Essential oils are booming right now, and for good reason. More and more people are becoming aware of how they can benefit our support our health and wellbeing. If you want to learn how essential oils can help you, how they work and how you can include them in your daily life, read on!
Essential oils have been used for centuries by many cultures that recognised their powerful healing properties. Essential oils carry antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits. Their uses range from aromatherapy, personal beauty care, natural cleaning and as medicinal treatments.
Essential oils are made by distilling or extracting the different parts of plants, including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, resin and peels. What you are left with is a potent therapeutic compound – so powerful in fact that one drop of peppermint essential oil for example is the equivalent of 28 cups of peppermint tea! Or one drop of lemon oil is the equivalent to 20 lemons! Less is more when it comes to oils.
These amazing oils can be used in various ways:
Topically – when used topically via massage or direct application, the active compounds in essential oils are absorbed through the skin. Carrier oils are always recommended – use a dilution of just two drops per 10 ml carrier oil. For a beautiful luxurious organic cold pressed carrier oil try the Jojoba and Meadom Foam Bath and Body Oil.
Add to a handful of your regular body moisturiser for an aromatherapy experience! For specific ailments such as burns or itches, add one drop onto a damp cotton bud and apply to affected area.
Inhalation – inhalation of oils can have beneficial physiological and psychological effects. Instinctually, we all know that smells can trigger or bring back fond memories (Nanna’s cookies, anyone?) When essential oils are inhaled, the molecules interact with the olfactory organs (sense of smell), respiratory system and the brain. During inhalation, the molecules affect the brain through the amygdala gland and limbic system, commonly referred to as the 'emotional brain'. The limbic system links to the parts of the brain that control stress levels, memory, heart rate, blood pressure and hormone balance. To use via inhalation, add 6-10 drops to a diffuser such as this one or to a warm bath.
Spritzer – add 3 drops to a small glass spritzer bottle and spritz lightly on your face and décolletage to refresh. I personally love Unwind in the afternoon to revive and destress after a hectic day!
Here are my favourite blends for:
Emotional wellbeing – I think of oils as my ‘self care’ kit that help me when I’m stressed, run down or just need a mood boost. I have oils in most rooms of the house and instinctively know which one I’m in need of most. Vitality is uplifting, rejuvenating and helps with mental clarity and confidence. Unwind helps to calm and relax the senses, is balancing and reduces stress and anxiety. Joy helps to instil positivity, awaken the spirit and promote emotional wellbeing – has both floral and citrus notes. On my list to try next is Sensual – promotes feelings of romance, intimacy and relaxation. I’m sure many husbands are fans of this particular oil, especially with the Cedarwood which is a known aphrodisiac! You’ll find all these gorgeous blends here
Itches, eczema and skin irritations – Lavender oil is one of the most versatile oils around (available here). We all know it’s great for relaxing and easing tension and stress, but did you know it’s perfect for soothing irritations such as eczema, minor burns, itchy bites and rashes? For eczema, mix 2 drops to 10 ml carrier oil (coconut or jojoba are great) and apply.
House cleaning – Lemon, Tea tree and Eucalyptus oils (available here ) are a must in the kitchen and household. With their antibacterial, antiseptic, cleansing and freshening properties, there’s no need to resort to harsh or toxic chemicals to clean your home. Their fresh scent is also reviving to the senses – so it’s a double win!
Here’s a simple recipe for a multipurpose cleaning spray: 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar and 20 drops essential oil of your choice. Mix and shake in a spray bottle – use on bathroom and kitchen surfaces. Lemon, tea tree and eucalyptus (or a combination) are all great choices. Dark glass spray bottles are best to avoid the essential oil corroding the plastic and the light damaging the oils.
Coughs and colds – Breathe blend helps to clear the airways, keep lungs clear of mucus and supports the detoxification of the respiratory system. Breathe oil can benefit overall respiratory immunity with the antiseptic, expectorant and antispasmodic properties of cedarwood, peppermint, lemon and eucalyptus oil. Use in a diffuser or add two drops to coconut oil for a soothing chest rub. Find Breathe oil here
So there you have it – my essential oil tips! For any questions, please email me - I’m always happy to help!
Valerie Ann Worwood. The Fragrant Pharmacy. 1992. United Kingdom. Transworld Publishers.