If you’re as big a fan of Aromatherapy as I am, you will have your favourite essential oils that you gravitate towards more than others.
For example, one of my favourite all-rounders is Lavender oil – not only are the flowers from the plant a beautiful colour, but the smell of Lavender crushed underfoot evokes past memories of childhood and happy times.
Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender) has properties that are antibacterial, anti-toxic and anti-venom, and it is both curative and preventative. It is both relaxing and stimulating at the same time and so its uses will vary greatly. It is one of the great versatile oils, and can be enhanced by creating synergistic blends with other oils.
Lavender oil has a steadying effect on the psyche – it calms, connects you with your inner wisdom if you let it, and removes all indecisiveness and emotional storms. It is a very feminine oil, and can form the basis of your essential oil collection to enhance, strengthen and support your femininity.
It is invaluable when insomnia comes to visit, and I always have a few drops on my pillow at night to ensure a deep and contented sleep. If you can find a lavender eye mask you will also be ensured of a deep and relaxing sleep, a perfect solution for shift-workers or those who need to sleep when it is light out – for example when the days are longer in the summer.
It is also a wonderful addition to a relaxing bath at the end of a long and stressful day – in fact there is nothing better to battle the effects of prolonged stress – and combining Lavender oil with Basil and Lemon oils in the ratio 3:1:2 with your bath will boost its stress-relieving properties.
Many of the essential oils have even wider applications that you can include in your daily or even weekly health regime.
Did you know that Lavender oil combined with Rosemary oil in equal proportions diluted in a base oil (Apricot kernel, hazelnut and grapeseed oils are best) is a great aid to keeping in shape. The general rule of thumb is 1 drop of essential oil to 1ml of base oil. Massage this mixture daily over any troubled areas after bathing or showering. This mixture can also alleviate muscle fatigue.
When looking to purchase essential oils, always insist on 100% essential oils. If the packaging does not at least claim to be extracted from the plant, then walk away quickly. The structure and components of essential oils can be ascertained by gas chromatography, and in a misguided effort to provide cheaper alternatives (and thereby enhance profits) some producers reproduce the real thing with cheaper chemical constituents, and the result is you end up with a headache or worse! Don’t do it, the benefits of holding out for the true essence is well worth the cost and trouble of finding it.
Also, when combining essential oils, less is more is a good rule of thumb. Start off with one drop in a carrier oil and slowly build up from there.
Not everyone will resonate with the same oils, so find your favourites and build your own aromatic symphony.