Over the last couple of years I’ve really come to respect what essential oils can do for us, and I’ve met some amazing people on my journey into what oils can do for us, and for our animals. The power of scent is underrated by us in Western Society and an extremely powerful way to deal with our emotions as well as physically. Did you know- Our nose is the only place where our central nervous system interacts with the outside world! We can be so shut off to scent in our busy daily lives, but just think how one sniff of your favourite scent can transport you back to your memories of an exotic holiday, a time with a loved one, or even your childhood.
These oils can be beneficial at any time, but particularly so for women through the peri/menopausal years; they’re a great medicine cabinet to have around for your mind, body and spirit – Here are a choice few:
Clary Sage – Reduces excess Estrogen and good for PMS symptoms along with Geranium. Pop a couple of drops into bath water for a relaxing soak (with Lavender)
Thyme – Improving Progesterone and decreasing low moods (don't apply directly to skin it could irritate)
Geranium – Hormonal and mood balancing, good for your skin
Lemon – Uplifting when sniffed and anti-bacterial, good for mouth sores, sore throat and heartburn - dab onto underside of tongue. Add 2 drops to a jug of water, it gives a more rounded flavour than lemon juice would.
Rose – Mood lifter/ improves serotonin. The Women’s Health blend from Neal’s Yard combines rose with geranium and frankincense. 1 drop of Rose oil per 5ml of water, make yourself a face spritz for cooling when you flush.
Lavender / Chamomile – Reduces cortisol (stress inducer) aids sleep and relaxation. Chamomile and Bergamot when diluted in a carrier oil are also good for relief from vaginal itching. Lavender can be applied to your skin directly as its fantastic for clearing up skin issues such as spots, bites, scratches and burns
Frankincense – Reduces inflammation, and so auto-immune responses. Benefits thyroid activity.
Rosemary – Muscle ache relieving, especially great for adding to a bath soak with beneficial salts. Also diffuse to clear brain fog, and great blended with spearmint and sweet orange.
Vetiver – This one is great for you if you feel anxious, also if you dog likes sniffing it you’re onto a winner!
Ylang Ylang – Very strong relaxant, used to let go and just be – especially in massage.
Jasmine – Emotional support – relaxes the mind by calming a hot temperament! Uplifts the spirit and increases confidence.
Peppermint/Spearmint/Eucalyptus – Cooling! Pop on your feet, or inhale from your hands. Add to water and spritz! Peppermint with Clary Sage, Geranium and Lavender is a magic blend for relieving hot flushes. You can make and use it safely at home I'll explain below.
Grapefruit – detoxifying for the liver (to reduce night sweats). Also for oily skin. Please note this oil can interfere with medication, so please check before taking. Creates a lovely scented water to drink; I love it!
HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS SAFELY
Although a lot of people would love to use oils its how to use them that can prove tricky. You're right not to splash them on and see how it goes, this is not how to use them. They are as powerful as medication in their own right so here are some simple safe tips on how to use:
Bath Soak - a couple of drops of any of the oils above diluted in bath water is safe. Mix 2 or 3 oils to get the benefits.
Foot bath - same as the bath but reduce to just 2/3 drops in total, they can have a powerful effect via the feet.
Sniffing - yes! An essential oil can have an effect on your brain in 20 seconds, sniff something citrusy for an immediate uplifing effect. I like 'Uplifting' blend from oshadhi.co.uk
Add to a carrier oil before applying to skin - as you can see my Mum above is applying a blend I've made for cuticles. Carrier oils are vegetable based oils that are considered safe for skin use. I use Sweet almond a lot this is fine (unless you have a nut allergy) you can use coconut oil, olive oil (bit smelly) or purchase vitamin E rich oils like Jojoba. You then add a couple of drops of oil to 100ml of carrier oil (google for specific quantities). You can't go to far wrong if you stick to the oils on this list!