced the symptoms of dementia based on in vivo studies.
Lemon Mood & Mind Boosting Recipes
Citrus Floral Blend for Anxiety and Depression
- 3 drops of lemon essential oil (Citrus limonum or Citrus limon)
- 1 drop of lime essential oil (Citrus latifolia or Citrus aurantifolia)
- 2 drops of lavender essential oil (Lavendula agustifolia or Lavendula officinalis)
- 1 drop of German chamomile (Chamomilla recutita or Matricaria chamomilla)
- 1 ounce of Jojoba carrier oil (Simmondsia chinensis)
Instructions: Blend these ingredients together and rub on body. Avoid sun exposure with the topical use of citrus essential oils. Discontinue use with any irritation.
Lemon Peppermint Study Drink
- Juice of one half lemon (Citrus limonum)
- Ten leaves of peppermint – minced (Mentha piperita)
- 16 ounces of Sparkling Mineral water such as San Pellegrino or Perrier
Instructions: Fill a tall glass with sparkling mineral water. Juice half a lemon and mince about ten peppermint leaves and add to the glass. Stir with a spoon. Drink and enjoy.
Lemon Rosemary Diffuser Blend for Studying
- 3 drops of lemon essential oil (Citrus Limonum)
- 3 drops of rosemary essential oil (Rosemarinus officinalis)
- Cool mist diffuser
Instructions: Drop three drops of each essential oil into a 5 ounce diffuser to help with studying.
 Fukumoto, S., Morishita, A., Furutachi, K., Terashima, T., Nakayama, T., & Yokogoshi, H. (2008). Effect of flavour components in lemon essential oil on physical or psychological stress. Stress and Health, 24(1), 3-12.
 Cha, J. H., Lee, S. H., & Yoo, Y. S. (2010). Effects of Aromatherapy on Changes in the Autonomic Nervous System, Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity and Aortic Augmentation Index in Patients with Essential Hypertension. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, 40(5).
 Rho, K. H., Han, S. H., Kim, K. S., & Lee, M. S. (2006). Effects of aromatherapy massage on anxiety and self-esteem in korean elderly women: a pilot study. International Journal of Neuroscience, 116(12), 1447-1455.
 Komori, T., Matsumoto, T., Motomura, E., & Shiroyama, T. (2009). P. 2. g. 008 Effects of lemon and valerian inhalation on autonomic nerve activity in depressed and healthy subjects. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 19, S475-S476.
 Komiya, M., Takeuchi, T., & Harada, E. (2006). Lemon oil vapor causes an anti-stress effect via modulating the 5-HT and DA activities in mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 172(2), 240-249.
 Lopes Campêlo, L. M., Gonçalves e Sá, C., de Almeida, A. A. C., Pereira da Costa, J., Costa Marques, T. H., Mendes Feitosa, C., … & Mendes de Freitas, R. (2011). Sedative, anxiolytic and antidepressant activities of Citrus limon (Burn) essential oil in mice. Die Pharmazie-An International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 66(8), 623-627.
 Jimbo, D., Kimura, Y., Taniguchi, M., Inoue, M., & Urakami, K. (2009). Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Psychogeriatrics, 9(4), 173-179.
 Ogeturk, M., Kose, E., Sarsilmaz, M., Akpinar, B., Kus, I., & Meydan, S. (2010). Effects of lemon essential oil aroma on the learning behaviors of rats. Neurosciences, 15(4), 292-293.
 Zhou, W., Fukumoto, S., & Yokogoshi, H. (2013). Components of lemon essential oil attenuate dementia induced by scopolamine. Nutritional neuroscience.
By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, Registered Aromatherapist, LMT, AIA and NAHA Member