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 a little in shock btw.

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. 
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.

Day 19, feeling a lot more myself.

I will continue to update more pictures of my scar as time goes by…

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.

Use: A roller ball bottle is most practical for this blend as you can carry it around and 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.

  • 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.

How to get through December and still smell Divine… with the most Delicious Essential Oils!

The lead up to the end of the year can often feel a little fretful rather than festive, so here are some recommendations for essential oils to support you as the ‘silly season‘ takes over:

Image by Jane Torvaney

Orange & Clove for a warming, comforting scent that has a powerful cleansing & anti-microbial action, a perfect combination for using in a burner or diffuser* to scent your home and ward off winter bugs. You can get a similar effect by piercing cloves into the peel of an orange which releases their essential oils – as well as smelling delicious it will sanitise the atmosphere. Place them around your home, especially close to the fire as the heat will encourage more essential oils to be released.

Fir & Pine for supporting the immune system & respiratory conditions during vulnerable times. Use these Christmas tree oils on a tissue and inhale throughout the day, or blend them into a balm* to massage across your chest – you can use them in this way if you have come down with a cold, flu or virus and also if you want to avoid them.

Cardamom & Grapefruit to help soothe, digest & detox – these would be lovely made into a blend* if you happen to have over indulged over the Christmas period. Find a comfortable place to lay down, massage the ‘digestive blend’ around your tummy in gentle anti-clockwise circles, begin just under your ribcage and massage around the centre of your tummy covering the small intestine, gradually moving down towards the start of the ascending colon, follow this up the right side of your body, as it becomes the transverse colon across the body under the ribs and then onto the descending colon down the left side of your body. Finish with a few large anti-clockwise circles and take a moment to rest.

Frankincense & Myrrh – these two oils come with extremely precious qualities, they support moments to stop, breathe gently and come back to yourself – especially useful during times of stress and overwhelm. I like to use them in a roll-on perfume blend* to keep in my pocket and apply when ever I feel to.

You can use all of the recommended blends in a burner or diffuser* to scent your home, or dilute in a carrier oil to massage into your skin and add to a bath*.

Any oil you choose to use with the intention to truly nurture and take care of yourself will support on some level, so enjoy experimenting and feel free to get in touch if you would like assistance.

*Useful Links: How to make a balm.
How to make a body and bath oil blend.
How to make a roll on perfume blend.

How to Use Geranium Essential Oil to Support Women’s Health

The key reason I use geranium essential oil is for its balancing effect on the endocrine system. When you consider how much the endocrine system and our hormones play a key role in every part of running our bodies, geranium oil becomes a useful tool to support health and wellbeing, especially with regards to a woman’s health and her cycle.

Geranium Essential Oil – Pelargonium graveolens flower oil

It’s important to actually see and feel how, as women, we are constantly in a cycle, whether it be our monthly menstrual cycle, which goes through various phases as shown in the video below by UnimedLiving, or our life cycle as a woman and the way we move from beginning our periods as a girl or young woman to menopause and beyond… I like to think of it as the way a rose begins to bud and bloom, continuing to open until each petal eventually falls. Even when all the petals have fallen the cycle is not over, it is then that rose hips begin to form, a stage as gorgeous as the flowering… Just as with women, when our  monthly bleed ceases, there is much to appreciate and enjoy as a woman enters her elder years.

Geranium is an oil you can use to support you, your connection to your cycle and your body at any stage in life. The key is to use the oil to support the whole cycle, rather than as a quick fix when you feel tension (and all the other possible symptoms such as moods, exhaustion, hot flushes, period pain, bloating, breakouts, cravings etc.) – although it can still help at these more intense times, it would be more effective to make it a regular ritual.

For example you could use geranium essential oil in the following ways:

How ever you decide to use geranium oil, make sure it feels lovely, that you enjoy it and that it doesn’t become a chore. If you find a way that you really adore, you are more likely to make it a part of your natural rhythm. It’s worth noting that if you don’t enjoy the scent of geranium, then you could replace it with rose essential oil, which has a deeply nurturing quality; or lavender essential oil, which is very clearing (in fact, all three together would make a great blend). Alternatively, you could blend a small amount of geranium oil with other essential oils that make the scent more appealing. You could also look at making a blend of essential oils that can address other symptoms you may experience, such as period pain, back ache, nausea, hot flushes, tiredness, dizziness, etc.

The endocrine system is a very delicate, subtle system in the body, and although geranium oil has this balancing effect on it, once you find a way to bring essential oils into your day-to-day life, you will naturally be building more of a connection and awareness to your body. This connection and awareness is key as you then have an opportunity to respond in a more nurturing, loving way, something that can continue to grow and deepen as you move through your cycle.

For more support with women’s health wether it be how to prepare for your first period or support with going through menopause, there are some amazing articles on the following sites:

www.esotericwomenshealth.com
www.unimedliving.com – women’s health

The Importance of You in a Relationship with Essential Oils

When we think of relationships most of us will automatically refer to the one we have with an intimate partner, but actually we are having a relationship with everything all of the time, even with inanimate objects such as a chair, or with our computer. We have a relationship with our environment, with sleep, with work and with food… so of course we can have a relationship with essential oils too. And, in all cases, we are either having a healthy, harmonious relationship or not.

Essential Oils and You is about bringing awareness to the relationship we have with ourselves and how that can be reflected in how we use the oils.

Essential Oils + You = Relationship.

The question is though, what kind of relationship is that?

The quality of your ingredients will play a part in the quality of the outcome, so using quality essential oils is important but what is the quality that ‘you’ bring to the relationship?

Whatever it is that you are having a relationship with, ‘You’ are the common ingredient, and the relationship you have with yourself will have a great impact on the outcome. And so, ‘the way’ you relate to you and the quality of care that you bring to you is really important.

When it comes to using an essential oil, I have had many clients who ask for an oil to ‘fix’ back pain, or an oil to ‘solve’ sleep problems. It is possible to use them in this way, i.e. to match the symptom with an essential oil with properties to address that symptom.
For example, lavender essential oil has pain relieving and calming properties, so it can support back pain and sleep problems. But, what about the affect of ‘you’ in that equation?
What if it is the quality of our intention behind using the oils that matters most? Do we just want relief from a situation so we can continue living in a way that has contributed to those ailments? Or do we want the true healing on offer?

What if your purpose in using the oils was more like this:

I have back pain, there are lots of things going on in my life that I think may be causing it, and some that seem to make it worse, how can I support myself best to change or address these things that are resulting in back pain?

When we ask ourselves these questions, then there is the potential for true healing to be the result, rather than bypassing the issue that caused the symptom and just addressing the outcome. The more honest you can be with yourself, the more you get to discover about yourself and the quality of your relationship with yourself deepens. You then bring a different intention to the way you can use essential oils (support rather than relief) and a different quality to all your relationships.

So the equation has the potential to look something like this:

Essential Oils + You = an unfolding relationship with more honesty, more care, more awareness, more understanding, more nurturing, more love… in relation to everything in life, and hopefully along the way the symptoms will improve or pass as you deal with the root causes.

Your most important relationship is the one you have with your self, because you are the key ingredient in your relationships with everything else in your life, whether it be the way you use essential oils, the way you express with your colleagues at work, or the way you put yourself to sleep each night… You are the most important ingredient in every relationship.

How to use Chamomile Essential Oil for Hay Fever and Allergies

Last week I ran a natural skin care making workshop and the client was suffering from hay fever. It was obvious they would not enjoy the few hours we had together when suffering with congestion in the nose and sinuses, sneezing, eyes watering and itchiness. They did have anti histamines, but I suggested we make a chamomile essential oil blend first to apply around the eye and nose area to see if it would ease the symptoms.

Chamomile essential oil is very potent, so you just need a tiny amount, we used 1 drop of oil in 5ml of carrier oil (e.g. apricot oil) and applied around the eyes, across the nose and cheeks. We continued the workshop and the symptoms eased in a few minutes, leaving behind just a little sniffing for the rest of the morning and there was no need to use the anti histamines which often have other unwanted side effects (fatigue, dry mouth). It was a great confirmation to observe for my self how the chamomile blend eased and calmed the allergies swiftly and effectively.

Chamomile is great for calming allergic reactions, such as rashes, inflammation and hay fever, it also calms the nervous system which is useful because when suffering from the symptoms it can make your mood quite irritable, aggravated and upset.

Caution: You must blend the chamomile essential oil with a carrier oil before applying to your skin, you can use any of the Carrier Oils listed for sale in my shop or simply use a little olive oil from your kitchen cupboard.

Click here to order a Bespoke Chamomile Blend to help with hay fever and other allergies. Click here to buy Chamomile Essential Oil.

You may also like to read: Lavender and Chamomile for Hay fever

TESTIMONIAL:My hay fever symptoms have improved a lot thank you. I still get itchy eyes and a little blocked and sneezing but thats usually in the mornings or evening when I need to re-apply the blend.
Your bespoke blend is really beautiful to apply thank you. I think in the first few days as my symptoms were so strong I applied quite a lot and then felt a bit greasy as I’m not used to using oils (I’m also quite heavy handed sometimes with things). I am now applying less (3 drops to my face and neck, twice a day unless I need during the day) and it’s working really well thank you. It’s so nice not to be taking medication, which I always avoid if I can.
I have also had dry patches of skin across my cheek bones for months despite applying moisturiser daily and they are now beautifully soft! ‘ Michelle Foulser