Creative Ways to Use Essential Oils For Self-Care
I’m talking to a lot of people who are currently feeling, emotionally, very much below par. We’ve all be side-swiped with this pandemic and the second lockdown is creating more stress, uncertainly, anxiety and anger. As a massive fan of essential oils, I’ve been using them for over twenty-five years, I thought I would share how these wonderful gifts of nature provide amazing health and wellness benefits and are so easy to incorporate into your self-care and wellness routines, especially in these emotionally challenging and stressful times.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are extracted from the various parts of plants and trees, (flowers, fruits, stems, leaves, bark, roots) using certain methods including steam distillation, and have been used for several thousand years.
What Do Essential Oils Do?
Essential oils are used for very many things, they are incredibly versatile and have very many properties, health and wellness benefits. From relieving, stress, improving sleep, uplifting mood, increasing energy to relieving emotional and physical pain.
Essential oils are my initial go to for a headache, sore throat, skin irritation, feeling anxious or stressed, insect bites, aches and pains, bruises, stomach upsets, tiredness and even cooking. Yes I cook* with some of my essential oils. So you can see they can be used for many things including physical ailments and emotional wellbeing. That’s why they are such an effective self-care tool.
How To Use Essential Oils.
One of the easiest ways to use essential oils is via a diffuser, which disperses the aroma into the air and which ingested through smell. Another way of using them is to mix a few drops of essential oil into a carrier oil, liked fractionated coconut oil (which is odourless) and then massage into the body. You can use a certain essential oil for a certain ailment.
For example, to relieve tired muscles after exercising, you could add a few drops of Wintergreen to a carrier oil and rub well in. If you are having trouble sleeping a drop of vetiver on the back of your neck does the trick for me. Or after a relaxing bath or shower, add some Lavender and Geranium to a carrier oil and rub in all over your body.
As a treat, I melt ordinary (cooking) coconut oil in my hands and add a few drops of Frankincense and use as a body moisturiser, just devine. You can also add a few drops of essential oil in a little milk and put that into a bath. If you just drop the oil directly into the bath water, the oil will sit on the top of the water and evaporate very quickly, such a waste. For an extra soothing bath, add some sea salts and feel your muscles relax.
The Link Between Smell, Emotions and Mood.
Of our five senses, smell is the strongest and the only one that bypasses the thalamus and goes straight to the amygdala, which is part of our limbic brain and responsible for threat detection and response, whether that is a real or perceived threat. The brain can’t tell the difference but the physiological response is the same – but that’s for another newsletter. There is a strong relationship between smell and emotion, that’s why smell can evoke so many memories and moods.
For example, the smell of freshly mown grass, coffee, baking bread may evoke positive memories whilst malibu and pineapple, which may evoke a negative emotion, if it was something you drank as a teenager and it made you ill!
Which Essential Oils to Use For What?
Mood Boosting : Peppermint, Wild Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit. I
particularly like Peppermint and Wild Orange mixed together. Place one
drop of each in the hands, rub together and inhale. NOT near your eyes.
Mental Clarity: Rosemary, Juniper Berry, Clary Sage, Basil, Lemon.
Calming/Stress Relief: Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang,
Anxiety: Lavender, Basil, Cedarwood, Arborvitae
Anti-Bacterial: Tea Tree, Cinnamon Bark, Thyme, Grapefruit, Lemon
Anti-Inflammatory: Peppermint, Wintergreen, Lavender, Bergamot
Cleansing: Lemongrass, Frankincense, Cilantro, Bergamot
Grounding: Vetiver, Arborvitae, Patchouli, Birch
Sleep: Lavender, Vetiver, Roman Chamomile, Sandalwood
There are many essential oil suppliers and as rule of thumb the more expensive the product, the more likely it is to be purer, a better grade and therefore more effective.
If someone is selling say, Lavender for £2.99 for 5ml, it’s highly likely that the product has never even seen lavender! It takes a lot of material to make a few mls of essential oil and the higher grade the oil, the better it is for you, but of course there will be a higher cost.
Most brands will have a warning on the bottle that the product is not to be taken internally. Please pay heed to that. The ones I use, and cook* with are certified therapeutic grade oils and are safe to be taken internally.
If You Are New To Essential Oils, Which Ones Should You Try First?
If you have never used essential oils before and would like to give them a try, then I would recommend Lavender, Lemon and Melaluca (tea tree). Between the three of them they can address so many issues.
Whether you are new to essential oils or an habitual user, I’d love to know your thoughts and how you get on if you are trying them for the first time as part of your self-care routine.
If you would like some help in choosing a reputable brand, then drop me a line. I will be happy to share with you the ones I use.
If you’d like more information, grab a cuppa and hop on a no-obligation call to find out how I can help and, more importantly, if I’m the right person for you.