Essential Oils, Nature and Education

My workshops involve making aromatherapy and skincare products using essential oils and other plant derived ingredients. I choose to run them in settings that have a connection to nature, preferably with plants that yield essential oils. I feel it is important to know where the ingredients come from, who looks after them and how. This in itself can tell you a lot about the plants properties, qualities and help understand why it might be useful for supporting health and wellbeing. It also highlights how precious the plants are, when you realise the quantity of plant material needed and the huge amount of work that goes into providing a tiny little bottle of essential oil, you cannot help but respect it and the way you use it more deeply. A lot goes into every single drop and it makes a difference if what goes into it is love, care and consideration for the all!

In 2020, I will be running several courses in association with the Field Studies Council, this is an organisation who have been providing outdoor education since 1943 and are dedicated to taking care of our natural environment.

I feel honoured to be working with them and highly recommend visiting any of their stunning sites which are situated in areas of natural beauty all over the country. In most cases you can stay onsite, with meals provided and they offer a huge range of natural history and art and craft courses. It is a gorgeous opportunity to go away for a weekend and connect with nature. My workshops are part of a new initiative focusing on health and wellbeing and will be offered at the following centres:

Orielton Field Studies Centre, Pembrokeshire

Weekend Course in Wales: Botanical Alchemy – Natural Skin Care & Aromatherapy at FSC Orielton, from Friday 17th – Sunday 19th April 2020. Takes place at their impressive Georgian mansion secluded in 120 hectares of diverse habitats including woodland, grassland, meadows and freshwater. Click here for full details.

Millport Fields Studies Centre, Isle of Cumbrae

Weekend Course in Scotland: Botanical Alchemy – Natural Skin Care & Aromatherapy at FSC Millport, located on the Isle of Cumbrae on the Firth of Clyde, from Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd May 2020. Click here for full details.

 

Flatford Mill Field Centre, Suffolk

One day workshops in Suffolk: a series of 4 consecutive day workshops at FSC Flatford Mill, set amidst the quintessentially English countryside of the Dedham Vale. You can book the following workshops individually, or all four for a discounted price, click each workshop for full details:

Slapton Ley Field Studies Centre, Devon

Weekend Course in Devon: Botanical Alchemy – Natural Skin Care & Aromatherapy at FSC Slapton Ley on the coast of South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, from Friday 7th – Sunday 9th August 2020. Click here for full details.

Click here to see the full 2020 course schedule on my website, with events running at Glasgow Botanic Gardens,  Royal Horticulture Societies in Devon & Surrey, Mayfield Lavender Fields in Surrey, the Rose Retreat in Bulgaria and a Weekend Retreat at Upper Vobster Farm in North Somerset…

 

Essential Oil Promotion – Buy One Get One Free!

For a limited time you can ‘Buy One Get One Essential Oil FREE‘.

Make a purchase and choose a free essential oil from the list below, request the free oil in the notes section when you place the order.

Click the essential oil for full details on the product:

Essential Oil INCI name Size Usual Price
Bergamot Citrus bergamia peel oil 5ml £8.00
Black pepper Piper nigrum fruit oil 10ml £11.00
Cardamom Elettaria cardamomum seed oil 5ml £10.00
Cedarwood Cedrus atlantica bark oil 10ml £7.00
Citronella Cymbopogon Winterianus Oil 10ml £7.00
Clove Eugenia caryophyllus bud oil 10ml £8.00
Coriander Coriandrum sativum seed oil 5ml £9.00
Fennel Foeniculum vulgare dulce oil 10ml £8.00
Fir Abies lasiocarpa 5ml £16.00
Grapefruit Citrus paradisi peel oil 10ml £8.00
Juniper (berry) Juniperus communis fruit oil 10ml £9.00
Lemon Citrus limon peel oil 10ml £7.00
Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus leaf oil 10ml £7.00
Lime Citrus aurantifolia peel oil 10ml £8.00
Myrtle Myrtus communis 5ml £10.00
Orange (sweet) Citrus aurantium dulcis peel oil 10ml £7.00
Orange (bitter) Citrus aurantium amara peel oil 10ml £10.00
Oregano Origanum Vulgare 10ml £10.00
Petitgrain Citrus aurantium amara leaf/twig Oil 10ml £8.00
Peppermint Mentha piperita leaf oil 10ml £7.00
Pine Pinus nigra twig leaf Oil 10ml £8.00
Spearmint Mentha spicata herb oil 10ml £8.00
Thyme (linalool) Thymus vulgaris leaf oil 10ml £11.00
Yarrow Achillea millefolium oil 5ml £11.00

Terms & Conditons:

  • Offer only while stocks last.
  • The FREE oil does. not need to be the same as the one you pay for.
  • Click here to go to the SHOP and see the full range.
  • Please note your FREE oil in the notes section when you place your order.
  • If you order two essential oils you may choose a second FREE oil to go with it – if you order three, a third FREE oil and so on…
  • The FREE oil can be included with other physical items purchased from the website (carrier oils, bespoke products & accessories – does not include workshop/event purchases or Modern Cosmetic Book, unless postage is paid or collection is organised).
  • Please note that these oils are organic, high quality and with a good shelf life, but my range will slowly reduce to focus on the more precious oils that I have been sourcing and that seem to be more popular with my clients.
  • Feel free to get in touch with any queries.

 

Jacqueline’s Nut Ball Recipe

During refreshment breaks at my events, I like to serve tea and snacks made with scented botanical ingredients. For ‘Plant to Perfume‘ workshops at Glasgow Botanic Gardens, I have a friend make ‘nut balls’ flavoured with my orange essential oil, here is the really simple recipe if you would like to make them:

Jacqueline’s orange scented nut ball recipe:

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  • Roast almonds in oven for 15/20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Allow to cool.
  • Blend roasted almonds.
  • Remove them from blender and blend the sliced dates with any pits removed.
  • Add nuts to dates and blend until mixture starts to form.
  • Mix the drops of orange essential oil with the olive oil and add to the blender, blend a little more. Note you could try flavouring with other essential oils such as mandarin, peppermint or even geranium!
  • Place in bowl and knead with hands forming into a ball.
  • Roll into small balls and then roll in the chopped hazelnuts.

With thanks to Jacqueline McFadden, who is also a Complementary Healing Practitioner in Glasgow and offers:

  • Energetic Facial Release Massage £25
  • Full Body Massage £50

During the month of October 2019, Jacqueline is offering a 10% discount.

For more details contact: jacquelinemcfadden04@gmail.com –  07727 424249.

Scar Care with Essential Oil Blends – Before and After, So Far…

Last month a cabinet of heavy perfume bottles tipped onto my head and left me with two cuts on my forehead.

The following pictures show the stages of the wounds healing during the first week, until the scab fell off the lower cut (which happened naturally over night, I did not pick it*):

images shows the stages of healing during the first week  First week of healing

I’ve been making bespoke blends with essential oils for clients for many years to help them take care of their scars after a variety of operations including mastectomy, caesarean & broken bones. The experience of caring for my own scar has given me a deeper appreciation for the preciousness of what I offer & how supportive it can be.

Day 2, still in shock a little.

I felt quite tearful & vulnerable just after it happened, especially when I looked at the cuts on my face. I went away for 4 days straight after it happened so I swiftly made my usual blend (recipe below) to take care of it – knowing I was able to do this with effective quality ingredients made me feel better – I use rosehip oil, calendula macerated in olive oil and essential oils of myrrh, lavender, chamomile and rose.

Initially I only dabbed it very gently around the wound as it was sore and did so twice a day. At this stage it is important not to apply it directly onto the wound, as it prevents it drying out & the scab from forming but since the oils absorb into the skin, it is still effective.
When the scab fell off and I could see that the skin had closed completely underneath, I continued to apply twice a day directly onto the scar and spent more time gently massaging it in as it was not so sore.

After the first week I made a balm which is easier to apply than an oil blend – made with the same ingredients, just with added butter & wax to make it a solid consistency.
These pictures are taken from the 2nd to 4th week after the incident:

 

What I noticed is how much the redness faded and how the skin was raised around the scar and has flattened out now. 

Day 19, feeling a lot more myself.

I didn’t appreciate that much had changed each day until I put the pictures together, I had a few thoughts that it wasn’t doing much and a few moments where I only just remembered to apply, but the pictures show a gradual improvement and that’s after only one month. It really makes a difference to be consistent with your care and you can continue to care for a scar for as long as you want, years even and also begin to care for old scars and still see an improvement.

 

The images below show the scars healing between 2 and 3 months, they are closer up than the previous images and I actually have wrinkles more prominent than the scars. I will continue to use the scar care balm as each time I compare previous pictures, I can see an obvious continuation in improvement, but I also notice that I’m less dedicated to applying the balm twice daily as they don’t show so much now, but again, the when I see the difference, I’m inspired to keep going…

 

If you would like to try a scar care balm, for any type of scar including mastectomy, caesarean, old injuries, even acne scars, please get in touch Laura@essentialoilsandyou.co.uk or use the recipes below to make your own.

There is plenty of research to support that massage itself helps scars to heal, so the combination of ingredients in the blend and the act of massage helps the scar to heal as best as possible, although everyone will do so in their own way and time. It’s important not to make it about the end result, but supporting yourself as best you can through what can be a very vulnerable time… I also made an effort to support my body to heal from the inside too, I took Vitamin C powder each day and avoided all unhealthy inflammatory foods.

  • Scar Care – 20ml Oil Blend Recipe (5% max strength blend used first week)
  • rosehip oil, 10ml
  • calendula macerated in olive oil, 10ml
  • myrrh essential oil (not suitable in pregnancy), 10 drops
  • lavender essential oil, 7 drops
  • chamomile essential oil, 2 drops
  • rose otto essential oil, 1 drop

 

*Do not pick the scab however tempting it may be, the skin is reforming underneath and if you pull the scab you’re likely to tear away some new skin and delay the healing or even make the scar worse.

Essential Oil Diffusing Jewellery

Introducing OYL’E London – Essential Oil Diffusing Jewellery.

OYL’E London Pendant – ROSE GOLD £109.99

Last year I met Sumera Shamim at one of my natural perfumery workshops and she shared her plan to make essential oil diffusing jewellery. I could tell immediately that what she would design was going to be exquisite and would reflect her own beautiful style.

When she got in touch to let me know her range of jewellery was ready I was not disappointed, every detail has been carefully considered and the design so elegant and delicate.

The collection is made from 925 Sterling Silver and Rhodium plated allowing durability. The OYL’E pendant is designed to open with ease, but not accidentally, and holds a bespoke 100% pure wool bead perfectly. The vents that make up the pendant are constructed specifically to slowly diffuse your chosen essential oil & aroma throughout the day. The chains are adjustable, allowing them to be worn quickly and easily.

OYL’E London Pendant – SILVER £109.99

I have been wearing my bracelets and pendants for a couple of months now, and the initial captivation has not worn off, in fact it has deepened as the real magic of the product comes into play. Each morning I decide between the rose gold and the silver jewellery and then I decide which scent I want to wear.

The essential oils are sprinkled onto a little ball of organic washable wool and then encapsulated in the sphere. I currently have a few balls with different combinations of oils on. Every now and then they need refreshing and sometimes a new oil is added to the mix.

It’s a lovely moment in my morning ritual that I am then reminded of through out my day. Often I take the pendant to my nose and enjoy the perfume, and sometimes if I bend down and the pendant swings I notice the scent. I have a different blend inside the bracelet and so get to enjoy two smells.

OYL’E London Bracelet – ROSE GOLD £94.99

This really is a beautiful way to use essential oils, some of my clients use them to support their health, one made a blend to help with a cold, one for feelings of anxiety and one for morning sickness.

At the moment I have rose, neroli & pink pepper in my pendant, and sandalwood, myrrh & black pepper in my bracelet…

 

Click here to view & purchase OYL’E London jewellery.

Click here for essential oils to sprinkle into your jewellery.

Essential Oils for Cold Sores

Essential oils are a very effective treatment for cold sores, also know as herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or oral herpes. They can help with the healing process, ease the symptoms, including pain, inflammation and soreness, and even help to prevent blisters forming if used as soon as warning signs are noticed, such as tingling sensations.

I make a very soft balm to apply to the affected area, as it can be painful, sore and blistered, so you don’t want to apply anything that needs rubbing in. This is soft enough to just dab around the area, if the skin is broken or damaged, then applying around the area is just as effective and will not stop it from drying out.

Cold Sore Balm Recipe – 30g

  • Beeswax, 2g – to protect.
  • Shea butter, 3g – for creaminess.
  • Olive oil  25g – (if you have calendula or rosehip oil, these would be beneficial as they also support the skin to heal, you can replace or blend these, but keep the total amount of oil 25g).
  • Melissa (lemon balm) 1 drop – for anti viral properties.
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) 1 drop – for pain relief and general skin healing.
  • Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) 1 drop – for healing skin (very good for hard to heal wounds).
  • Chamomile (Roman) 1 drop – soothing, calming and anti-inflammatory.

Instructions: Melt the beeswax and shea butter in a bain-marie, add the olive oil while still on the heat and ensure all ingredients are melted. Pour into a pot and add essential oils, stir with a chop stick and leave until it sets before lid application. Click here for full instructions on how to make a balm.

Important note: Do not to contaminate the balm when you use it, if you dip your finger into the pot and apply it to the cold sore, then do not put it back into the pot as your finger has been in contact with the virus! This is called double dipping : )

TOP TIP: Cold sores often appear when someone is stressed, so it’s worth observing what happens leading up to its appearance, for example, were you tired, doing too much, eating certain foods that don’t support the body?  Is it possible the cold sore is a signal from your body, asking you to slow down & make more loving choices to support yourself? Simple changes to your self care routine can make a difference.

Essential Oil Safety – Is it OK to use lavender essential oil undiluted on your skin?

When I trained 10 years ago, I was taught that it was generally accepted to be safe to use lavender and tea tree essential oils undiluted on the skin. A drop applied neat to a specific area such as a spot, cut, burn, insect bite or a graze was considered appropriate as an anti-septic, to ease pain & inflammation and help the area to heal more effectively and efficiently. It’s something that I’ve practised myself and also advised clients to do so, but after investigating essential oil safety more deeply recently, my view on this has now changed.

The safe use of essential oils is a hot topic in the world of professional aromatherapy right now because there is a huge amount of unsafe use promoted on the internet, mainly by MLM (multi-level marketing) companies, especially with regards to using oils internally and undiluted on the skin, with severe outcomes.

You should never use essential oils internally without professional support from someone experienced in using oils in this way – it is worth noting that it would be quite rare that it would be recommended, and should definitely not be used for boosting general health.

You should never use essential oils undiluted internally; drinking a few drops of essential oil in a glass of water would expose the delicate lining of your digestive system to a neat oil, (since essential oils do not mix with water) it could burn and cause serious damage.

Mayfield Lavender Farm

If you consider how much plant material is needed to make such a tiny bottle of oil, you get an idea of how concentrated it is; 250 pounds of lavender for just 1 pound of lavender oil, 1200 rose flowers for just 20 drops of rose oil.

I had never had a ‘reaction’ to an essential oil (apart from a few I’ve disliked the scent of), but a few months ago during a course making an alcohol perfume, my skin responded in this way (see image below) after dropping an essential oil mixed with alcohol on it, it passed after about 20 minutes and may have been due to the alcohol. I have handled essential oils pretty much every day for 10 years without problems but this goes to show that you can never be sure and should always be careful.

Reaction to a blend of essential oil & alcohol.

If you do happen to get an essential oil on your skin and have a ‘reaction (which could include burning, itching, a rash or hives) then you can apply olive oil or another base product to the area as this will help to dilute it. Even if you have used lavender neat on your skin without any initial reactions or irritation it could still cause ‘sensitisation’. which can occur after over use of a product.

What does sensitisation mean?

  • it’s an immune response to using an oil regularly over a period of time,
  • symptoms could include a rash, hives, blisters, sores, burning, cracked skin & shortness of breath,
  • it could mean that you can never use that oil again.

If, like me, you use lavender for a myriad of reasons, it would be a real shame to one day find you can’t use it all, so it’s wise to take precautions.

Using essential oils is not a case of the more you use the better the effect, so you do not miss out by diluting the oil, in fact it is usually more beneficial to be used in a carrier product.

Advantages of diluting essential oils:

  • base oils are nourishing to the skin,
  • you use a lot less oil which reduces the demand which means less impact on the environment,
  • you use less and therefore spend less.

I now have a bottle of ready to use lavender essential oil blended in olive oil in the house for all those moments when I need it. If you want to make a ready to use blend you can either add 5 drops to 10ml of base oil (or 2 drops in 10ml for children & sensitive skin), or if you have a different sized container, click here to refer to the blending chart to check how many drops to use.

Click for How to Use Essential Oils in the Bath

Do not dilute essential oil when using in a diffuser or burner, in an inhaler stick, if you sprinkle lavender on your pillow at night, or use it in your ironing water. None of these are going directly on your skin and using a base oil would stain sheets or damage diffusers.

Since lavender is one of the safest essential oils to use, all other essential oils should also be diluted before use on the skin, including in the bath.