Rose, Cherry and Chia Jam

Jam made with rose water, cherries and chia seeds: Inspired by the deliciously simple ‘jam’ made as part of our breakfasts at a Rose Retreat in Bulgaria last year. Our incredible chef Sarah and her partner Andreas spent a considerable amount time de-stoning fresh cherries that happen to be in season around the time of the rose retreat! 

Recipe: I made this version with some frozen cherries I had in the freezer, simply add the following to a blender*:

  • a table spoon of chia seeds,
  • a cup of cherries,
  • a table spoon of rose water,

…whizz for a minute or two. Leave to ‘set’, or more accurately, let the chia seeds absorb the moisture in the cherries (fresh or frozen will have enough water content) for about an hour leaving a slightly gloopy, jammy texture – if it’s too runny for you, add a few more chia seeds.

Ingredients: You can purchase organic rose water suitable for using in foods from my web shop here: Organic Rose Water. Alternatively, you can add rose petals from your garden to the mix, make sure they have not been sprayed with any chemical insecticides or fungicides etc. Cherries from your local fruit supplier. Chia seeds from Healthy Supplies.

Health: Suitable to support people cutting down or removing sugar from their diet, or generally wanting to eat yummy, healthy food, since you only need fruit and chia seeds – regular jam is usually made with a great deal of sugar, but the fruit alone can taste sweet enough.

Shelf life: Can be kept in the fridge and will last a few days, (the huge amount of refined sugar is what allows for the long shelf life of regular jam, but since we have freezers now, we don’t need to preserve our foods to keep us alive through winter.

Tips: Use any fruit you like in place of the cherries and the rose water is not essential but certainly gives a floral twist. You could try blackberries when they are in season with a hint of lavender water. Be aware that different fruits will have different water content, and determine how runny or thick the jam becomes, so add more chia seeds for a thicker consistency.

  • You may like to add a little sweetener for taste such as maple syrup or honey.
  • *If you don’t have a blender just mash the fruit and mix with the chia seeds.

Rose Lovers: If you love roses, you may like to find out more about a Rose Retreat, which takes place in Bulgaria at the end of May, during the rose harvest. As well as visiting fields of scented roses, a rose essential oil distillery and mineral spa, our workshops and meals are all themed around roses… and will surely include rose cherry chia jam, rose scented panna cotta, rose harissa and rose petal teas & salads!

 

Self Care For All

‘Nature’s confetti’ by David Pearce.

In any situation we face, we are always offered space to surrender and to bring focus to deeply caring and supporting ourselves.  Right now, in the midst of the corona virus outbreak, you may be considered a ‘key worker’, in which case, likely under huge pressure, or on ‘lock down’ and unable to leave your home, either way, there are many challenges at play.

Making self-care our natural way in our every day life, not only supports ourselves, but naturally then supports all of those around us – therefore there is a great responsibility in attending to this.

As you know, I love to share how essential oils can simply nourish our health and wellbeing, they can be particularly helpful for supporting the respiratory system and for moments of stress and duress, so here’s a few blogs that spring to mind with this focus in mind:

‘Autumn fire’ by David Pearce.

Click here for ‘Unimed Living’  website for more support and inspiration on bringing self-care into your natural way.

Any purchases from the web shop will come with a FREE inhaler stick until end of May 2020 (or while stocks allow). You can request the scent/blend or I can make one to suit you. Inhaler sticks are also available to purchase for just £2.50.

Click here for an informative article on Essential Oils and Coronaviruses from the Tisserand Institute.

How to make Aromatherapy Inhaler Sticks with Essential Oils

Inhalation of essential oils is the fastest method for them to be taken into and used by your body.  The inhalation method is particularly useful for treating respiratory conditions, such as colds, coughs, sinusitis, it’s also helpful for nausea, headaches and for calming feelings of stress and anxiety.

One thing of notable value is that all essential oils have, at varying degrees of potency, an anti-microbial action, often anti-viral, anti-bacterial & even insecticidal. Therefore, using an inhaler stick is a great way to help protect yourself from the plethora of bugs, viruses, colds, flus etc. that are often doing the rounds in our societies.

I tend to take them with me when I’m travelling on a plane, train or sometimes in an automobile – they are particularly useful for travel sickness too (see recipes below). They fit in your pocket, so you can take them out whenever you feel to, and they don’t tend to impose on others around you.

How to make an inhaler stick: They are incredibly simple to make, all you need is:

You can choose one or several essential oils to add to your inhaler stick, see recipe examples below. The total number of drops you add should come to 10.

How to use your inhaler stick: take the lid off, bring the stick just below your nose and take a few deep and gentle in breaths and then let your body relax and respond. You can use it as and when you feel too.

Recipe inspiration:

Clearing, (bug & germ busting):

  • eucalyptus (globulus type is strongest), peppermint, rosemary, thyme (any type), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) (you can use one or all of the oils suggested but the total no. of drops should add up to 10).

Calming (stress, anxiety, and hay fever):

  • lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), chamomile (roman), neroli (orange blossom), (you can use one or all of the oils suggested but the total no. of drops should add up to 10).

Anti-Nausea (morning sickness, travel sickness and also anxiety when it causes stomach aches):

  • spearmint, cardamom, neroli (orange blossom), (you can use one or all of the oils suggested but the total no. of drops should add up to 10).

Love Bomb – choose your favourite scent and use it just because… useful on public transport if it doesn’t smell great, if you feel distracted and want something to support returning to your body, can be comforting and supportive.

Shelf life approximately 12 months, if the scent fades and you can manage to get the cap undone, you can refresh with more drops of essential oil.

I like this company ‘Kare & Kind’ for inhalers sticks as they come in multiple colours, labels to stick on , pipettes to drop oils on with and holders to ensure you don’t get oil on your fingers.

If you have particular symptoms you would like support with, get in touch for advice on which essential oils to add to your inhaler stick, or order one to be designed & made for you (this is usually more cost effective if you don’t have your own collection of essential oils to make one with): Bespoke Inhaler Stick.

Tips:

  • Choose essential oils that you enjoy the scent of – if you like the action of the essential oil but not the smell then there is always an alternative option – e.g. if you don’t like tea tree, try lavender.
  • If you use more than one essential oil, try them on ‘scent strips’ to see how they blend together first.

Safety:

  • *when choosing essential oils ensure you are clear about any contraindications, some essential oils should be avoided with children, in pregnancy, with epilepsy, cardiac fibrillation, blood clotting disorders, ragweed allergies – check with a qualified aromatherapist for advice.

How to make Bath Salts with Essential Oils


First of all, it’s really important to know that essential oils are hydrophobic, meaning they don’t mix with water. Because essential oils are extremely concentrated, they should never be used undiluted on the skin, even if you just want to add a few drops of essential oil to the bath, they need to be diluted first (check out How to Use Essential Oils in the Bath for full details).

The same principle goes for making bath salts, the essential oils must be diluted first. Adding them to salt is not enough because when you add the mix to the bath water, the salt ‘melts’, leaving undiluted essential oils floating on top of the bath water and in direct contact with your skin. So, first add the essential oils to a fatty base oil such as olive or almond oil, this can then be mixed in with the bath salts – when added to the bath the salt will melt and you will be left with essential oils dispersed in the base oil, which will give the added benefit of nourishing your skin*.

Bath Salt Recipe (the basic components that you can tweak to your taste):

  • Salt – 200 grams,
  • Base/Carrier Oil – 10 grams (or ml if simpler to measure) of any nut/seed/fruit oil e.g. almond/sunflower/olive oil,
  • Essential Oil – 5 drops (choose 1 or several essential oils to use but ensure the ‘total’ number of drops is 5).
    • pour the base oil into a jug, then add the drops of essential oil and stir,
    • pour the salt into a large bowl, add the blend of base and essential oil and mix thoroughly,
    • add a hand full of the salt mix to the bath, do so once the water is run and you are ready to step in (if you add it while the water is still running, the essential oils in the mix will evaporate with the steam).

Muscle Relaxing Bath Salt Recipe:

  • Epsom Salt** – 200 grams,
  • Oil – 10 grams – arnica (macerated in olive oil),
  • Essential Oil – 5 drops – lavender, black pepper &/or chamomile.

Skin Soothing Bath Salt Recipe:

  • Dead Sea Salt** – 200 grams,
  • Base Oil – 10 grams – calendula (macerated in olive oil), apricot &/or. camellia,
  • Essential Oil – 5 drops – chamomile, lavender &/or neroli (orange blossom).

Refreshing Bath Salt Recipe:

  • Salt (your choice, see below**) – 200 grams,
  • Oil – 10 grams – your choice eg. olive, almond, apricot oil,
  • Essential Oil – 5 drops – rosemary, mandarin &/or coriander seed.

Tip: If you want to add flowers & petals to your bath salts, (e.g. rose, lavender, chamomile) sprinkle a few spoonfuls into the mix, enough for your desired visual effect. Note, that it can make the bath more difficult to clean afterwards, so wrapping all the salts/flowers/oils into a muslin cloth and tying them up with string will mean you don’t need to collect all the petals after your bath.

* Caution, due to the base oil the bath can be slippery so be careful not to slip!

** Epsom Salt is more suitable for muscle aches & pains. Dead Sea Salt is more suitable for soothing the skin – I usually use a mix of both in my blends to get the benefits of both.

A Sniff About Airport Fragrance Halls

I usually take a walk around the perfume & beauty products when I’m in an airport, just to see what’s out there – it often makes me feel a little sick, not just the headiness & intensity of most of the fragrances, but the feel of the advertising & packaging. You get a sense of what’s behind the product, the intention to draw you in & make you feel like you need something to make you more sexy, desirable, attractive, younger, confident &/or cool… most of the models in the ads have a look of total emptiness, a dash of aloofness & there is more than a whiff of porn in many of them.
It actually feels totally disgusting to have that directed at me, and the layout of the airport means you can not escape passing by it.

Face rollers – apparently?

The product shown in the image here caught my attention and actually disturbed me as I realised we have come to a point where women are being marketed something that looks like a sex toy that we are supposed to roll our faces with.
I’ll let you feel into your own response to this but it’s worth being aware of the energy behind something we might buy, be that clothes, food, beauty products, anything, we are saying ‘yes’ to that product and supporting that business.

I wrote the following two blogs a while back on appreciating the quality we bring in the way we use skin care and beauty products, so even though we may not find many products on the market that offer something to truly honour how precious we are, we can bring it in the way we use it:

Nurture – Cherish – Adore  

Connection – Rituals – Nurturing

Digestive Massage with Essential Oils

Click image to enlarge.

Instructions for self digestive massage:

This is a treatment you can easily give yourself whenever you feel to. It can help with digestive problems such as IBS, bloating, constipation, general discomfort, loss of appetite and digestive anxiousness*.

You can use just olive oil, but if you would like essential oils to enhance the treatment then see the suggested blends below.

Lay down in a comfortable supported position. This is really important, you want to make sure you’re able to completely relax, it could be on your bed, sofa, a massage table or on the floor if you can support your body enough. Have a steady place ready for the oil to stand that you can reach and it’s not likely to be knocked over and wear clothes that can reveal your tummy area. You may need a towel under you incase the oil runs, blankets to keep you cosy and pillows or cushions to support your body (for your head or under knees).

Once you’re set, place one hand on your heart to help settle your body and use the other hand to massage the oil or ‘digestive blend’ around your tummy.  Do this in small, gentle, anti-clockwise circles, initially just to apply the oil. Then you will follow the route of your digestive system, which goes clockwise, but make your massage movements anti-clockwise… begin at the stomach, just under your ribcage, then around the centre of your tummy covering the ‘small intestine’ area, gradually move down towards the start of the ‘ascending colon’, follow this up the right side of your body, then across the body as it becomes the ‘transverse colon’ and finally to the ‘descending colon’ down the left side of your body. You may feel to repeat, to focus on certain areas and to take a moment to rest once complete.

I actually love doing this before I go to sleep at night and would love to be able to continue laying there until I fall asleep but I have to get up to wash the oil off my hands, especially if I’ve used an essential oil blend.

*The massage is a support, not a longterm cure for symptoms, but it can help relieve and clear in the moment. You should consult your doctor if symptoms persist.

Here are some blend suggestions, they are also available to purchase as a ‘Bespoke Blend’ designed for your personal situation:

Clearing digestive blend (strong):

Gentle digestive blend:

Anxiety digestive blend:

  • Olive oil, 10mls (you can use other nut, seed or fruit oils such as almond or apricot oil)
  • Lavender essential oil, 2 drops
  • Neroli essential oil, 2 drops
  • Can be used in pregnancy, with children and on sensitive or elderly skin, but only use 1 drop of each essential oil instead of 2).

Digestive massage and other treatments are available to book with me at Brighton & Hove Therapies in Brighton, UK. Please call to arrange: 07828954020.

 

Essential Oils, Nature and Education – Fields Studies Council Projects

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 including the environment!

I have been running courses and workshops in association with the Field Studies Council since 2019, 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 United Kingdom. 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 a variety of centres and also online from 2021:

Orielton Field Studies Centre, Pembrokeshire

FSC Orielton, in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Weekend workshops take place at their impressive Georgian mansion secluded in 120 hectares of diverse habitats including woodland, grassland, meadows and freshwater.

Millport Fields Studies Centre, Isle of Cumbrae

FSC Millport, located on the Isle of Cumbrae on the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. You will need to take a ferry to get here, but it’s well worth the adventure, as the nature surrounding this island is spectacular.

Flatford Mill Field Centre, Suffolk

FSC Flatford Mill, set amidst the quintessentially English countryside of the Dedham Vale in Suffolk, commonly referred to as Constable Country. These are usually arranged as individual day workshops, but set consecutively so you can join all events on offer and stay on site to enjoy the spectacular scenery.

Slapton Ley Field Studies Centre, Devon

FSC Slapton Ley on the coast of South Devon – an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, located on a nature reserve and a short walk to the beach.

Click here to see the full course schedule on my website.

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
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
Juniper (berry) Juniperus communis fruit oil 10ml £9.00
Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus leaf oil 10ml £7.00
Oregano Origanum Vulgare 10ml £10.00
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

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…

images shows the stages of healing during the first week

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.