In this period of confinement, we are looking left and right for ideas on how to reduce stress levels at home. Let’s have a look at essential oils and their super powers and what they have to offer. What could you do at home to benefit from them? Trained aromatherapist Laure Arbert can explain all about essential oils.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils have the characteristic fragrance of the plant, flower or bark from which it is extracted. Those drops of goodness are also called the life-force of plants. Our ancestors mainly used plants, spices and herbs to heal themselves. Those were not always applied in the form of essential oils. Instead, they might have used the peppermint leaves directly or grated some ginger or lemon peel into a nice tea. Essential oils have been used for centuries, even in biblical times.
How do they work?
Essential oils work with our body to give it extra strength and support. They also directly help our body and mind relax, even when we are asleep. When we inhale an essential oil, the odour molecules travel up our nose into the limbic part of our brain. This is where our emotions, memories, hormones and heart rate are regulated. One condition though, they must come from nature and contain no synthetic fragrances.
How can you experience them at home?
When using oils for those minor day-to-day issues, no one actually needs a diploma in aromatherapy. Wellness at home is within everybody’s reach! To start, you will need a diffuser and a selection of a few oils or calming blends. Inhalation is the safest way to administer essential oils. It still produces remarkable psychological and physiological outcomes! So, the key is to diffuse as often as required using only a few drops in the diffuser each time.
When you’re wearing a face mask, you could add a drop of Lemon, Frankincense or an immune boosting blend on the outside of the mask, before you venture outside. It will freshen the smell and will last all day.
Useful oils to combat negative feelings and emotions
If you are feeling stressed, you can use Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Tangerine or Lemon. If you are feeling sad consider Lemon, Bergamot, Jasmine, Orange or Palo Santo. Next time you eat an orange, pick up the skin and press it between your two fingers, crack the skin open and you will see tiny bits of oily-like liquid, which is what will be used to make an essential oil.
And to help improve your sleep quality: Lavender, Cedarwood or Roman Chamomile. You can combine a couple of drops of each or use quality blends that already contain them. We use only 1-2 drops at a time when applying topically and never more than 4 drops for an adult. When you apply them on your skin, always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil. This is imperative for children under 6 year of age. Using a carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut or sweet almond oil, slows down the absorption by the body but is just as effective.
Essential oils and children
When you start using plant-based remedies, you and your children will naturally start to trust more your sense of smell. Although children are taught about having five senses, in practice the olfactory system is always overlooked.
From the moment you introduce plant-based essential oils, it will become a habit for the child to see that nature can be a remedy for human beings and animals. It’s then easier for us parents to draw parallels with the positive sensations a child experiences, when eating fresh food or walking outdoors.
How the use of essential oils benefitted our family
Radical changes took place for the better in our life when our family started using essential oils. Our children recovered well and faster from daily ailments. They also handled their personal emotional crises better and ate healthier too. As parents, we ourselves benefitted from the oils physically and emotionally, whether it was through diffusing or applying oils to our own bodies.
Essential oils are wonderfully potent tools and they are all antiseptic. Each has their own particular healing characteristics. If we treat them with care and respect, without abusing their power, they will reward us with their goodness for years to come!
Laure Arbert is an environmental lawyer by profession. She trained as an aromatherapist and is a passionate advocate of natural healing and holistic child development. Laure wrote a book called ‘How to Talk to Kids about Essential Oils’. You can order a PDF copy and contact her directly for advice by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Before the Covid-19 outbreak, Laure travelled with her family around the world, visiting several Young Living farms and distilleries.