Thought I would write a blog post about my favourite essential oil blends and singles and how you can use them at home and also a little bit about what they are!
Essential oils are highly concentrated essences derived from plants, they are used in aromatherapy practices and making fragrances but actually also have a huge history in natural healing.
A humans sense of smell is more sensitive and immediate than any of our other sense which is why essential oils can be so effective. The chemicals in the scent can actually trigger physiological responses that affect our mental state, which can help with our overall sense of well-being (something we all want right?)
ESSENTIAL OILS AND THE MIND:
Essential oils have compounds within them that affect our nervous systems, helping to lift our mood, relax us, or even put a pep in our step. Studies have shown that the compound called linalool in Lavender and Clary Sage reduces anxiety, and that limonene found in citrus oils can lift depression.
We all know that when we feel anxious or depressed that it doesn't just affect our minds, it affects our bodies as well as we hold a lot of tension in our shoulders and neck which can cause all sorts of problems for us, an aromatherapy massage is an excellent way to get the twice the benefits of what the essential oils can do for our minds and bodies, but even scents such as mandarin or vanilla bean by themselves can have an uplifting effect and reduce muscle tension.
Essential oils can most definitely improve our mental clarity and focus.
Studies have shown inhaling rosemary essential oils improve memory by up to 75%! (try that next time you are studying!) Rosemary oil contains the compound eucalyptol which acts in the same way as dementia drugs by increasing a neurotransmitter to the brain called acetylcholine which helps regulate brain activity
ESSENTIAL OILS AND THE BODY:
Oils are natural healers, as they have great medicinal properties that are usually associated with plants. Oils can be anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti fungal, and many are antimicrobial which helps kill many different micro-organisms to protect us.
Essential oils particularly tea-tree oil can help to destroy bacteria, viruses and fungi that cause infections, it helps with problems like athletes foot or I've even found it incredibly helpful as a pimple treatment (pop it on a pimple with a q-tip for a few nights and you will notice the pimple dry out and die down so fast)
A component in thyme essential oil called thymol and menthol in peppermint essential oil are shown to be powerfully anti-septic, studies have shown that inhaling these oils can be as effective as applying them to the skin and inhalation of essential oils has been linked to relieving symptoms of bronchitis and sinusitis for years. Many people see essential oils as an alternative in some cases to antibiotics!
Oils can also be known for being able to relieve localised pain (many massage therapists use them mixed in with their massage medium!)
Thyme, rose, eucalyptus, clove, bergamont and fennel have shown to work in the body in a similar way to ibuprofen by inhibiting the enzymes in the body that cause inflammation.
Negative factors of life such as stress, anxiety, poor diet and lack of sleep can all affect our body, when functioning properly our lungs, digestive system, kidneys and skin all help to remove toxins and waste products from the body and essential oils can help with this "detoxing" as they have detoxifying properties that help to cleanse and support the body.
A chemical called D-Limonene which is found in citrus fruit supports the healthy functioning of the liver (this is so important) as well as helping regulate your appetite and lower cholesterol!
MY PERSONAL FAVES!
Used in skincare, orange essential oil is used to help promote the production of collagen and supports the skins natural repairing process.
Orange oil also has toning properties which help to clarify and revitalise oily and dull/tired looking skin!
Orange essential oil supports the immune system, while its cooling and refreshing properties can help relieve symptoms of cold and flu viruses as well as calming the digestive system, and relieving anxiety. It truly is so multi functional.
The best way to use Sweet Orange Essential Oil is:
As a massage oil: To relieve nausea and indigestion add 4-6 drops to 1 tablespoon base oil (could use coconut oil) and massage abdomen clockwise.
In a diffuser: When used in a diffuser (my personal fave way of using) this oil can help to clear the air and the mind, and its calming properties can help with a restful sleep!
Peppermint essential oil can be an effective insect repellent (anyone who knows me personally knows I need insect repellent in my life at all times) but it can also be used to soothe bites and stings once they have happened.
Peppermint essential oil helps to relieve headaches and nausea, which makes it a great natural alternative to paracetamol for headaches and massaged into the abdomen or even inhaled can help with motion sickness and nausea on long car rides or tummy upsets.
The best way to use Peppermint Essential Oil is:
Inhalation: Either in a diffuser or straight out of the bottle the best way to use this is oil. It can be used this way to help clear the sinuses and congested lungs which is helpful at this time of the year.
Stress Less Blend:
Now we all need a bit of this don't we?
This oil is a blend of Bergamont, Petitgrain, Mandarin, Sandalwood & Patchoulli
Bergamont is known for enhancing well being as it acts as an antidepressant by balancing your mood and easing anxiety.
Petitgrain is also known for calming the body and mind as its woody scent has a relaxing and sedative effect on the body and mind , it counters nervous exhaustion and stress related conditions like panic and helps to calm a rapid heartbeat.
Mandarin is a relaxing and uplifting oil and helps to calm nerves, and if you feel nauseous this will help settle your stomach.
Patchoulli oil acts also as an anit-depressent and is useful for treating exhaustion, stress and anxiety, it also aids in balancing the body.
Sandalwood restores vitality to the mind and body and can help to dispel anxiety and help lift depression , it also helps to calm respiratory conditions with its cooling and anti-inflammatory effects.
You can see how all these oils blended together will be able to give you a sense of calm and ease your busy mind. I love to inhale it straight from the bottle in times of stress and anxiety such as before an exam, taking a moment to slowly inhale the oils through your nose and exhaling out of your mouth creates a sense of peace and calm and gives you a moment to collect your thoughts and calm yourself down before doing whatever you need to do.
Well thats it for today, I hope you enjoyed and learnt something and maybe are inspired to pick up a few oils and see how they can help you, even if it is just a more natural way to fragrance your home!
Oils can be used in skincare products too, so you could even try making your own at home!
Thanks for reading