You can call me a modern life witch if you wish...
To the point where I just dreamt of a secret ingredient to help climbers climb better...Oh I wish!
While not all dreams come true, if you read on I can try help with some of your ailments, help you make some beauty potions or just make you smell pretty if that's what you are looking for.
I am just going to get my oil bag and I will show you how it's done.
First, some words of wisdom.
1) BE CAREFUL! Essential oils are powerful, and they have very strong properties. So read well before using, especially the 'controindications'. For example, if you have low-blood pressure I advise you to stay clear of Ylang ylang, just personal experience!
2) Not all oils are created equal. And the ones you find at your local store might not be the best option. Why, you ask? First of all - good essential oils should be 100% pure, 100% natural, organic (very important if you are going to use them orally), should come from certified botanical species (meaning they should show the full latin name of the species in question - normally two latin words Genus + species, e.g. Citrus bergamia (bergamot, on the left)), they should indicate which part of the plant has been distilled (leaf, trunk, fruit...) and last but not least, for scientific aromatherapy they should indicate chemotypes.
The same essential oil, for example Rosemary, has multiple chemotypes. The one I use is the chemotype 'camphor' which I chose based on its properties (more on this later). The aromatic components of a plant are, in fact, not unchangeable, and different essences can be secreted based on environmental factors to which the plant is exposed, for example. Not only a chemotype will define the oil properties and what is best suited for but also its toxicity. So going back to point 1 - Be careful!
I personally love and use a lot the brand Pranarom and recently also purchased some from the brand Puressentiel. But as long as they follow the above 'code of practice' go ahead and chose your own
Before we go down to business and I tell you about my favourite oils and their uses, let me tell you that I met an awesome woman who is an holistic massage therapist and knows a lot about oils, and she will do some online classes for those who want to get started with aromatherapy and don't know how or are maybe a little skeptic or scared. So go ahead and follow her on instagram @jo.saines or visit her website.
Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium var amara) - bitter orange is great for oily skin and oily scalp. All citrus based oils are photosensitive, so only use on the skin in the evening (even better on the winter evenings when you know there will be no sun exposure in the morning, and wash in the morning just in case...). I love massaging a few drops on my scalp during a shower. As you know I have gone shampoo free, so this is really useful to help regulating oil production if it's a bad day. Plus - did I mention that it has relaxing properties so it's perfect for that shower before bed?
Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) - oooo the mediterranean smell! I love love love just using on the length of the hair, or just add a little bit behind the ears (again, photosensitive!) - it will make you energised for the day and I just feel very happy and summery when I am wearing as my perfume! Plus on the hair it makes them shine :)
Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) - same here. Amazing smell! As most essential oils it has antiseptic properties, so why not mix with water to create a great all natural house cleaning spray ? Or just spray some in the air if someone in the house is ill. Mix with lemon for an even more powerful spray!
Lemon (Citrus limon) - it smells so great and will wake you up in an instant! It's great for concentration, so if you are a student have one in your bag/desk and smell during your afternoon slump. Add a drop to your water in the morning, not only has depurative properties but will make you feel very energised and ready to take on the world. Or use in spray to clean the kitchen/bathroom and spray in the air when your kids/significant other/yourself are ill to avoid germ spreading! You can also mix in your own hand sanitiser. When I have a runny nose I like to add some under the nose to help me heal quicker (but again - careful of the sun!)
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) - everyone has heard at least once of the 'grapefruit diet'. While I don't believe in following strict/restrictive regimes, grapefruit has some fat loss properties. I love using a few drops on my belly and massage it in. Plus it smells amazing, so whether it works or not - I am getting a belly massage and I smell fantastic!
The intruse in the picture (not a citrus. Just trying to test you here!)
Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) - I bought this for its insect repellant properties. Will test it out in the summer holidays and let you know how we will get on! Don't want to slather chemicals around the room or on the skin, but mosquitoes love me so I will be the perfect cavia!
True lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) also available in other options such as Lavandin super (Lavandula intermedia) and other variations. All with relaxing properties. Try add some on your bedside to help you sleep, mix some in with your favourite carrier oil for a massage, or add a few drops in your bath water!
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis - chemotype camphor)
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
Both great for contractions, if you worked out a bit too much (lifted too heavy, climbed too much, ran too much..) you might be familiar with sore muscles. If you are like me you are also familiar with those 'knots' in your back. Add a few drops of either rosemary or wintergreen (or both, or make a super potion mixing in lavender as well), mix with carrier oil (almond or coconut should work fine) or even be super careful and use an un-diluted drop (just one max two!) on the affected area. Massage and please come back and tell me it did wonder. I recommend doing in the evening, sleeping on it should help you and also avoids you walking around smelling a bit like a medicinal cabinet (in all honesty i also love the smells and they are relaxing so great for sleep, for both you and any significant other sharing your bed!).
Mint (Mentha piperita) - Mint has many great properties. Wakes you up from your slumps, increases concentration, relieves tension headaches... and also revives muscles! Particularly after a long run, mix some with coconut oil and massage your legs - don't you feel better already??
Others - miscellaneous
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) - famously used in many perfumes, and in my mind a typical hippie smell (although I have been told that ' you smell like patchouli' in some countries means that you smell expensive.... ) it also has amazing properties for lymphatic circulation. So - if you want to smell great and help those heavy legs after a warm day, when you stood up all day perhaps and your ankles feel like they have doubled in size: mix a few drops of patchouli oil to coconut (or other carrier oil of choice) and massage those legs, going from the bottom (the ankle) towards your heart. I promise you will feel great and smell even better!
Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) - a recent addition to my collection, it's great for the skin with its healing and rejuvenating properties. Mix in a base/neutral face cream to make your own (or dip a cotton pad in coconut oil then put one or two drops of rosewood and pass on your face before bed).
Helicrysium (Helicrysium italicum) - This is one of the most expensive oils I own, but you may want to add this to your collection if you have fragile capillaries or are just a generally active person (or a clumsy one) who bruises often. Massage a drop onto your bruises to see them disappear quicker!
So far this is my collection, my uses and my list.
As always I am looking to improve, learn more and, why not, collaborate!
So any comments.. feel free to add :)
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