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:
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.
One of the many things I love about essential oils is how the effect on our body is connected to the plant itself and that plants action in life. Trees produce oxygen by their mode of respiration which supports us with our respiration, so, it seems natural for the essential oil to support conditions that affect our respiratory system, like colds and coughs. When you breath in essential oils you can feel it in your body immediately, and this is particularly prominent with tree oils such as eucalyptus and pine. You can feel them cleaning and clearing as they pass from the tip of your nose deep down into your lungs. I feel my chest expand, even my posture changes and I will naturally be more open and stand taller – just like a tree.
Everything is connected so it goes beyond the respiratory system, but it’s a good example of feeling for yourself in your body, how the oils can support.
Frankincense & myrrh have a less fierce action on the respiratory system, much more calming, helping to bring a gentleness back to your breath. They are a great support for conditions such as asthma, panic attacks, stress, anxiety and for use in meditation.
Frankincense is a great oil to scent the room with when you’re taking a moment to breath gently. Myrrh has a much subtler smell so doesn’t work that well in a burner, I prefer to massage this into my wrists to support connection with myself. Click here to read my blog on using myrrh in this way.
Frankincense and myrrh are also examples of how essential oils can act on our bodies in the same way they do so as a tree in life. The essential oil comes from the resin that is produced by the tree when the bark is cut or injured. The resin is a sticky, thick, goo that covers the affected area and then hardens to seal and protect the damaged site, it’s a bit like the way humans form a scab to protect their bodies when the skin is broken.
Can you see why frankincense and myrrh are used in skin care? The resin is healing the tree and the oil that is produced from the resin is used for it’s healing properties on our skin. Frankincense is one of the most popular ingredients in many skin care products. Myrrh is particularly affective in helping festering and difficult to heal wounds, especially in the mouth -it’s useful for mouth ulcers and popular in oral care for this reason (see my blog on gargling with myrrh for more details). I also like to use myrrh on dry, hard, cracked skin, it’s the base of my blend for scars and usually appears in the skin care products I make -it has recently been working wonders for a client with bed sores.
Benzoin is similar to frankincense and myrrh, it is a tree that produces a resin that is made into an essential oil. It is very protective to the skin but has a very pleasing vanilla like scent that makes it particularly comforting to use for stress and anxiousness as well as in skin care.
I find that even the character of trees confirms how they work on the body. Large, tall strong trees like pines and firs and huge eucalyptus trees with tonnes of leaves are very expansive to the respiratory system, powerfully cleansing and clearing. Whereas the more delicate small trees like frankincense and myrrh work in a more gentle way, supporting reconnecting when you feel out of sorts. Both are very powerful but different in action, a reflection of ourselves as humans; we all have different strengths and qualities that offer support in different ways.
You could not compare the delicacy of a flower that may last a few days or weeks to the strength of a huge oak that could live for generations. One is not better than another, for each brings a natural beauty that is needed. In this same way, we can appreciate each other for our natural qualities, we all have something to bring to this world of value and it is a true gift for humanity when we share ourselves in full.
A dash of Cinnamon, Clove, All Spice and Nutmeg (powder)
1 table spoon Ground flax seeds (optional)
A sprinkle of finely ground desiccated coconut to decorate.
You could use any essential oil* you like to flavour these, some other suggestions that work well include peppermint, mandarin or geranium. You could also try a combination e.g. orange & geranium, lime & peppermint but keep the total number of drops as 8.
Place all of the fruit & nut ingredients into a food processor.
Add 8 drops of the orange essential oil to a table spoon of olive oil. This helps even distribution of the essential oil.
Add the oil to the other ingredients in the processor and blend until the mixture comes together. If the mix is too dry and not sticking together, add another dash of olive oil.
Shape in to balls by rolling in the palms of your hands and place into mini cake cases. I weight out about 30g of mix to get even sized balls.
Finish off by using a sieve to sprinkle finely ground desiccated coconut over the tops or roll in sesame seeds.
*Essential oils must be 100% pure, organic and unadulterated to be suitable for use in flavouring foods – Essential Oils & You are suitable. Never ingest essential oils before diluting them.
Essential Oil Christmas Workshop with Laura Hoy & Heather Hardy
Venue: The Edge Community Centre, 85 Pankhurst Avenue, Brighton, BN2 9AE, UK.
Date: Sunday 7th December 2014
Discount: £20 if you book and pay by 1st December
Price includes a pot of balm and edible treat to take home (both made by you), morning tea, snacks and a hand massage.
A fun, festive and practical workshop open to all. We will be sharing how you can use essential oils to support yourself to nurture, cherish and adore your self in day to day life. This is especially important around this time of year as we can get so caught up in the rush and stress of Christmas. This morning workshop will be a chance to focus and care for yourself, offering practical tips to bring support though out the crazy month of December and beyond. We will be making a balms for you to use on your body (these can be tailored to you personally), some edible snacks flavoured with essential oils (to take home too), and giving and receiving hand massages.
Morning Tea and Snacks will be provided.
For more information and to book a place, please contact Laura by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07828954020