I have recently become a little obsessed with essential oils…
Essential oils have been around for yonks, we’re talking many cultures the world over for centuries. Frankincense and Pine were burned in the streets to ward off “evil spirits” during the Bubonic Plague of the 14th Century, it was noted that less people died of the plague in the areas where this was done. Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Persians to note a few have all used essential oils for a multitude of reasons. The Romans mainly used oils lavishly to bath and scent themselves, who could blame them, it probably smelt horrendous during those times! We are probably familiar with the basic concept here so I’m not going to bore you sense-less with history and how it’s made…go forth and google for more of that information. What I’d like to share with you is what I love and how I use them…
Burner – I love my burner and use it everyday. A couple drops of essential oils with a splash of water, a trusty tea light , take a deep breath and feel your mood go from zero to hero! I love burning invigorating and uplifting oils like rosemary and neroli when I am working, I really find it sharpens my senses and keeps me inspired. I am also often told that my house smells wonderful, burning rosemary, rose geranium and neroli have played a big part in that. Burning a little bit of lavender in my room before bed is wonderfully calming.
Bath – A few drops in a warm bath will take a average bath from blah to spa in an instant. I’m also a big fan of salt scrubs with invigorating oils in them. This is one from another locally produced company in the Dargle. You can quite easily make your own with some epsom salts, oil and essential oils.
Skin – only a few essential oils can be used directly on the skin, most need to be diluted. Lavender, tea tree, sandalwood and rose geranium can be used on the skin. If I have a pimple, a dab of tea tree is fantastic and works wonders! A bit of some rose geranium on the wrists as perfume is a lovely and uplifting way to smell well… lovely. Ylang Ylang, frankincense and neroli are some amazing oils for the skin so look out for them in skincare products.
Lotions and body cream – I often buy a plant oil based cream (never aqueous) and add a couple drops of lavender or tea tree depending on what my skin needs for a bit of extra TLC.
Room sprays – I religiously spritz my pillows and linen with a lavender room and linen spray. Here is a fabulous and easy recipe for making your own (click here)
Steam – Once a week I indulge in a facial steam. Eucalyptus, tea tree and rosemary are wonderful for the skin, mind and sinuses. If I have a headache a few drops of rosemary oil in a carrier oil like almond and massaged into the temples helps tremdously.
Most of all I love the fact that essential oils are natural and plant based and can be used as a simple and effective way to relax, balance and rejuvenate body, mind and spirit.
Where I shop –
If you can, buy local organic oils and make sure it’s 100% of the plant extract. If an oil says ‘fragrance’on it – it may have other nasties, some companies are misleading in their labeling and dilute oils with cheaper alternatives. You can buy blends as well but again make sure it is 100%. I buy my oils from Peter’s Gate because it is 2 minutes down the road, they grow their plants on the farm organically, their prices are very reasonable and Karen is not only a good friend and often feeds me cake but she knows her stuff!
Safety first – Essential oils are strong and powerful. They should be used carefully and sparingly. Certain oils shouldn’t be used by pregnant woman and folks with certain conditions like Epilepsy should take extra care. One should do a bit of research first and if unsure about something, check with someone who knows.
My favorites –
Rosemary – Antibacterial and promotes mental awareness – great for my office!
Neroli – Mood enhancing, antidepressant, anti-septic – so versatile and unique in smell.
Lavender – Healing and calming. There are so many uses and if you only have one oil it should be lavender.
Patchoulli – balances and relieves nervous tension.
Cederwood – moth repellent, warming home fragrance also good for dandruff….apparently.
Rose Geranium – good for anxiety. I love a little dab on my wrists.
Eucalyptus – great decongestant and wonderful antiseptic. Great in the bath and much better than siff dettol!
Tea Tree – great Anti fungal oil, used to treat bacterial and viral skin infections.
The possibilities and benefits are endless. Discovering essential oils has been a wonderful journey for the senses, my mind and my skin, I urge you to give some a go and bring them into your life…
“Take a deep breath and move on….”