How Essential Oils Can Help You In Your Wellness Journey
This post was written by our contributing writer Gaynor Farmer-Katis
“We don’t need to be a professional aromatherapist to enjoy the benefits these aromatic powerhouses can provide.”
Gaynor Farmer, an aromatherapist, massages therapist and educator shares the therapeutic effects essential oils can have to restore balance to the mind, body and spirit.
You may have seen essential oils on the shelves of your local supermarket or drug store and passed them by because you didn’t know what they were or how they could be of use to you. Allow me to introduce to you what they are, where they come from and how you can use them at home for your personal well-being.
Essential oils are natural fragrant, aromatic plant extracts that have therapeutic properties.
In nature some plants produce them as a means to protect themselves from animals and insects, others to attract pollinators to ensure their reproduction and some protect the plant from fungus and other microbes. Even though essential oils are “natural” substances don’t be fooled into thinking they cannot be dangerous.
Digitalis, extracted from the Foxglove plant can cause a heart attack in excessive quantities. Perhaps you watched the Netflix series Breaking Bad and watched how risin, an extract from the castor bean is poisonous if ingested even in the smallest quantities! We need to exercise the same “safe dosage” as we would with modern pharmaceuticals. You wouldn’t take 10 tablets of acetaminophen (Tylenol) for a headache and the same applies to essential oils. We need to use the correct safe dosage.
In some countries around the world qualified aromatherapists are recognized as professional holistic practitioners.
They study the properties and benefits of essential oils to restore balance to the mind, body and spirit. These natural plant essences may be blended into massage oils, compresses, inhalation therapy as well as having clients bathe in them depending on the health imbalance they are treating.
We don’t need to be a professional aromatherapist to enjoy the benefits these aromatic powerhouses can provide. One of the easiest and most effective ways to use essential oils at home is through inhalation. This may be done by simply dropping essential oils on a tissue and breathing in the aroma or by using a diffuser. There are many different diffusers on the market with ultrasonic ones being very popular.
Here are 4 everyday essential oils to use in simple and safe ways to incorporate into your health care regime.
1. Eucalyptus for sinus congestion
The sharp aroma of eucalyptus is known to help clear sinus congestion and useful for coughs and colds. It has strong anti-bacterial properties. Best used for inhalation. Add 10 drops to diffuser or 1-2 drops to a tissue and inhale directly.
2. Chamomile for stress and anxiety
Roman chamomile, extracted from the petals, may be added to a diffuser (10 drops), 10 drops to a table spoon of shower gel and disperse in bath water. Soak for up to 20 minutes. This can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Chamomile is widely regarded as a mild tranquillizer and sleep-inducer. Sedative effects may be due to the flavonoid component, apigenin that binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain, known to soothe anxiety and tension.
3. Tea Tree for dark spots and breakouts
Extracted from the leaves of the tree, tea tree oil has powerful anti-septic and anti-fungal properties. While it can be used undiluted on the skin, it’s not advisable to do this over a long time.
Apply one drop to a cotton bud (Q-tip), and apply directly to the breakout avoiding the surrounding skin. Repeat morning and evening for 3 days. Wait approximately one week before re-applying if necessary.
4. Peppermint for headaches and nausea
Peppermint oil is great for motion sickness and general nausea, add a couple of drops to a tissue and breathe it in.
For headaches, add one drop to a half teaspoon of oil such as sunflower oil and massage into the temples can help with headaches. This will probably be too much oil for the temple area, so simply smooth over forehead or neck.
Peppermint also has a cooling effect and makes a great foot soak, add one drop to a teaspoon oil shower gel and disperse in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes if you’ve been on your feet all day.
Essential oils are a relatively cost-effective way of enhancing your well-being as only drops are used at one time, they have multiple benefits and provide an extremely pleasant therapeutic experience.
Gaynor Farmer-Katics trained and studied aromatherapy in her native country, England. She has worked in the health and wellness industry for the past 35 years as an esthetician, massage therapist and educator. She currently shares her knowledge of facial massage through her business Enhanced Touch.
- Website; www.enhanced-touch.com
- Facebook; Enhanced Touch
- Instagram; @enhanced_touch
Jennifer McDaniel is a well being strategist, ICF accredited professional coach. She has 25+ years of experience as a professional speaker, corporate trainer and a learning development leader in the beauty, health and wellness space.Read More
Sign-up for our newsletter