ESSENTIAL OILS…WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW TO USE
- Eucalyptus helps to clear the sinus and the respiratory system. It reduces inflammation for better breathing. It boosts the immune system and also can be used for burns, blisters, cuts, wounds, insect bites.
- Thyme also acts as a decongestant and really helps with upper respiratory infections. Topically it can also be used for the temporary relief of arthritis by topical application. Better still Thyme oil strengthens the nerves, aids memory and concentration, can help with the feeling of exhaustion and combats depression.
- Lavender has such a wonderful scent. It relieves headaches – I recommend topical application at your temples. It is also a natural antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and very calming. It can help reduce irritation, relax your breathing and encourage sleep.
- Lemon improves immunity, relieves respiratory issues, is antibacterial and relieves respiratory inflammation. I mostly use it to feel refreshed and invigorated.
- Orange is a vivacious oil that mixes well with most oils. Use to enliven your space and had a bit more pep!
- Mandarin a softer version of orange and lemon works to soothe the nervous system and reduce stress and tension, while also boosting the digestive system.
- Roman Chamomile is anti-inflammatory, relaxing, relieves headaches and eases inflammation. It is also very soothing on the skin and works well when added to a balm or cream as a skin lotion. Ladies – this one is great for PMS and generally it is good for abdominal pain.
- Peppermint will help to open those stuffed nasal passages and can reduce headaches. Mix in with a jojoba oil and use as a chest rub.
Topical application – massage oil, balm:
When applying essential oils to the skin it’s important to remember that these oils are complex chemical mixtures that are capable of many different reactions when applied to the skin – which is also a chemically active area (natural enzymes, other products applied, environment). Mostly, when applied correctly, essentials oils have a positive effect on the skin – able to promote healing, reduce infections and inflammations, alleviate irritating skin conditions and improve skin quality.
It’s essential to always break the oil down with a carrier – another oil, balm or water – to diffuse and dilute the intensity. You don’t want to apply the oil straight to the skin.
As a rule of thumb for every 10mls or carrier oil or carrier balm (jojoba oil/cream is the best) add 5 drops of your essential oil.
There are a few exceptions when it comes to applying essential oils neat (undiluted) and they are:
- burns, small cuts, abrasions, insect bites: Lavender
- wound treatments: Lavender, Patchouli, Palmarosa
- acne and pimples: Tea Tree
- corns and warts: Lemon
Other ways to use essential oils:
Inhalation – 6 drops to a bowl of very hot water. Cover your head and the bowl with a towel and inhale steam. Make sure you keep the eyes closed and keep a few tissues handy – trust me on this one. Or add a few drops to your eye pillow for a solid meditation session.
Oil burner – add 4 -6 drops to your oil burner for a little aromatherapy
Baths – add 6 drops to a dispersent (you can buy these from the health food shops) which help to ‘disperse’ the oil’ before adding to the bath and preventing skin contact
Compress – great for aches/pains and headaches. Fill a bowl with warm water. Add 6 drops of essential oil and add a cloth into the water. Gently wring out the cloth and apply it to the area.
Gargle – Mix 2-3 drops of essential oil with 3 drops of Dispersant. Add the mixture to half a glass of water. Rinse around the mouth, gargle and spit out the water. Don’t swallow the water and expect a tingling sensation and probably not the greatest taste either.
Spray – A great room deodoriser, or cleaner. I use a spray to clean my yoga mats and counter tops. To make up a 100 ml spray bottle – mix 10 drops of essential oil to 10 drops Dispersant in the bottle. Shake the bottle to mix the ingredients and add water.
Signing off with an exhale.
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