I’m one of those people who has embraced every single healing modality under the sun. There’s pretty much nothing I haven’t tried. And when I say tried, I mean dived into. I spent an entire year boiling traditional chinese medicine herbs at home every single night and forcing down the brown, murky, bitter tasting potion, all in the quest of perfect health. I’m a huge fan of reflexology, western and eastern herbs, cupping, acupuncture, nutrition, EFT and many other therapies. But after years of trial and error, essential oils are what I turn to day-to-day. Every morning starts with a dousing of oil blends for strengthening my immune system, for calming my central nervous system and finishes off with all the uplifting citrus oils to keep me feeling happy all day.
It’s hard to put into words just how versatile and magical these little bottles are. Suffice to say, they form the basis of my medicine cabinet, cosmetics bag, bath products and even my cleaning cupboard (#noexaggeration). Am I 'crazy oils lady'? Maybe. But every time someone steps into my house or opens my handbag, one sniff later and they’re hooked. Here's how aromatherapy works:
What essential oils are good for
Imagine extracting the very essence of a plant and ending up with a pure, liquid elixir. Imagine ingesting and absorbing this lifeblood into your own body, swirling through your blood stream and infusing your cells with its unique cocktail of reparative compounds.
Humans have instinctively worked with plants in this way for thousands of years. Without even realising it, you are most likely enjoying the benefits of plant oils yourself!
Every time you add a slice of lemon to your water, you are intuitively seeking the cleansing properties of citrus fruits. Each time you put peppermint leaves into hot water and sip from it, you are looking for that tummy settling minty freshness. When you crush fresh lavender between your fingers and inhale deeply, you want that signature relaxing aroma that you know so well.
But if you want to truly experience the therapeutic qualities of these plants and aromatherapy benefits, look to its most potent form – the pure essential oil. They can help you through issues from insomnia and anxiety to nutrition and weight loss.
Why essential oils over the plant
Essential oils are extremely potent. Just one drop of peppermint oil is equivalent to 28 cups of fresh peppermint tea. You can add a drop to hot water and experience peppermint in a way that I guarantee you have not before. A drop rubbed on the back of the neck is an instant hit of energy without needing to resort to caffeine or stimulants.
They are a beautifully convenient way to carry around your personal little remedy kit. Be your own travelling apothecary with just a few bottles in your handbag. I carry certain staples with me at all times – a blend of Cypress and Peppermint to ease tension around my neck and a Wintergreen, Basil and Peppermint blend in case I get a headache.
They are fast acting and effective. Being in liquid form means that essential oils can work very quickly. Inhaling straight from the bottle or cupping your hands around your nose with just a drop can provide immediate effect. Feeling tired? This Wild Orange blend is a divine smelling pick-me-up.
Essential oils and their uses
You can use essential oils to scent a room by diffusing them, inhaling them straight from the bottle or even from cupped hands. There's an endless essential oils guide for mood management issues – if you’re feeling anxious, pop a diffuser on your desk and add some Wild Orange and Peppermint to uplift your mood. If you’re looking for a good night’s sleep, diffuse some Lavender or Frankincense.
Using essential oils on skin (making sure to dilute some of the stronger oils) can be an extremely effective way to use the oils. Many of these oils can be integrated into your skin care routine to support cell and tissue repair and help with scarring. Also, applying oils to the soles of your feet can be a fantastic way to get the oils into your blood stream. Every night I apply a mixture of Vetiver, Lavender and Roman Chamomile into my feet and I’m knocked out within minutes (and this from a former insomniac!). See below for the only brand I recommend using neat on the skin.
Oils can be taken internally but this comes with a word of warning. Very few brands are safe to use internally and they are extremely powerful taken this way. The only brand I would use in this way is doTERRA as these are the safest and purest on the market and regulated by the FDA. Internal uses include supporting digestion, your immune system and an absolute myriad of other systems and conditions.
So next time you catch yourself thinking essential oils are just lovely smelling things to dump into oil burners, stop right there! They can be the most wonderful support to every part of your life emotionally, physically and spiritually.
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