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Best essential oils for motivation

May 3, 2020
essential oils for motivation

I don’t know about you, but some days my motivation is sky high and I feel I can take on the world, and on others, every little thing is a struggle. Whilst, I do think this is natural (we can’t maintain working at a fast pace 365 days a year); there are certain things I do to raise my energy on days when I feel a bit flat. I use essential oils for motivation; using them to kick start my day and upping my productivity levels.

How essential oils work

Essential oils work through our olfatic system, the part of our body responsible for our sense of smell. Our sense of smell evokes memories and feelings. It also triggers our emotions and can really impact our mood. There’s been lots of scientific research on the power of essential oils and how they can help with both our physical and mental wellbeing. This is what makes them such a great item to have in our self-care tool kit.

Creating good habits

A lot of our lives are built around routines and rituals. We start the day with a tea or coffee looking for that caffeine fix to get our brains into gear. We walk to the station, get into our car without really thinking too much and spend most of our day operating on auto-pilot. The current situation with COVID-19 means a lot of our routines and rituals have been thrown up in the air. We can’t operate on autopilot at the moment – and that’s exhausting. So please be gentle with yourself if you’re not firing on all cylinders right now. However, this is also giving us the opportunity to reset some of our old patterns and get into new habits because we’re being forced to think about what we’re doing.

Starting the day with an essential oil blend

I start my day thinking about the mood I’ve woken up in and how I want to either maintain it or improve it. If I’m feeling a bit down, I’ll think of an essential oil blend to help raise my spirits. If I’m feeling tired and sluggish (also occasionally hungover…) then I use oils to make me feel more alive. I set my intentions for the day: do I want to feel relaxed or do I want to be motivated? What do I want to achieve?

I either put my essential oils into a diffuser or I light a candle infused with oils. You can also make an essential oil blend into a little bottle mixed with a carrier oil (such as fractionated coconut oil, almond oil or even olive oil will work too) and add to your pulse points so you can carry it around with you.

Essential oils for motivation

There are lots of reasons why your motivation might need a boost: you might be tired, feeling down or just lower energy than usual. Let’s be honest, there are also some tasks that just aren’t that exciting: tax returns for one…

Best essential oils for motivation when you’re tired include:

  • peppermint
  • sweet orange
  • spearmint
  • rosemary
  • lemon

Personally, I like rosemary and peppermint together and find it really uplifting to start the day.

Best essential oils for focus and mental clarity are:

  • pine
  • eucalyptus
  • black pepper
  • lemongrass
  • sage
  • petitgrain

I love pine and eucalyptus first thing in the morning and it gives me such a boost. I really associate it with getting things done.

Lemongrass and black pepper are a great combination for people moving on from old situations and will help you focus on what’s coming ahead.

Best essential oils for lifting your spirits

Essential oils from citrus fruits are great for helping to lift your spirits. They’re the first oils I turn to when I’m just feeling a bit below par. I mix sweet orange and bergamot for a boosting blend. I also really love grapefruit.

How to blend essential oils

You don’t need to be an aromatherapist to blend essential oils. As a general rule of thumb, oils from the same family work together. Citrus oils pretty much work with anything. You also don’t need to always have a blend – sometimes it helps to make one scent too over powering – but focus on how you want to feel and choose an oil to support that intention.

wellbeing

Essential oils to help with stress

April 7, 2020
essential oils help with stress

We all go through stressful periods: relationships, work, home, all come with their ups and downs – and part of the human experience is to learn how to navigate the rough with the smooth. Right now though, the coronavirus situation means we’re all collectively experiencing stress, admittedly with varying degrees. For some this, is living through one of the most challenging periods of their lives, but for many of us, it’s recognising that we’re living with continual underlying feelings of discomfort and uncertainty.

Stress manifests itself in physical ailments or mental symptoms, or both. Since the onset of the coronavirus situation, I’ve experienced tremors, headaches and brain fog. I’ve had to really think about my stress levels and put measures in place to help ease them.

So what can we do to alleviate stress?

One of the best things we can do (in my non-medical opinion) is recognise life is really tough now. We’re all grappling with a very different way of living and worries for our loved ones. We don’t know when or how this is going to end. This is bringing up lots of emotions and our stress levels are higher as a consequence. We all have various coping mechanisms and some people will be able to deal with this better than others. However, if you can, try to think about self-care and how best to look after yourself.

Above all though, be kind to yourself and those around you.

How essential oils help with stress

We’re all aware of the power of music and how listening to a song on the radio can transport you back to a different time in your life. Blondie will always remind me of long car journeys to the south of France listening to it over and over again because my parents only had one cassette tape and it was the 70s.

Our ability to smell is linked to our limbic system, which triggers emotions and evokes memories. The sweet sticky scent of suncream will always remind me of holidays. Dew of the first days of spring. And cinnamon of Christmas time. This is why certain smells trigger emotions in us, which is where essential oils come in.

Essential oils help with stress because they influence our emotions and our mood. They can lift us up, energise us and equally help us to relax, all through the power of smell.

Stress can make you very tired, and where possible then I would suggest leaning into your body and resting. However, that’s not possible for everyone. I’m still working full time, I have a child and I need something to help me focus during the day. Essential oils can revive us, as well as calm us down.

Best way to use essential oils

To build up a collection of essential oils is expensive and most people right now will be experiencing some sort of financial hit so I’d suggest buying just one or two. You don’t need several. Just look for pure grade essential oils. Tisserand, Absolute Aromas are brands that can either be bought directly, from a health food shop online or another big retailer.

Use one or two in a diffuser if you have one, add a few drops to a bath, mix with a carrier oil (you can use olive oil) and massaging into your skin or add a few drops with water into a spray bottle and spritzing yourself and the air around you. Remember with essential oils that a little goes a long way.

Best essential oils to help with stress

Below are some suggestions of essential oils that are known to alleviate stress – some will help revive you and bring around feelings of joy. Others will help you sleep better at night when you might be struggling to switch off. I’ve also included oils that are good for day and night. Most oils are fairly versatile.

Keep well.

Essential oils to help lower your stress levels during the day

Scent from citrus fruits

Any ‘zesty’ essential oils such as bergamot, lemon, mandarin, orange and grapefruit are all great at lifting your mood and making you feel more positive about life. Citrus fruits tend to be a little bit cheaper so are a good buy. I prefer to use these first thing in the morning to set me up for the day.

Rosemary

Rosemary has a reviving effect, which is useful for people feeling overwhelmed by tiredness or stress and great to use during the day.

Patchouli

Patchouli is a natural anti-depressant and is useful for treating exhaustion, stress and anxiety.

Basil

Basil is good for clearing the air and refreshes the mind. It helps to calm anxiety and revives the body combatting exhaustion, anxiety and depression.

Essential oils to help you switch off at night

Lavender

Lavender is one of the most versatile of essential oils. It helps alleviate stress, reduce anxiety and help with sleep. Add a few drops to a spray bottle with water and spray on your pillow and bed sheets for a restful night’s sleep.

Ylang ylang

Ylang ylang helps ease feelings of anxiety and will help you feel calmer overall. It’s also the base for Chanel no 5.

Sandalwood

Sandalwood has a restorative effect on our emotions helping to dispel anxiety and lift depression. It’s a good sleep aid and can help reignite a passion for life. Sandalwood is endangered so check that any essential oils you use are from a sustainable source.

Clary sage

Clary sage is great for moods. It lifts feelings of depression, calms nerves and creates a sense of peace.

Vetiver

Vertiver is from a grass native to India and works on an emotional level helping people feeling distressed or panicky. It’s a natural sedative so helps promote relaxation and restful sleep.

Marjoram

Marjoram is a gentle sedative that is good for dealing with anxiety, reducing insomnia and helping with a restful sleep.

Good for day and night

Frankincense

Frankincense is really good for lifting spirits, increasing energy and focus. It’s ideal when feeling stressed, overwhelmed and overtired, which is me about 90% of the time…

Rose

Rose is the scent of love and creates a sense of relaxed wellbeing, taking the edge of stress-related conditions.

Geranium

Geranium is both calming and uplifting, making it a really good oil to help ease anxiety and is also said to reduce feelings of restlessness. It’s actually one of my favourite oils. I think it has a really gentle scent, which leaves you with a feeling of gentleness – much needed at the moment.

wellbeing

Use citrus essential oils to add zest into your life

March 10, 2020
citrus essential oils

Do you ever have those days where you wake up and feel a bit blah? You’re not tired because of a late night – but your energy is low. Nothing is going particularly badly but you’re still not feeling great. You just can’t really identify why your mood is lower than usual?

This is the time to reach for a citrus essential oil. They’re characterised by their ability to uplift, energise and invigorate our senses. Plus citrus essential oils tend to be a bit cheaper to buy than some essential oils so they’re an easy way for a quick wellbeing boost.

One of the rules I live by is, if it’s a zesty fruit, then it’s going to fill you with zest. Yes, I really am full of pearls of wisdom… However, it’s an easy way to remember what essential oils are good for mood boosting. 

Citrus essential oils are best used first thing in the morning (rather than last thing at night), or when you’re feeling below par to lift your spirits and put a spring in your step.

What are citrus essential oils?

Citrus essential oils are:

  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Bergamot
  • Petitgrain
  • Tangerine
  • Mandarin (red or green)
  • Bitter orange
  • Blood orange
  • Yuzu

Blending scents with citrus essential oils

The scents from essential notes are characterised as top, middle and base notes. Citrus fruits are top notes which means whilst their initial smell is strong, they do evaporate quickly. It’s worth mixing with a middle or base notes to help the scent last longer.

Spices and citrus blend well together, such as ginger and lemon, cinnamon and sweet orange.

Woody scents and citrus also work well together. Try rosewood and bergamot or cedarwood and lime.

Seven benefits of citrus essential oils

  1. They’re antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in your body, which can cause harm if their levels become too high in your body. They’re linked to multiple illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. However, free radicals also serve important functions that are essential for health such as fighting infection so we need them too. There are lifestyle and environmental factors that can promote excessive free radicals so antioxidants help balance them out.
  2. They eliminate germs. Citrus essential oils are a natural disinfectant. Mix with water for a natural cleaning spray or you can use orange peel and vinegar too.
  3. They act as a natural air freshener. Mix citrus and peppermint essential oils with distilled water and grain alcohol and add into a spray bottle for a natural air spray.
  4. Use to wash off insecticides and pesticides from fruit and vegetables by adding a couple of drops to water.
  5. Ease anxiety and irritable moods by creating an uplifting blend to use in a diffuser. Orange and bergamot are one of my favourites.
  6. Improve circulation by adding to a carrier oil such as argan oil and massage on to the skin.
  7. Give yourself an energy boost by either adding to a carrier oil or I add a few drops to a crystal I wear around my neck. What can I say? The hippy life chose me… 😉


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Why lavender is an essential oil superpower

January 19, 2020
lavender essential oil

Lavender essential oil

I must admit, I was never a huge fan of lavender. I associated it with overly perfumed soaps and a fragrance only an elderly woman could love.

But, I’m happy to report, I was wrong. Completely wrong in fact. Lavender is one of the most essential of essential oils. It’s highly versatile and can be used for everything from boosting your mental wellbeing to cleaning your home. 

Lavender essential oil is a must have in your aromatherapy tool kit. 

What is lavender?

Lavender comes from the lavender plant. It can be grown as a shrub in your home garden (even in the UK) and commercially is grown as a crop most famously in Provence, France. 

It’s actually one of my dreams to cycle through the lavender fields in Provence on a vintage bike with a baguette in the basket. Yes, I really am that basic…

Lavender has tiny violet coloured flowers which can be dried and used in beauty products and around the home. The essential oils are created through steam distillation, which is quite a long, technical process. Apparently, you can do this at home – however, I’ve never tried it so can’t vouch for this DIY lavender extraction method

Top 10 benefits of lavender essential oil

  1. Anxiety and stress – Feeling stressed and anxious? Lavender can help calm and relax the mind. Inhale lavender oil right out of the bottle or use in a diffuser.
  2. Sleep – Lavender oil is proven to help induce sleep. Try putting into a diffuser whilst you go to sleep or adding a few drops to your pillow.  
  3. Pain relief – lavender is an anti-inflammatory. It can help reduce redness and pain from insect bites and try adding to a carrier oil such as wheatgerm for muscle pain.
  4. Cold relief – lavender can help with respiratory infections by loosening phlegm (apols if you’re reading this first thing in the morning…) and providing soothing relief. Add hot water to a large bowl and add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil and 2-3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Cover your head with a towel to trap the steam in and breathe deeply.
  5. Wounds – lavender has antimicrobial properties which have been shown to speed up the healing of cuts, burns, scrapes and wounds. Mix with a carrier oil like coconut oil and use a cotton ball to apply to the bruise.
  6. Cleaning the home – did you know lavender is antibacterial and a natural disinfectant? Mix with water into a spray bottle for laundry and with white vinegar for a natural chemical-free cleaner.
  7. Skin – there’s a reason why lavender can be found in so many beauty products. Try mixing with a carrier oil such as argan oil and massaging into your skin.
  8. Hair – lavender is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal so helps in reducing dandruff and supporting scalp health, which can stimulate hair growth. Add a few drops to your shampoo.
  9. Stimulating the brain – lavender can improve cognition because it helps remove stress. Try diffusing when studying or working.
  10. Detoxifying lavender contains antioxidants and is a natural way of removing toxins from your body. Just add a few drops into a hot bath.

Subtle (spiritual) properties of lavender

Essential oils can also be used as part of a spiritual practice. Use lavender for balancing, calming and to clear a house of negative energies.

Easy ways to use lavender essential oils

The power of smell is linked to the brain’s limbic system. It triggers positive and negative reactions in us. Smell can help provoke memories and emotions, which is why it impacts on our wellbeing.

There are several ways to use essential oils. Try using a diffuser, adding to a hot bath or mixing with a carrier oil for quick results.

How to buy lavender essential oils

A good essential oil should have ‘100% pure essential oil’ and the proper name on the label. In lavender’s case this is lavendula. If you see the word ‘fragrance’ it almost always means there are chemicals added in.

The best essential oils are therapeutic grade, which means they are unfiltered and untreated and really good quality.

Essential oils are natural but powerful. Some people may develop an allergic reaction so it’s always best to do a patch test. If you’re pregnant, nursing or planning on using on a small child, then check beforehand. Lavender is safe in all of these instances though.

Where to buy lavender essential oils

I buy my essential oils from Baldwin’s or Tisserand. However, there are lots of suppliers around – just follow the advice above to ensure you’re buying a good product.

You can buy a 10ml bottle for around £5-7. A small amount goes a long way.

wellbeing

Best essential oils to lift your mood

January 5, 2020

Winter time can be tough. It’s cold in the UK. We’re stuck inside and the lack of sunshine (and let’s face it, sometimes life) can cause us to feel down. So other than a trip to a sunny destination; are there any natural remedies that can help lift our spirits? What can we do to give ourselves a boost when we’re feeling low? Some essential oils have been scientifically proven to lift your mood. Research shows inhaling their scent can raise our spirits and make us feel better.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils contain the scent of the plant they come from – their essence. They work through the body’s olfactory system (our sense of smell), which is directly linked to our limbic system (the part of the brain that controls our moods and emotions). This is why a scent can bring back happy memories, as well as sad ones too. 

It’s been proven that music can trigger our emotions. How many times have you cried to a song because it reminds you of a break up or a difficult time? I genuinely can’t listen (and I don’t mean this in an ironic sense) to ‘Everytime’ by Britney Spears without it transmitting me back to the 00s when I was putting my heart back to pieces.  

There’s less research on our reaction to smell. However, in the same way as sound, it can trigger a personal response or revoke a memory. This is why essential oils impact on our mood.

10 best essential oils for lifting your mood

1. Lavender Essential Oil

I’ve always been a bit judgemental towards lavender feeling it was a scent for the older woman… However, I’ve done a complete 180; it’s one of THE most useful essential oils to have in your collection. It’s calming, balancing, and promotes a sense of wellbeing.

2. Orange Essential Oil

All the citrus essential oils have a zesty smell and have a zesty effect on our mood. They’re uplifting and make us feel more positive. 

3. Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot is one of my favourite scents. It’s refreshing, uplifting and can help diffuse stress and tension.  

4. Frankincense Essential Oil

Helps to balance our emotions and create a sense of inner peace.

5. Cedarwood Essential Oil

Soothes away tension, as well as being calming and relaxing. 

6. Lemon Essential Oil

Another zesty scent which invigorates, uplifts our mood and energy levels.

7. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Calming and relaxing. It may also help alleviate anger.

8. Vetiver Essential Oil

Calming, grounding and balancing. Helps with stress and anxiety.

9. Clary Sage Essential Oil

Helps emotional stress, soothing, warming, feeling of self-confidence.

10. Grapefruit Essential Oil

Uplifting, providing relief from mental fatigue and enhances our mood.

How to blend essential oils

Oils from the same family (citrus for example) tend to blend well together. 

Spice and citrus blends work well together, such as ginger and lemon, cinnamon and sweet orange. 

Woody scents and citrus also blend well. Examples are rosewood and bergamot, cedarwood and lime. Woody scents are said to be grounding and in combination with zesty essential oils will lift your mood. 

How to use essential oils

Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways. Here are 2 ideas below.

Blissful baths

Add 4 drops of lemon essential oil and 4 drops of ylang ylang to a warm bath just before you step in for a quick pick-me-up. Or if you need an extra boost, try adding 4 drops of mandarin with 4 drops of bergamot to the bathtub to feel wonderfully rejuvenated.

Room revitaliser

Add 6 drops of lemon, 2 drops of lavender and 2 drops of bergamot to a burner or diffuser to lift your mood and make your spirits soar.

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Get started with essential oils

July 6, 2019

The power of smell can have a real effect on our wellbeing; helping to reduce stress and lift our mood. It’s linked to our limbic system, which is part of the brain that controls mood and emotion.

One of the easiest ways of doing this is through essential oils, which are a concentrated scent of the plant they come from.

However, there are over 90 commonly used essential oils, each with their own health benefits so the choice of what to buy can be overwhelming.

How do you know what’s going to be right for you?

Then, what do you do with them?

Here’s an introduction on how to get started with essential oils. 

how to get started with essential oils
Essential oils contain the scent of the plant they come from

How do you use essential oils?

There are several ways to use essential oils: topically (where they’re applied directly through the skin); inhalation; and in beauty and household products. 

Here are a few ideas to help you get started with essential oils.

Diffuser (inhalation)

One of the easiest ways to use essential oils is with a diffuser. All you need to do is add a few drops of essential oils into water and the scent fills the air. There are various products on the market; I use this bamboo diffuser which works really well and turns off automatically when the water runs out.

Massage (inhalation and into the bloodstream) 

Add a few drops of essential oil to around a tablespoon of carrier oil such as sweet almond, jojoba or coconut oil for a full body massage.

I also add lemongrass to a carrier oil and use to massage my legs to increase circulation after spotting some potential varicose veins (the aging process is so fun. Sighs…).

Candles

There are so many essential oil candles on the market. However, look for ones that are essential oil based rather than the scent. Essential oil based candles are more expensive but they’re not made out of synthetic chemicals and so are much better in my book. Try looking on Etsy for ideas.

Beauty products

One of the easiest ways to create a home spa experience is to add a few drops of your favourite essential oil into a hot bath. Job done. For added luxury, also add 1-2 cups of epsom salts (to help ease achy muscles) and a tablespoon of carrier oil (to soften your skin) and then mix before you get in. 

Household cleaning

Sweet orange cleaning spray

Did you know a number of essential oils are a natural disinfectant? Tea tree oil, eucalyptus, lavender or any citrus fruit based essential oils can be used for general household cleaning. Just mix into a spray bottle with water or white vinegar (the cheap stuff).

I also love this DIY natural fabric conditioner with mandarin which leaves your clothes smelling better than any shop bought products. I promise. 

Treating minor ailments 

Cuts and grazes, plus insect bites can all be treated with tea tree essential oil. Always make sure you dilute with a bit of water before using to avoid your skin becoming irritated if it’s particularly sensitive.

What are the best essential oils to get started with?

I would always advise people to think about what scents that you’re attracted to. I’m not naturally someone who goes for rose or more floral smells, however, I love citrus and woody smells like sandalwood. 

Here are some ideas to help you get started with essential oils.

Please note, each of these oils have several uses so I’ve just highlighted some of them.

Eucalyptus 

Use for coughs, blocked noses, as a rub for aching muscles and as a natural disinfectant. 

Fill a sink with hot water and add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to steam away a blocked nose.

Lavender

Use for almost everything: skin and beauty products, household cleaning, headaches, sleep, mood enhancing and can even be used for sunburn.

Try adding a few drops to your pillow to help with sleep.

Sweet orange

One of my personal favourites. Sweet orange is said to help lift your mood and give you a sense of calm. As it’s a citrus fruit, it can also be used for cleaning products because its antimicrobial (gets rid of bacteria).

Add a few drops of sweet orange essential oil with bergamot and water into a spray bottle for an uplifting mood spray.

Bergamot

Bergamot is an invigorating essential oil which reduces stress and tension. It can also help you fight tiredness.

Mix with lavender in a diffuser and enjoy a moment of calm.

Peppermint

Use for digestive problems, colds and bronchitis.

Try spraying around ant invasions (not at the ants themselves…) to discourage them from coming into your home.

Tea Tree

Can be used to treat insect bites, cuts and on your skin and hair to reduce oil.

Add to water and put into a spray bottle for a natural insect repellent.

Basil

Basil is a calming essential oil, which is great for mental fatigue and to help you relax.

I make my own hydrating body spray with lime, basil and mandarin similar to that of a well known beauty brand… Recipe is here.

Lemongrass

Lemongrass is another of my favourite essential oils. It’s so multi-purpose and I love the smell. It’s great for the nerves, can be used in household products (its antimicrobial), and is great for the skin also.

Use as a natural deodorant by diluting with water. It’s also supposed to be good for cellulite (mix with a carrier oil and massage affected areas.

Rosemary

Use to help reduce stress and boost the immune system.

Massage 5 drops of rosemary essential oil into your scalp to help your hair grow.

Juniper

Use for digestive issues, skin problems and heartburn. It’s also good for helping to balance out emotions.

Add a few drops into a carrier oil and use as a massage to help reduce fluid retention.

How do you create essential oil blends? 

Essential oils can be used on their own or blended together.

Here are a few basics to help you get started with essential oil blends.

Oils from the same family tend to blend well together. For example, flower based essential oils (rose, geranium, jasmine); herbs (basil, rosemary, marjoram); and spices (cinnamon, ginger).

Spices and citrus blend well together, such as ginger and lemon, cinnamon and sweet orange.

Woody scents and citrus work well. Examples are rosewood and bergamot, cedarwood and lime.

There are some oils which dominate and take over any scent combination. These are: peppermint, fennel, tea tree, clove, thyme and camomile. Although camomile may be lightened with lemon.

Menthol and flowery scents don’t tend to work well together.

Here are some essential oil blends to try

Uplifting energy blend

2 drops eucalyptus; 2 drops peppermint; 8 drops lemon; 1 drop cinnamon leaf; and 1 drop cardamon oil.

Memory enhancer for studying blend

1 drop clary sage; 6 drops lemon; and 10 drops rosemary oil.

Relaxtion blend

1 drop lavender; 1 drop ylang ylang; 1 drop bergamot and 1 drop patchouli oil.

Sleep inducing blend

10 drops sandalwood; 10 drops lavender; 15 drops bergamot; 2 drops ylang ylang and 3 drops frankincense oil.

What are carrier oils?

Essential oils are highly concentrated so only a few can be applied directly to the skin without being diluted. They can either be diluted with water or with a carrier oil.

A carrier oil is also essential for massage as otherwise it would be painful on the skin and muscles.

Here are a few different options to help you get started.

  • 1. Grapeseed. This is a popular and easily available oil of a medium texture made from grape seeds.
  • 2. Almond. It’s more expensive but very kind to the skin with a delightful aroma.
  • 3. Apricot Kernel. Recommended for use on the face and neck, light and easily absorbed.
  • 4. Sunflower. A popular choice for body massage as it contains Vitamin E and easily available.
  • 5. Soya. Especially good for oily skins and easily absorbed.
  • 6. Avocado. More expensive but rich in texture and ideal for dry skin, containing Vitamins A and B.
  • 7. Wheatgerm. This is made from the germ of the wheat and contains Vitamin E. Excellent for dry skin but very rich – it may be used in combination with another lighter oil to prolong the life of the oil.
  • 8. Sesame. Again very rich with a nutty aroma. Best used in combination with another lighter oil.

Where to buy essential oils? 

Always buy essential oils from a reputable brand because some of the cheaper products can be mixed with other ingredients so they’re no longer pure.

I buy either Baldwin’s or Tisserand essential oils.

What’s the best way of storing essential oils?

Essential oils should be kept in dark brown glass bottles and away from direct sunlight.

Keep the lids on tight.

If stored properly, they should keep for 1-2 years.

Things to note

There are some essential oils which aren’t advised to be used on young children or pregnant women so I would always check best practice first if this applies to you.

I’ve also added some affiliate links to products, which I’ve bought myself and have been happy with. I’m not saying this is the only place to buy them from – am just sharing in case its useful. 

I often think the power of smell is underrated compared to other sensory experiences such as listening to music and the impact it can have our emotions. However, research shows essential oils can reduce feelings of anxiety and aid sleep and they’re a reasonably cheap way of lifting your spirits.

I hope you find this post useful.

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10 benefits of Eucalyptus (and why you need this herb in your life)

February 21, 2019
benefits of eucalyptus

What is eucalyptus?

Eucalyptus is an evergreen plant native to Australia. It’s fast-growing and can be planted in the UK in a spot that gets full sunshine. There are a number of benefits of eucalyptus for your health and around the home. 

It’s a medicinal plant meaning that it can be used to help treat a number of symptoms including coughs and colds. You’ve probably tasted eucalyptus in cough sweets or in vapour rubs such as Vicks. 

In my opinion, it’s one of the most ‘essential’ of the essential oils because it can be used in so many different ways. 

How to use eucalyptus

One of the benefits of eucalyptus is its so multi-purpose.

It can be used in two forms: as an essential oil (the leaves are steam distilled) or you can use the actual plant itself. 

Here are some ideas for you to try

A eucalyptus shower

eucalyptus shower
A eucalyptus shower

I buy bunches from my local florist (they usually sell me some clippings for about a fiver), tie into a knot and hang above the shower head. It smells absolutely divine anyway, however, the steam helps release the eucalyptus scent and is like being in a spa. I also like seeing greenery in my bathroom.

Steaming to help ease coughs and colds

Suffering with a cough or a bunged up nose? Try adding a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a sink of hot water, putting a towel over your head and breathing in the steam to help clear your airwaves. 

I also add eucalyptus to my essential oil diffuser to help soothe any cold symptoms. 

A natural insect repellent

I’m one of those people who mosquitoes tend to love and I don’t know why. I’ve tried so many ideas over the years including eating my body weight in Marmite after reading it would help (please note, it doesn’t but it will make you very popular amongst backpackers). 

Eucalyptus plants are supposed to be a natural insect repellent, which is why I’m spending this weekend down my local garden centre. According to the RHS website, they should be planted in Spring / Summer and like a nice sunny spot

Also try diluting eucalyptus essential oil with witch hazel (you can buy witch hazel in health food shops, larger chemists, or online) into a spray bottle for a natural insect repellent. 

Where to buy eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is often used for greenery in flower arrangements so you should be able to buy clippings from your local flower shop. I’ve found it costs anything from £5-15 depending on the size of the bunch – but a fiver’s worth is enough for a eucalyptus shower.

I also think they look great in a vase on their own. 

I buy eucalyptus essential oil from Baldwin’s, an apocatherapist based in South-East London or from Tisserand (available online). 

As always with essential oils buy from a reputable supplier to make sure you’re buying a proper product (and not one mixed with cheaper ingredients). 

10 benefits of eucalyptus 

Eucalyptus has antiviral, anticatarrhal and antibacterial properties. It helps you breathe easier and clears any mucus from your chest. It can be used to treat symptoms of sinusitis, colds, and cough.

Use by putting a few drops on your pillow or pyjamas if you’re feeling bunged up and struggling to sleep at night to help ease congestion. 

It can be made into a salve for achy muscles. Eucalyptus also acts as pain relief and reduces inflammation. It can also be used for headaches by rubbing the temples. Tiger Balm is made from Eucalyptus. 

Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oils to coconut oil to create a quick and easy muscle rub. 

Eucalyptus has natural disinfecting properties. It can be used for cleaning wounds (always dilute first) as well as around the home.

Mix eucalyptus essential oils with water into a spray bottle and use as a natural disinfectant cleaning spray. 

Recreate a home spa and create a luxury bathing experience.

Put 1-2 cups of epsom salts (helps ease achy muscles), a tablespoon of carrier oil (such as sweet almond, coconut or jojoba oil) and a few drops of eucalyptus oils into a hot bath. Mix before getting in, then relax and enjoy. 

Research has found eucalyptus may help reduce anxiety and stress. A 2014 study found one of the properties of eucalyptus was effective in decreasing anxiety

Add a few drops of eucalyptus to an essential oil diffuser. 

There are a number of benefits of eucalyptus for our emotional health as well. It’s said to have a positive impact on our mental wellbeing. 

Eucalyptus can help open up a room that feels a bit closed or needs brightening.  

Light a eucalyptus candle such as these ones from Etsy, or make your own with eucalyptus essential oils and soy wax. 

Eucalyptus helps us think clearer and brings about feelings of positivity and optimism.

Try adding a few drops of eucalyptus essential oils to distilled water into a spray bottle and create your own uplifting spray. 

It also rids us of trapped emotions and long term beliefs that no longer serve us.

Try adding a few drops to a carrier oil (sweet almond, jojoba or coconut oil) and massage your temples to release negative emotions. 

It’s also known as the ‘herb of protection’ helping to guard us from situations and people who may be harmful.

Mix with a carrier oil and rub on your pulse points for an extra confidence boost. 

The herb can be used as a tool for expanding your boundaries and moving forward confidently and without fear.

Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a carrier oil and rub into your body’s 6 pressure points: right behind your ears; place onto each side of your nostril; massage onto your shoulders; temples; hairline; and between your eyebrows and crown of your head for your 3rd eye.

Things to note

Essential oils should be diluted to stop them causing irritation to the skin. Also be mindful if using when pregnant or on a child.

I’ve also included some affiliate links to products I have bought in the past and can verify for. I’m not suggesting Amazon is the only place to buy from – this is just to help give you some ideas.

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