Last January I was lucky enough to go along to Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden and experience their introduction to aromatherapy course, thanks to my family clubbing together for my Christmas present. Having wanted to gain more of an understanding of the benefits of Aromatherapy and the wonders of essential oils it was top of my list for present ideas.
This last year my interest has grown further and I am now a massive believer in the benefit essential oils can have on our mood and also our physical health. They have the power to awaken my mind and body, relax and destress me and also energise me. Different oils have the properties to do this, it’s just knowing what oil should be used for what.
What is an essential oil?
Basically, it’s a natural occurring plant oil which has been extracted either through distillation, expression, or a few other methods that I don’t really know much about (I’m not that interested in the scientific part). Google it, if you want to know more about that.
How to use oils
You can use essential oils through a few different ways:
We invested in a diffuser and now can have wonderful scents misting into our living room, providing energy in the morning or relaxation in the evening. Just pop a few drops in the diffuser with some water and turn your living room into a tranquil spa space. It’ll also, freshen the room and get rid of any unwanted smells. Ideally I’d have a diffuser in every room, but I ain’t got the cash for that! So, I just move it about if I want it somewhere else.
My bath times have been revamped. I’ve got rid of chemical filled bubble baths. Now I’ll fill my bath with epsom salts and use some essential oils with a carrier oil (jojoba is my personal favourite). You’ll need a carrier oil (jojoba, almond, wheatgerm for example) when putting essential oils on the skin. This ensures the essential oil doesn’t evaporate and is easier for your skin to absorb. Usually my winter skin is awful, but my body has completely loved getting some serious moisture from these baths. If you’re feeling really fancy you can get some but let’s be real here, it may look pretty, but when that bath tub is no longer full of what and you’re scrapping it off the sides and trying to clean it up, your relaxation will have disappeared quicker than you can say “why the fuck did I think this was a good idea!”.
Use your favourite essential oil diluted with a carrier oil and massage it (or get someone else to) into your body. I love to massage peppermint oil onto my stomach to help with any cramps or bloating I’m experiencing.
Here’s my 5 top essential oils at the moment:
Lavender – is super relaxing. Pop a few drops on your pillow or into the diffuser if you have trouble sleeping.
Grapefruit – this is a really energising oil. I love to pop this in the diffuser in the mornings, it wakes me up and I can start the day no caffeine needed!
Ylang Ylang – this is my number one favourite oil, it’s really floral and makes the house smell like a florist without the hayfever! It’s meant to ease anxiety and make you feel uplifted. I use the oil cleansing method for my skincare, and use ylang ylang with jojoba as my makeup remover and cleanser. It’s meant to be good for your complexion. I’ve also got a little pot of coconut oil, bicarb and ylang ylang that I use as deodorant. Basically, I LOVE it.
Peppermint – as mentioned above, I like to massage this oil into my tummy. But, it’s also meant to be great for treating headaches.
Frankincense – soothes and calms the nerves, which is great if you suffer from anxiety. It’s also good for the skin too, so I’ll definitely be incorporating it into my skincare routine. Frankincense is great for fighting colds and help if you’re suffering from a cough, get that in the diffuser or pop a few drops in a bowl of hot water and put a towel over your head for ten minutes.
You don’t need to worry about doing a course in aromatherapy, there’s plenty of information in books and on the old web.
Want recipes and more musings from me?!