Anosmia, Loss of Smell and Smell Training

Anosmia, when you lose your sense of smell completely, is a possible symptom of the Coronavirus disease, (Covid-19).

Although there are many reasons one may lose their sense of smell, it is more prevalent at the moment because of the Coronavirus which is why I wanted to write about it and bring some awareness to what happens when you lose your sense of smell and what you can do about it.

We’ve probably all experienced losing our sense of smell at some point when we’ve caught a cold and our nose has been blocked. Usually, with the Coronavirus, the loss of sense of smell is not accompanied by a blocked nose, which would normally serve as an obvious reason why we can’t smell, and we naturally assume that when our nose has cleared, we will likely smell as normal again and therefore we don’t worry too much about it. But, without the nose blockage, the loss of smell is more disconcerting. In most cases of Covid-19 it does return within a few weeks, but for some people it can take longer and can benefit from support.

I had the pleasure of seeing Chrissi Kelly present on the subject of anosmia at an aromatherapy conference a few years ago and I gained a great understanding of what it really means to lose your sense of smell and how devastating it can be. Most of what we think we ‘taste’ actually comes from what we smell, and therefore a huge amount of the pleasure we take from eating goes with it. Most people will have experienced this – when you get a cold and you eat your favourite comfort food, it doesn’t really satisfy. That’s because when you ‘taste’ you only really experience wether a food is sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami (savoury). You of course experience the texture but the finer details are from the smell and when this disappears it can be dearly missed.

Support – Some people find losing their sense of smell to be devastating and debilitating to their lives, with a great sense of loss and it can cause depression.  Abscent.org is a charity set up by Chrissi Kelly who lost her sense of smell and wanted to support people experiencing these symptoms and the repercussions. There is a huge amount of information and support on this site, so I highly recommend checking it out to learn more and to get more support. Chrissi shares current research, symptoms you may experience and, probably most helpfully, a technique called Smell Training to help with smell loss.

Smell Training
In the case of the Coronavirus, the olfactory epithelium cells are attacked and olfactory training supports the re-wiring and re-growth of these cells. It kind of makes sense doesn’t it? – when you break or strain a part of your body, you do regular exercises to regain the movement and strength. So, if you lose your sense of smell, depending on the cause, you can retrain it by exercising the olfactory complex in the brain, a sort of physiotherapy for the sense of smell.

How to Smell Train – Smell training is extremely simple, you take 4 different smells (see kit details below) and you make space twice in your day to smell each one separately with absolute focus so as to note any responses, which may be extremely subtle or non existent for some time. As you smell, try to inhale the scent with little ‘bunny sniffs’, rather than deep into your chests and lungs. The best way to do this is with essential oils as they smell very strong, but inhaled from small pots rather than from the usual bottles they are supplied in, this is to ensure you are smelling more easily from a large area and not from the tiny opening that essential oils tend to have (which is usually fine until your smell is compromised). This can be a long process, so building the session into your daily ritual is important, it is recommended that you carry this out for at least 4 months even if you don’t smell anything, and keep a diary of any changes you may experience so you can keep track of any progress. Do your best not to be disheartened if you don’t smell anything for a while, think about doing physiotherapy exercises after an injury, it takes time and commitment before your body recovers and its the same with the olfactory epithelium cells. Listen to Dr. Thomas Hummel interviewed here on The Smell Podcast who carried out research on Smell Training.

Smell Training Kit

You can buy a ready made version for £20: Click here to order a Smell Training Kit – it usually comes with clove, rose, lemon and eucalyptus essential oils but you can choose any 4 alternative essential oils – as the scent isn’t particularly important and they are freshly made to order.

Alternatively, it’s simple to make your own, you just need 4 small amber glass jars (30g), and 4 different essential oils. For each jar place a small piece of water colour paper inside, sprinkle 6-8 drops of a single essential oil onto the paper in the jar and put the lid on, then add a label. Refresh after a couple of months of use.

Click here to watch Chrissi from AbScent share full details on Smell Training.

Other symptoms to be aware of that you may experience:

  • Parosmia – a distortion of sense of smell, a person can detect smells that usually smell pleasant but now come across as extremely unpleasant. It can be triggered by specific smells or by everything. It is however, usually a sign that smell is returning, although can still take a long time.
  • Phantosmia – these are phantom smells that appear when there is no source to the odor. They can also be unpleasant.
  • Hyposmia – a reduced sense of smell. 

More information: In the past there has been little known about the effects of and recovery regarding anosmia, but since the outplay of the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) more research and support is continuously being made available, so do check out the website AbScent for a wealth of information: www.abscent.org

 

How to Use Myrrh Essential Oil to Treat Mouth Ulcers

Myrrh is a deeply healing oil, it is especially effective for festering, difficult to heal wounds, this makes it very useful fo mouth ulcers. Being in the mouth, an ulcer (open sore or wound) is constantly moist, being moved and having things bump across it, making it difficult to heal, not to mention painful and uncomfortable especially when it comes to eating.

Myrrh essential oil is the perfect antidote to the problem of getting an ulcer to heal, just mix 1 drop with a teaspoon of olive oil and then apply with your finger tip to the affected area. Do so morning and night, after cleaning your teeth (and potentially Gargling with Myrrh) and when you feel to through out the day.

Myrrh is also useful for other types of ulcers as well as bed sores, get in touch if you would like to discuss a custom made product to help with these conditions: laura@essentialoilsandyou.co.uk – Click here for Custom Blends.

Caution ~ Avoid using myrrh essential oil in pregnancy, although it can be useful in the 3rd trimester to prepare for birth make sure you seek professional advice for this. Tip: replace myrrh with lavender essential oil  for treatment of a mouth ulcer, but only after the first trimester.

Internal Use ~ essential oils are not suitable for internal use unless you are being treated by a professional health practitioner.  Use in the mouth is considered safe and not technically internal use.

See my blog on Gargling with Myrrh for helping with more general oral health problems.

Deepening Self-Care and Care for All.

Illustration by Kelly Basford.

When I first completed my aromatherapy training, I treated a lot of pregnant women. It was a true pleasure and privilege and I noticed how willing they were to bring a much deeper level of care to themselves, something that I did not see as abundant among women. Of course, it is a time when in many ways a woman is at the mercy of her body and has to adjust many things in the way she lives her life. But I did note, that many chose to do more loving things for the sake of the baby they were carrying, that they would not have made solely for themselves. For example eating more carefully, not pushing themselves, cutting out food and drink that wasn’t supportive, such as alcohol and coffee.
There were things that I was choosing for myself back then, even though I wasn’t pregnant, nor had been. The overriding reason for making these choices was still the messages I received from my body that I chose to respond to, although perhaps not as obvious as when someone is pregnant, they are still there. I was more focussed on health generally due to having entered a career in the healthcare industry. The more I did listen to my body, the more I became aware of my body’s messages and the more deeply I began to care for myself, with the results being many amazing and sometimes quite unexpected unfoldments, change and opportunities.

Art by Kelly Basford.
Now, more than 10 years later I am pregnant myself and a realisation dropped in. Even though I feel I do take care of myself, without perfection and listen to my body, as the realisation of carrying a child and preparing to bring them into the world began to feel real, I had a thought: my choices were now, not just about me, they were about me and one other. As this thought came, I immediately realised that I still, in the main, live my life for myself, and that really it should not take having another being inside me to make me consider more than myself in any choice I make – it was a bit of a shock and felt horrible to admit. True, building a self caring way in my every day means I am able to support myself and others more so than if I didn’t, so self care is still a priority, infact my foundation. And true, there is a huge impact on my child whatever I do, especially when I’m pregnant and in the early childhood stages, so the child will naturally be considered. But, the question that came was: is that really any different to the impact that the way I live every part of my life has on all others?
 
Painting by Kelly Basford.
What if we all truly understood that every choice, action, movement, even thought, actually does have an impact on everyone? There is a huge ripple effect that comes from each of us, and that can be felt by all on some level.
 
If we were fish in the sea, each movement of our fins, tails, mouth, etc. would have a tangible ripple effect in the water, that all the other fish and sea life live in and would feel. Just because we don’t see air in the same way as the water they live in, it is surely just another medium that our movements will ripple out and touch others by…
So, this mini revelation really highlighted to me that every choice I take, every move I make, counts for all.
 
For more writing on the philosophy of life, I recommend checking out the following fabulous blogs:
 
 
 

How to make a Stretch Mark Balm

I made a balm to help with stretch marks this week. I’m 15 weeks pregnant and my tummy is beginning to expand, so this is to help ensure I am not left with stretch mark scars as my body changes. You can use this balm to help avoid stretch marks when gaining or losing weight for what ever reason, including during and after pregnancy. Since my breasts have also increased in size, I will be using it on them until the baby is born. If breast feeding, then only apply at times when there is space between your baby feeding as you don’t want them feeding on the balm, or being put off by it.

Stretch Mark Balm – Recipe for 50g Pot

  • Beeswax, 5g
  • Shea butter, 5g
  • Rosehip oil, 20g
  • Calendula oil*, 20g
  • Essential Oils (optional):
  • Caution: not all essential oils are safe to use in pregnancy, so check any safety advice if you want to tweak the recipe. Also, essential oils should be used at a much lower dose in pregnancy, as they can cross the placenta, so use around 0.25%.  I always imagine I’m choosing oils that will be safe for the baby if I’m making something for someone who is pregnant.
  • *You can replace the calendula oil with something else if you wish for example daisy oil, olive oil, apricot oil, safflower oil or camellia oil. You can also replace the rosehip oil, but this is particularly useful for scars.

Instructions:

  • Weigh out the beeswax and shea butter using the scale and weigh or measure out the base oil.
  • Use a bain marie or double boiler to melt the beeswax (do not heat directly), then add the base oil and continue to gently heat. Add the shea butter at the end so it is not heated longer than necessary. As soon as it’s completely melted remove from the heat.
  • Let it cool a little before adding essential oils, so they are not affected too much by the heat.  If it begins to solidify give the mixture a stir.
  • Pour the mixture into a clean, dry container and leave to cool and set before applying the lid and labelling so you don’t forget what’s inside.
  • The balm should last for 12-18 months, but if it smells rancid, it may have been contaminated and should not be used.

Click here for more details on making a Balm.

You can order a custom made massage balm for pregnancy, stretch marks, scars and many other health & wellbeing conditions here: Bespoke Blends.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

How to use Essential Oils in Pregnancy

Can you use essential oils in pregnancy?

Essential Oils can actually be very supportive in pregnancy, many women naturally become more connected to their body and more considerate and caring of themselves at this time – so using essential oils can be a lovely way to nurture and support through out this precious cycle.

There are important cautions to be observed when using essential oils anyway and a few more during pregnancy so I have written this blog to ensure you use them safely and confidently.

Professionals are advised not to treat during the first tri-mester in training, I’m sure this is because miscarriage is so common during this period and because there are cautions with using essential oils, therefore it may be simpler and safer to take them out of the equation. I suspect most people are exposed to millions more harmful products than essential oils through out their day but I would still err on the side of caution and avoid them in the initial stages unless you have support from an experienced professional and feel 100% confident.

Below are the most useful ways I have used essential oils with clients… (use the links at the end for instructions on how to make balms, creams, massage blends & roller ball blends).

  • Which Essential Oils?

Some essential oils are contraindicated in pregnancy and should not be used. Those mentioned in this blog are safe to use but you should ensure you use a trustworthy source*. Those that are suitable must be used at a much lower dilution as they are absorbed through the skin and as with most things you do during pregnancy, can have an affect on the baby too

  • Dilution

Essential Oils should always be diluted before skin application. In pregnancy I usually go with 0.25-0.5% but 1% is the maximum dilution I would use. The scent may be quite delicate but this is more than enough to be effective. Click to view a chart showing how many drops to use.

  • Nausea & Morning Sickness

Essential Oils: I use a blend of cardamom, spearmint & neroli – you could use a mix of these or on their own depending on which scents you like, many women become hypersensitive to smell during pregnancy. All three are soothing & calming to the digestive system & their scent not too intense. You could also try simply lemon essential oil, the fresh, clean scent can also help.

Use: An inhaler stick or roller ball bottle is most practical for this blend as you can carry it around and breath in or apply it whenever you feel to, whether it is to avoid the feeling of sickness or to soothe it when you do feel it.

  • Stretch Marks

Essential Oils: Lavender, roman chamomile and mandarin with a base of rosehip and calendula carrier oils. The essential oils are all great for skin care but remember to ensure you get pure Lavender Oil with the Latin name Lavandula angustifolia*.

Use: A massage oil, balm or cream would work best in this case, I would suggest which ever you like the feel of most because consistency is key in nourishing your skin at this time – if you love using it you’re more likely to do so everyday. You can start application when ever you notice that your tummy is beginning to grow, check out the blog How to make a Stretch Mark Balm for more details on making and using this.

  • Back Ache

Essential Oils: Back pain and ache is common especially during the later stages of pregnancy along with various other aching body parts so using a massage oil or balm with lavender and chamomile essential oil would help to ease this.

Use: It is not usually appropriate or comfortable to lie on your tummy to receive a back massage, I have done them with a client lying on their side, or seated –which ever is most comfortable for you. ‘Some doctors specifically recommend that pregnant women sleep on the left side. Because your liver is on the right side of your abdomen, lying on your left side helps keep the uterus off that large organ. Sleeping on the left side also improves circulation to the heart and allows for the best blood flow to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys.’ https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sleep-during-pregnancy.html

  • Tired Feet

A foot massage with a cooling aloe gel mixed with spearmint (not peppermint as it is much stronger so avoid this) or lavender to ease and refresh tired weary feet (Lavandula angustifolia).

  • Oedema/ Water Retention

Essential Oil: Geranium essential oil can help with water retention.

Use: In a cream, balm or massage oil to apply to the affected area can be supportive.

  • Moods

Essential Oil: Geranium essential oil has a balancing effect on the endocrine system so can be very supportive through out pregnancy.

Use: See blog on How to Use Geranium Essential Oil to Support Women’s Health.

  • Inducing Labour

Many people ask me about using essential oils to help induce labour. Although I would advise letting things unfold naturally, myrrh oil is a uterine tonic and so can be used to prepare for the birth but not during the rest of the pregnancy. I would wait for the due date to pass and use in a massage oil around your bump.

  • Labour

Something practical and easy to use is a floral water, you can spritz this on your face and across your body – it’s very gentle – much more so than essential oils and has a refreshing and calming effect – rose water is my favourite but you could use lavender or neroli. It also has the added benefit of calming others in the room and cleansing the atmosphere which is desirable, especially if you are in a hospital setting.

  • *Lavender Oil in Pregnancy

When it comes to lavender there is some concern about its use, but ‘Lavandula angustifolia‘ is safe to use –some other types of lavender oil have a higher camphor content. It’s important to use a trustworthy source of essential oil because some can be adulterated and mixed with synthetic products or mixed with cheaper lavender oils which are higher in camphor.

All of the products mentioned can be purchased as bespoke blends made especially for you. Please get in touch if you have any concerns or queries or would like personal support and remember to continue to care and nurture yourself just as much as your baby.