How to use Essential Oils for you and your families Self Care.
Written by Diana Taylor-Basilio
Have you stashed away that present of essential oils you were once given? Hidden because you didn’t know what they could do for you.
Most people think of essential oils as something that smells nice, and should be diffused to rid a room of nasty smells.
What if I told you that essential oils do so much more to improve life for you and your family and can be used as part of your Self Care?
For many centuries essential oils have been used in traditional treatments for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. The first records of essential oils come from ancient India, Persia, and Egypt. These oils were used to promote feelings of calm, and aid in healing. For centuries their power has been utilised in temples to create an ambience of peace and assist in prayer, meditation and divination. The first perfumes ever made were created with essential oils.
Using Essential Oils Safely
Essential oils are extremely potent and must be used with respect and guidance from a qualified person. Never use essential oils neat on the skin (there are a few exceptions) Always check if the oil is safe to use around pets, children, or while pregnant. Never consume essential oils unless preblended by a qualified person. Always patch test before applying to a large area of skin.
Purchase from a reputable brand, the oil must be 100% natural, pure, free from any additives. Look for brands that are soil certified, and therapeutic grade tested.
5 Ways to Improve your Life with Essential Oils
1. Better sleep
The oils listed can be used to help the body relax and slip into a restful sleep.
- Lavender Angustifolia – A particularly useful aid for anyone who struggles with insomnia. Also useful for children or adults the night before an important exam or meeting.
- Eucalyptus Radiata – Perfect if you have a cold preventing a night of restful sleep helps with decongestion.
- Frankincense – Useful if you have a cough. Can help calm the cough to enable restful sleep.
Frankincense, Lavender and Eucalyptus essential oils are safe to use around children. The acceptable age must be checked for each oil and it must be diluted with guidance from a qualified practitioner. Always seek advice from your paediatrician before using it to treat an illness.
2. Stress /Anxiety Relief
It has long been recognised that the power of smell can produce an emotional response by evoking memories. Essential oils through aromatherapy can be used to aid relaxation and provide a positive effect on emotional well-being.
- Lavender essential oil is well known for its stress-relieving properties and its ability to bring calm to the nervous system. It is important to ensure you are using the correct variety of Lavender as there are many. For sleep, healing and relaxation, Lavender Angustifolia is the best.
- Other essential oils that can assist with reducing stress and anxiety are Sandalwood, Valerian, Ylang-Ylang, Frankincense, Bergamot, and Geranium.
Add 3-4 drops of any of the oils into a diffuser or blend them with a carrier oil to a recipe provided by a qualified aromatherapist to use on the skin. Or add 10-20 drops of Lavender Angustifolia to a warm bath disperse well and relax.
3. Pain Relief
Today we are more aware of the benefits of traditional medicine, with this awareness, many of us are returning to natural and holistic remedies rather than pharmaceutical drugs that may cause unwanted side effects. Several essential oils are well known for their pain-relieving properties.
- Basil oil is a natural muscle relaxant that can help relieve stressed, tense or tired muscles and help with the symptoms of arthritis. Peppermint, cinnamon or clove can act as anaesthetics and help to reduce the sensation of pain.
- Peppermint oil is used to treat headaches and migraines as it helps to relax muscles, ease pain and calm the nervous system. Other essential oils which can help in reducing pain are rosemary, eucalyptus, ginger, lavender, and clary sage.
Creating your blend of facial oil is easy and is a cost-effective way to create a high-quality product free of chemicals. Simply follow a recipe provided by a qualified therapist who can advise you on the oils suited to your skin concerns. The list of oils that can be used for skincare is vast, but here are a few.
Can help heal, balance moisture levels, reduce redness, naturally hydrate and repair dry skin without making it too greasy.
Used in many anti-ageing products as it can help alleviate oily and acne-prone skin while providing lipids for ageing skin.
Great for balancing oils and hormones, perfect aid for skin going through hormonal changes ranging from PMS to menopause.
5. Hair Care
Massaging oil into the scalp has been practised by many cultures for thousands of years to improve scalp and hair health. Growing up in Sri Lanka it was a weekly practise to have a weekly scalp massage with oil. This is a regiment I have continued into adulthood.
Oiling your scalp offers a natural way to replenish your hair and scalp. Creating your blend is easily done by adding 3-4 drops of essential oil to 2 tablespoons of carrier oil such as sweet almond, or coconut oil. By penetrating the hair follicles and shafts your hair can become stronger, shinier and longer.
- Peppermint can help increase blood flow to the scalp, reduce dryness and dandruff.
- Rosemary can boost blood flow to the scalp, promoting hair growth and reducing breakage.
- Lavender can improve scalp health and its relaxing properties can help reduce stress-related hair loss.
- Cedarwood can help to promote hair growth, reduce hair loss by balancing the oil-producing glands in the scalp.
- Bergamot can help with hair growth, and reduce frizz.
With all of the health and beauty benefits offered by essential oils outlined in this blog, isn’t it time you treated yourself and your family by incorporating them into your life?
Diana is a qualified holistic beauty therapist, facial yoga coach and nutritionist with over 15 years of experience in the skincare industry. Growing up in Sri Lanka Diana was exposed to Ayurvedic Medicine at a young age and developed a love for treating health and skin concerns by using holistic and natural methods. She now uses her knowledge of herbs, nutrition, and essential oils to help her clients achieve healthy and strong skin through natural and affordable means.