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.

Connection, Rituals and Nurturing – How to use Essential Oils in Daily Life.

Essential oils are a potent tool to support health and well-being, from chronic illness to the common cold. There are an array of oils to choose from, each with powerful properties that help ease many symptoms both in the body and the mind. There are a myriad of ways they can be used too, which can actually be a little overwhelming, but no matter what my symptoms may be, or what essential oil I feel like using, there are three main ways that I incorporate them into my daily life:

Esoteric Healing Eye Pillow
Taking a moment to reconnect with a scented healing eye pillow.

Connection

– to support a consistent connection with my body and to reconnect to myself when I feel out of sorts;

 

 

 

Simply lighting a scented candle when taking a shower makes all the difference to my morning.
Simply lighting a scented candle when taking a shower makes all the difference to my morning.

Rituals

– to use the oils in daily rituals that support me to live with a steady rhythm and stay connected with what’s around me;

 

 

Feeling what part of my body I want apply cream to.

Nurturing

– to use essential oils in a nurturing way that supports developing a deeper relationship with myself.

 

 

 

 

These ways can look quite different for each individual person, so here are some practical examples of how it can play out for me:

Using myrrh essential oil on my wrists.
Using myrrh essential oil on my wrists.

Connection – If I’m feeling a bit stressed, tired or distracted, I may take five minutes to sit and massage my wrists with some hand cream or massage oil blended with myrrh essential oil. This area feels particularly delicate to me and this action allows me to feel how tender my body is, so quite quickly it brings me back to myself which gives me a chance to address what ever is going on that resulted in me feeling out of sorts -hence the re-connection.

 

Appreciating the lavender bags in my wardrobe each morning when I choose what to wear.
Appreciating the lavender bags in my wardrobe each morning when I choose what to wear.

Rituals – In my daily tasks I like to bring a little touch of magic to what I do, I might add a sprinkle of lavender oil into my laundry powder or a few drops of lemon oil onto kitchen surfaces when I’m cleaning. It’s a way of bringing my innate quality to every day life and recognizing each moment as precious.

 

 

Adding a little rose oil to my face cream & cherishing myself as I apply it.
Adding a little rose oil to my face cream & cherishing myself as I apply it.

Nurturing – The more I build the connection with myself and the daily rituals in my life, the more deeply I feel I naturally nurture myself. It seems that if I care enough to commit to the other two, the nurturing builds by itself. It’s like I have more respect and time to care for myself. Rose is my favorite oil to use in this way, at the moment its in my face cream which also gets applied to other areas of my body that need attention, it’s likely to be in a perfume that I make (that I quite often just wear to bed) or a few drops in my shower gel which means my skin gets massaged with rose each morning –very delicious.

These are all simple ways that I use the oils and they don’t take too much time up. Everyone could use essential oils in their day to day life, perhaps in different practical ways depending on what they like and the practicalities of their day. But by bringing the focus to connection, rituals and nurturing, it tends to avoid the oils becoming just another quick fix for ailments and supports addressing the route cause of the issue. It also allows me to appreciate the real beauty and power in the oils, but also how important my part is in supporting my health and wellbeing.

If you would like to discuss how essential oils can support you or request a Bespoke Blend you can email me directly at laura@essenstialoilsandyou.co.uk.

For more inspiration on how to use essential oils read Nurture, Cherish, Adore – inspired by Natalie Benhayon.

Click here for more tips on developing Self Care Rituals.

To Nurture, Cherish and Adore – inspired by Natalie Benhayon

Do you nurture yourself every day? Have you ever cherished yourself?

Could you even allow yourself to adore you?

When I first heard Natalie Benhayon say these words a few years ago at a presentation, I couldn’t even say that I had a real understanding of how to nurture myself, let alone cherish (and adore was not even on my radar), they were literally just lovely words to hear.

Natalie Benhayon
Natalie Benhayon

Since then, Natalie has inspired me to discover very deeply what these words: ‘nurture’, ‘cherish’ and ‘adore’ mean, how they feel in my body and this has ultimately allowed me to begin an intimate relationship with myself, as a person and especially as a woman.

Over the years I have had support from Natalie in many forms, including her presentations at Universal Medicine Retreats, True Movement classes, Esoteric Ovary massages & other Esoteric Womens Health projects, including Women in Livingness Groups, the Women in Livingness Magazine and her ultimate app –Our Cycles. These are just a few examples of the work she has presented and put together -at just 26 years old she is an incredibly inspiring woman who is asking all the right questions about what is going on in world, about the state of women’s health, our relationships and so much more and what’s more, she’s actually making changes.

Natalie Benhayon presenting
Natalie Benhayon presenting

One thing that really struck me early on when I met her was her confidence, she is completely at ease with herself, so steady and committed, and with it very humble. It’s obvious that she does her own thing and does not let others hold her back, she certainly doesn’t hold back her beauty, sense of humour or sexiness. But what I observe and continue to appreciate, is that everything in her life, the way she lives, what she continually discovers and develops is openly shared with everyone, so that all have an equal opportunity to find that confidence in them selves and show it with that same ease in their own way.

Today when I consider the words nurture, cherish and adore, I have a tangible relationship with all three that is continuing to develop and deepen.

To NURTURE for me means to look after myself in all aspects of my life, to ask myself questions about what I actually would love to do right now, to make space to be playful with my daily chores, to not choose to do things that will overwhelm my day, to decide I’m worth taking an extra moment for -whether to light a candle before I take a shower each morning or to breath in the scent of a flower as I pass by. It means not giving myself a hard time when I inevitably make mistakes, noticing the self bashing commentary in my mind and letting it go, moving in a way that doesn’t push or strain my body. Basically, it’s making choices to truly support myself and my body throughout my day to day life.

One of the difficulties I see is that we’ve created a life that doesn’t allow the space for nurturing and we don’t regard ourselves enough to make that space for ourselves. Using essential oils has been a way that I have been able to experiment with nurturing and making that space, but it’s not about the physical act of putting some massage oil on my skin or sprinkling essential oils in a burner, I see them as moments that I can use to learn more about myself. Much of what I have been discovering is shared on these blogs with the purpose of inspiring others to experiment with what nurturing is for them and helping to develop a connection with their body -one of my favourite blogs on this is ‘Myrrh Essential Oil – Supporting Connection with myself‘ -it’s a good example of how it’s not about the oil but about you and the way you use the oil.

rose and neroli face cream

To CHERISH is to really appreciate myself, to know and value my natural qualities and strengths, and know with out doubt that they are worth sharing with others and can support and inspire them too.  It’s also to cherish my weaknesses and flaws, to embrace them, to allow time to focus on them to support myself and allow the support and inspiration from others. It’s knowing that all parts are just as precious, from running a perfume workshop to flossing my teeth.

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To ADORE is to fall in love with myself. This is absolutely not an arrogance, the more I get to know myself, to ask myself what I’d love to do right now, the more I can feel a loving way of being with myself -I’m letting go of the auto pilot and constant rushing. Some times I take a second to look into my eyes in the mirror, and connect to all those things I cherish and know there is so much more to come… as I work on the others I feel this one more, sometimes it’s as simple as climbing into bed and feeling my feet under the bed sheets.

Natalie Benhayon eyes
Natalie Benhayon

I actually feel that we all innately know how to nurture, cherish and adore; we just need a reminder of how awesome it feels and that we are so worth it.

So, huge thanks and appreciation to Natalie Benhayon for reminding me to truly value and actually love myself, to feel confident in showing myself with the world and know that I have something precious to share.

Natalie Benhayon talks about 'True Sexy'.
Natalie Benhayon talks about ‘True Sexy’.

Listen to Natalie Benhayon interviewed on this audio: Are you deeply nurturing yourself?

Watch Natalie Benhayon speak on True Sexy:

Images of Natalie Benhayon courtesy of UnimedLiving

How to Take Care of your Clothes with Essential Oils.

A change of season means a change of wardrobe, what ever side of the planet you’re on you are bound to be experiencing the change in seasons, whether it’s time to pack away your warm jumpers and winter coats or say goodbye to summer dresses and cool T-shirts, essential oils are a sweet smelling and practical way to look after your clothes.

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If you’ve ever experienced an attack of moths on your favourite cashmere jumper then you will be sure to take extra care when you store your knitwear and silks away for several months. Here are a few tips to help protect your clothes and ensure they reappear in one piece, smelling fresh when you unpack next Spring/Autumn…

It’s advisable to give everything a wash before you pack them up and as a side note, if you haven’t worn them all season, consider getting rid of them, there are so many benefits to de-cluttering your wardrobe! I add a few drops of lavender essential oil to my washing powder for a little touch of freshness and since lavender oil deters moths it is a great smelling start to the process.

I then take several lavender filled bags or pillows that contain dried lavender flowers, if the scent has faded I add a few drops of lavender oil to freshen them up. I also sprinkle a few drops of cedar wood essential oil as this is another oil that deters moths, (cedar wood oil is dark brown in colour, so you may want to avoid staining the material on the lavender bags, in that case just add a few drops to tissues). Tuck the lavender bags evenly among the clothes in their suitcase or storage bag and close securely.

I don’t think anyone likes the smell of mothballs and even if you’ve never had moths this is still a worthwhile ritual as it keeps your clothes fresh and smelling lovely when you bring them out next season…

If you don’t have any lavender bags you can sprinkle the oils onto tissues and place them in the storage bags. Alternatively, you can purchase some from BySally or Mayfield Lavender.

 

These ones are way too pretty for me to pack away so I generally keep them in my draws, with my bed linen or on hangers in my wardrobe so I can appreciate them daily.

Since lavender has so many other amazing properties including supporting a restful night sleep, I also hang a lavender bag on my bedpost, or under my pillow so that I breathe in the scent as I lay down to sleep.

Click here to read more on how to use lavender oil to support sleep and how to scent your car naturally.

Lav bags group 1 small

For tips on de-cluttering your life check out ‘Simplicity in Living‘.

Healing Eye Pillows by Feather Light Productions

Feather Light Healing Eye Pillow Red FlowersFeather Light Healing Eye Pillow Pink Blossom

These beautiful silk healing eye pillows, scented with quality essential oils, are now available to buy from Essential Oils & You’s new Shop – this blog will share a little of how they can be used…

I’m choosing to sell these because they are truly exquisite, deeply supportive and made with such love and care, you can really sense the integrity that has gone into making them.

There are two designs to choose from: red flowers or pink blossom, the silk cover is removable, so you can hand wash it if need be, with soft black silk on the underside that feels gorgeous on your skin.

Inside the silk cover is an inner bag containing flax seeds which feel light across your eyes, yet mould around the contours of your face so it sits snug and blocks any light out as you rest. This makes it useful for headaches, migraines and for helping to get to sleep if you’re disturbed by light.

In cooler seasons I recommend warming the eye pillow on top of a radiator or ideally in a towel warmer if you have such a thing.  It is very supportive for restlessness, sleeplessness, anxiety and stress. For symptoms such as aching joints, period pains and back ache you can place the eye pillow on the appropriate body parts.

I like to place one over my eyes each night as I go to sleep, or if I feel stress, tension or tired, I lay with one across my eyes and one on my heart for 5-10 minutes to refresh myself.

Esoteric Healing Eye Pillow

These pillows are also a great accessory for therapists to use in various modalities such as massage.

Click here for details on how to purchase them from the website shop or contact me directly by email: laura@essentialoilsandyou.co.uk

How to use Essential Oils from Trees to Support our Respiratory System and in Skin Care.

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 from trees 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.

Eucalyptus trees.

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.

Click here for links to free gentle breath meditation audios, they are quick, simple and a very practical support for real life.

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Image care of Unimed Living

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 is not so prominent in a burner, it’s quite sticky too so may be best avoided in diffusers incase it damages. 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 bleed and form a scab to protect their bodies when the skin is broken.

Frankincense resin.

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 gentler 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.

Boswellia carteri tree
Boswellia carteri – the tree that produces frankincense essential oil from its resin.

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.

Raw Fruit and Nut Balls – flavoured with Essential Oils

Fruit & Nut Balls (AKA Mini Christmas Puddings) – Recipe

These delicious fruit & nut balls are super simple to make with the added benefit of being raw (no cooking needed), gluten free, dairy free & sugar free! (the dried fruit makes them sweet enough).

Ingredients:

  • 80g – golden sultanas
  • 50g – dates
  • 60g – dried cranberries (without added sugar)
  • 50g – dried apricots (brown ones if you can as the orange ones have preservatives in)
  • 130g – ground almonds
  • 50g – walnuts (or another favourite nut)
  • 8 drops – Orange Essential Oil (must be food grade) or an essential oil of your choice*
  • 1 table spoon –Olive Oil
  • 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.

Instructions

  1. Place all of the fruit & nut ingredients into a food processor.
  2. Add 8 drops of the orange essential oil to a table spoon of olive oil. This helps even distribution of the essential oil.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

With thanks to Heather Di Marino from ‘Eat Well Live Well’ for sharing her wonderful recipe, her Raw Orange & Carrot Carob Brownies are another delicious treat you can flavour with essential oils.

 

How to Make Your Own Natural Oil Perfume and Aromatherapy Blend

Here are the notes from my Natural Perfume & Aromatherapy Workshop, for those of you who would like to make your own unique, natural fragrance, but are unable to make the workshop in person.

Introduction – It’s actually very simple to make your own natural perfume as there is no need to use any alcohol, fixers or preservatives, you can just use natural essential oils for the scent, and a nut or seed oil as the base. It really is that simple, and the rest is just play time.

So this workshop/ blog post is really about introducing you to the endless array of possibilities involved in making your own natural perfume and to let you experiment and get confident with the ingredients. There are so many amazing essential oils to choose from and the real beauty is that they actually have a huge array of benefits, way beyond the scent that you create -which in itself can have dramatic effects on the way you feel.

 

How to make your own natural perfume blend

Container ~you can make your perfume blend in any container you like, there are lots of lovely bottles to play with, I’m often searching for old vintage perfume bottles in antique shops, or waiting for friends to finish there branded fragrance so i can use the bottle but I find using a ‘rolette’ bottle (as pictured) is very practical. It comprises of a small glass bottle (10 or 15ml), a roller ball top (that releases a little oil across the skin when you pass it over), and a cap.

Lasting effect ~Natural perfume does not have the same staying power as an alcohol based fragrance, so you can carry these little bottles around in your handbag or pocket and retouch the scent throughout the day.

Recipe – for a 5% blend strength for 10ml bottle

  • 10ml base oil e.g. apricot or jojoba ~you can choose just one or blend as many as you like.
  • 0.5ml essential oils (10 drops) ~you can choose just one or combine as many as you like (see below for how to choose essential oils).

Essential oils are very concentrated and a 5% blend strength should be plenty strong enough. However, if you have sensitive skin or are making a blend for children or someone with fragile skin, then I would drop the percentage to 1% or 2.5% (2 or 5 drops in 10ml).

Instructions

perfume bottles

Measure the quantities of base oil (eg. olive or almond) and pour directly into the bottle, then drop approximately 10 drops of essential oils directly into the bottle, fix the roller ball cap and lid and give it a shake to disperse the oils evenly. If you’re using resinous essential oils like myrrh or benzoin, you will need give the bottle a shake each time you use it as they can sink to the bottom.

Make a label for the bottle so you don’t forget what it contains.

Ingredients

Essential oils and base oils have a multitude of health and wellbeing benefits, so you can either design your perfume with the focus completely on the fragrance you want and then check out the added health benefits, or vice versa: choose oils for their properties and let the scent come together that way.

Choosing Base oils

Apricot oil

I like to use cold pressed vegetable oils as they are more natural with more nutrients but they can have varying degrees of smell to them so I go for something with a light scent so as not to interfere too much with the fragrance. I would recommend almond, apricot or jojoba. You can use ‘refined’ oils which have usually been heat treated to high temperatures to remove the scent, in this case olive oil would be just great.

For help choosing a base oil click here for my webshop.

Choosing your blend

To make your unique fragrance, you need to choose the essential oils you want and the number of drops of each to use. Use some ‘scent tester strips‘ or unscented tissues to put a drop of the oils you like on, and then see how they smell together. To avoid wasting too many drops of precious oils, use separate strips or tissues for each oil you try and write the name of the oil on them, then put the strips together under your nose to see if you like the combination. If you add an oil that you don’t like with the others, you take out the strip, and try something else, rather than have to start again.

Now the play time really takes off, you might find that you put 3 oils together eg. rose, lavender & myrrh, you like the smell of the lavender and rose  but you can’t really smell the myrrh, in this case you could try 2 or 3 drops of myrrh as it is more subtle in scent compared to the others.
It pays to be organised here, so that when you have your perfume ready on the strips, you know which oils you want and how many drops of each to add to the bottle. Depending on your ratio you can go a couple over or a couple under the 10 drops, the drops sizes can vary anyway so it is just a guide.

If you only have one or a few essential oils to play around with, then this is not a disadvantage, start with a couple of your favourites and build from there.

Keep it simple. There are so many possibilities and different essential oils to choose from that it can feel a bit overwhelming, don’t make it complicated. Try using 3 oils to begin with and pick a top, middle & base note, this is a good formula used in perfumery to give a well rounded scent (see my previous blog for details on top middle & base notes). If you start to get confused get some fresh air, and come back to it.

Don’t aim for perfection, the magic of using these natural ingredients means the blend will change with time, different people will pick up different scent notes, and when you wear it on your skin it will unfold throughout the day, so just trust when you’ve put something together that it will be great.

The following blogs will help you to choose which essential oils to put into your fragrance:

The Art of Blending Essential Oils

A List of the most popular Essential Oils, their Uses and Cautions

Blending Essential Oils using Top, Middle and Base Notes.

 

Workshop

If you would like to attend a Natural Perfume Making Workshop in person, or arrange one for a group then click here for further details including up and coming dates.

natural perfume making workshop      IMG_4026

Recipe inspirations and practical uses for the ‘rolette’ bottle:

You can use this exact same principle to make oils for health related purposes that  still smell amazing. I have used the 5% blend strength in the recipes, but if you are using on children, people with a delicate disposition or sensitive skin I would use 2.5% (5 drops in total).

See if you can spot the top, middle & base notes in these examples:

Nail oil ~apply on the skin just before the nails begin to grow, this area supports healthy nail growth, as it is where the new nail is being formed.

nail oil

Nail oil recipe, this for a 5% blend strength (10 drops of essential oil in 10ml base oil).

Ingredients

  • 5ml organic macadamia oil*
  • 5ml organic almond oil*
  • 4 drops of myrrh essential oil (helps to heal dry, hard and cracked skin)
  • 3 drops of rose essential oil (deeply nurturing, nourishing and hydrating)
  • 3 drops of mandarin essential oil (great for the skin and gives the scent a lift)

*If you can’t use nut oils due to allergies then I would suggest using organic apricot, olive or argan oil instead.

 

Anxiety, stress, panic attacks ~with a soothing, calming blend you can roll across your wrists or even under your nose as a preventative or when you feel symptoms coming on.

Ingredients

  • 10ml organic olive oil
  • 4 drops of neroli essential oil (soothes & calms nervous system)
  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil (relaxing, clearing & calming)
  • 3 drop of frankincense essential oil (supports breathing gently)

Hay fever ~ with a soothing, calming blend you can roll across your chest or even under your nose as a preventative or when you feel symptoms.

Chamomile

Ingredients

  • 10ml organic apricot oil
  • 5 drops of benzoin essential oil (soothing, comforting)
  • 2 drops of chamomile essential oil (anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory, soothing, calming, helps with itching)
  • 3 drop of orange essential oil (to give the scent a lift)

Nausea, morning sickness ~ with a soothing, calming blend you can roll across your wrists, tummy or even under your nose as a preventative or when you feel symptoms. The recipe here is for a 2% blend strength which is suitable in pregnancy, but you can increase it to 5% if it is for perfume use.

Ingredients

  • 10ml organic apricot or olive oil
  • 2 drops of neroli essential oil (soothing, relaxing, calms nervous tension)
  • 1 drops of cardamom essential oil (refreshing, soothing, calming)
  • 1 drop of spearmint essential oil (refreshing, soothes feelings of nausea)

Colds & sinus problems ~with a blend of powerfully clearing respiratory oils you can inhale the blend or roll across your chest & neck, e.g. eucalyptus, peppermint, thyme.

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Ingredients

  • 10ml organic olive oil
  • 4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil (clears respiratory system, very anti-microbial)
  • 2 drops of peppermint essential oil (clearing & calming)
  • 4 drops of thyme essential oil (powerful anti-microbial, clears mucus and great for chesty coughs)

Yarrow Essential Oil and How to make a Balm

Yarrow - painted by Elena Light
Yarrow – painted by Elena Light

Many people are unaware that yarrow, Achillea millifolium, a common plant growing abundantly in British country side, actually produces a very powerful, useful and rather beautiful essential oil.

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It’s an oil that stands out when you see its striking, ink blue colour, which is very unusual for an essential oil. The plant itself is made up of an umbrella of little white flowers, sometimes pink, but during the production process, a naturally occurring chemical component in the plant called chamazulene, turns bright blue.

yarrow flower and blue essential oil

Most essential oils come in tinted glass bottles as they are sensitive to light, so it’s rare to see such amazing colours as in the below photo.

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Bright blue yarrow essential oil.

Chamazulene is also the particular part that makes yarrow so useful as it is anti-inflammatory in effect and therefore useful for any condition where inflammation is present, for example:

Arthritis, allergies, bumps, bruises, breaks, gout, strains & sprains.

Even conditions such as period pain and back ache can be helped by using yarrow because of the presence of inflammation.

Yarrow & Lavender Balm Recipe – for pain and inflammation.

A balm is a very practical method of application for areas of inflammation. I would recommend applying this simple balm, made with yarrow and lavender essential oil, twice daily. Massage in very gentle anti-clockwise circles to the affected area, if the area is too tender to touch, or is an open wound then apply the balm as close to the site as is comfortable.

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Ingredients ~ to make 100 ml pot:

  • 10g beeswax
  • 10g shea butter
  • 80g or ml of base oil, e.g. Olive oil or Almond oil
  • yarrow essential oil – 40 drops (2ml)
  • lavender essential oil – 60 drops (3ml)
  • vitamin E (optional)

Caution ~ yarrow can contain a varying amount of camphor in it, which means it is advisable to avoid with epilepsy, in pregnancy, and could cause sensitisation in ragweed allergy sufferers.

See my blog on ‘How to make a Massage or Body Balm’ for full recipe instructions.

Blue chamomile essential oil, Matricaria recutita (also known as German chamomile) also appears blue in colour, it contains the same anti-inflammatory agent chamazulene and would be suitable for all of the above inflammatory conditions. Click here to purchase this essential oil.

See my blog on Lavender & Chamomile for Hay fever for more details.

The Art of Blending Essential Oils

My main purpose with this blog is to help you to develop your own relationship with using essential oils and experimenting with blending is one of the most fun aspects of this, there is constant opportunity to learn, be creative and experiment.

Introduction – choosing ingredients.

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Creating a blend can be a lot like cooking, I like using this analogy as most people are familiar with making things in their kitchen and blending essential oils is very similar in lots of ways. Instead of using the dried herb or seeds to season your meal, you’re using the oil, that has been pressed or distilled from the plant, to enhance your bath oil or face cream etc. One of the main reasons I choose and use essential oils on a day to day basis is to nourish and support my body, often the same reason I choose to eat certain foods (although I have to admit -sometimes I eat for comfort or distraction but that’s another story).  Ultimately, my intention when cooking or blending essential oils, is to make something that supports my body, wether it’s specific symptoms I’m addressing or I just want to enjoy the oils in a nurturing, confirming way through out my day.

Inspiration

Honey And Rose Panna Cotta with subtle flavours of rose and cardamom. Photo care of Unimed Living
Honey & Rose Panna Cotta with subtle flavours of rose and cardamom. Photo care of Unimed Living

Food often inspires me when I’m creating blends too and this recipe for Honey & Rose Panna Cotta is a great example, as after my mouth stopped watering, I made a blend of almond oil with rose and cardamom essential oils. It gives a middle eastern feel, very soothing, refreshing, deeply nurturing and nourishing in the bath, or as a massage oil.

Click here > for the Panna Cotta recipe and more inspirations.

Preparation

I love putting together blends of oils and I also love cooking, but I don’t always have as much time as I would like, and I can allow it to feel like just another task I have to fit into my day. So, for moments like this, I like to have some pre-made blends that I can use so that I’m not making things in a rush, or with out the quality and integrity I know I can bring when I make the space to do so with out any pressure. Just like when I don’t feel like cooking, I have lots of soups or curries in the freezer I can eat, so I still get a lovingly prepared meal, when I most need it.

Blending rules

The rules are there are no rules! -Well, that’s not quite true, because essential oils are incredibly potent, so you do need to observe any cautions they may have, (see List of Essential Oils for cautions).

Your essential essence…

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Whether I’m making something for a specific medical condition or just a lovely bath blend, I like to go with what ever I feel. I have noticed that different people have their own style when blending and when watching them I have been surprised at the combinations they come up with, things I would never have tried myself, yet they work perfectly. Each person can bring their own unique essence to a blend,  a little bit like with cooking; if a group of 100 people made a lasagne, not one of the meals would turn out exactly the same, they would each have their own way of doing it, from ingredients to presentation and all the details in-between. In the same way, if I asked someone  (even a qualified aromatherapist) to make a blend for a cold or for eczema, they would each end up making a unique product. Even if they did happen to choose the exact same oils, they could still have a different ratio, a different base and different method of application, each person brings their own essence and style to the blend.

The oils are so versatile, with many varied properties and effects, so there is certainly no right or wrong oil in any circumstance (apart from using an oil when there is a caution). Some oils have a more intense scent than others so you might choose a lower ratio to allow more delicate oils to come through, but then the scent could still work with even ratios, it would just have a different character and balance -for details on balancing the blend see my blog post on Top, Middle and Base notes.

Good practice

Photo care of Self-Love Affair
Photo care of Self-Love Affair

As you play around and get to know essential oils, your style, what you like and what works for you, I recommend that you record your recipes. I have a little ‘blending’ note book to write everything in, and I make sure I record the number of drops and the rest of the ingredients. This is because you might end up with something you really love, or a blend that someone asks you to re-create, then you have all the details handy to make it up again. I’m speaking from experience of course which is why I have developed a slightly more organised way of working. It means if I decide I want something to be a little more lavender, I can refer back to how many drops I used, and increase them.

I am also a big fan of the ‘Jamie Oliver’ style of making recipes, a shake of this, and a splodge of that as I have sometimes found myself stuck using the same oils and techniques in the past. Just watch out for essential oils that have maximum blend strength cautions and most of all, have fun!

Useful blogs for blending:

How many drops should I use? -this blog will help you to choose the appropriate blend strength depending on the purpose of your product.

List of the most popular Essential Oils, their Uses and Cautions. -this blog will help you to choose which essential oils to use, depending on the purpose of your product.

Blending Essential Oils using Top, Middle and Base Notes – this blog will help you understand the practise of making a well balanced blend.

Thank you to Unimed Living & Self Love Affair for sharing your beautiful photos!