Most products on our supermarket shelves, from food to cleaning materials, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics contain essential oils.

Essential oils can be inhaled, or added to bathing water. Combined with a carrier or base oil, they become sufficiently dilute to be applied directly to the skin, such as with massage. In this form, essential oils can be useful in soothing skin problems and to ease muscular aches and pains.

These are just a couple of the practical uses of essential oils, so what are they and how do they work?

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from plants.

My top five essential oils

1. Lavender: Lavender is one of the most versatile and well-known sources of essential oils. It eases headaches, promotes relaxation and sleep, helps with pain, inflammation, hair loss and pre-menstrual tension. It’s an excellent remedy for eczema, psoriasis burns, stings, bites and scar tissue. I have seen painful and embarrassing skin disorders heal almost overnight. I’m never without lavender oil. As a remedy, it covers most eventualities!

2. Frankincense: Frankincense is known for having soothing and cleansing properties. It can be used cosmetically, medicinally and for eliminating surface and airborne bacteria. It has a woody, earthy, and spicy aroma. Frankincense is soothing and comforting and is believed to strengthen and invigorate the respiratory system. It contains properties that reduce feelings of anxiety, stimulate the immune system, and diminish signs of ageing.

3. Geranium: Geranium has antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
It has a sweet, feminine aroma and is beneficial for reducing acne breakouts, skin irritation, and skin infections. Geranium helps with peri-menopause and menopausal symptoms as-well-as other hormonal imbalances. It is used in hospitals for its calming effect on women in the early stages of labour.

4. Peppermint: This often underrated oil is an effective treatment for a variety of conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, and other digestive issues, as well as the common cold and headaches. I use it during my foot care treatments as it is cooling, deodorising and really does freshen the skin. The sharp and clean aroma of peppermint is also great for morning showers.

5. Rose oil: A beautiful, feminine oil that’s widely used in high-end perfumes, facial products and cosmetics. Rose oil is said to increase libido and has a calming effect on people. Studies have found that rose oil stimulates the release of the dopamine, the chemical that’s believed to play a pivotal role in helping to relieve the symptoms of depression, pre-menstrual tension and pain.

Essential oils in therapy

Essential oils can be used to remedy many ailments, and I use them in my holistic therapies. I blend high-quality essences to suit the client and their particular needs. Not only do the oils smell beautiful, but they also enhance the whole experience and ambience of a treatment session. During hypnotherapy sessions, for example, diffusing essential oils has a calming and receptive effect.

Essential oils in everyday life

Essential oils are too potent to be used ‘neat’. They are usually blended with a good quality carrier oil such as coconut oil which is lightweight and doesn’t stain laundry.

The therapeutic properties of the oils are fragile, volatile, UV and heat sensitive. They can be all but destroyed if they are mixed with poor quality toiletries such as mainstream shower and bath products. They are also weakened by very hot water or even exposure to sunlight! For these reasons, the best quality (and most expensive) oils are kept in dark brown or blue glass bottles at ambient temperature.

The most potent and beneficial direct application is through massage; however, an easy and lovely way to enjoy them is through bathing.

Invigorating morning aroma shower: For a refreshing morning pick-me-up, choose oils with invigorating high notes such as eucalyptus, lemon, lime and peppermint.

Relaxing evening scented bath: For a relaxing wind-down bath, choose oils with heavier base notes. Lavender, rose, and frankincense are perfect choices to ease tensions. Try adding petals, Epsom salts and a carrier oil to the bathwater to pamper yourself ‘spa’ style.

Other ways to enjoy essential oils

• Use with diffusers and vaporisers

• Sprinkle a few drops onto a radiator

• Drizzle onto a flannel or compress

• Soak your hands or feet in oil-infused warm water

• Add to your favourite hand or body cream

• Add a few drops to your final hair rinse (Tea Tree oil is a deterrent for head lice)

• Add a couple of drops of your favourite oil to the water or cleaning cloths as you clean your home

I genuinely believe our amazing planet provides most things, including medicines congruent with what nature provides to encourage us naturally to live a healthy and ‘well’ life. I use a wide range of plant extracts in all aspects of my family and professional life, from maintaining physical and emotional well-being to cleaning.
There are so many ways in which essential oils can remedy ailments and conditions, contact me to arrange a personal consultation. I sell and prescribe essential oils and also offer bespoke blends specific to a clients’ needs.

Offer of the month – 20% off the retail price of all stocked essential oils throughout April

Contact me for details 07860 679334 or email: info@carrieswain.com

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Important information: This information is intended as a guide only and in no way constitutes ‘medical advice’. Check with your GP or other suitably qualified medical practitioners before using essential oils as some are contra-indicated for specific conditions such as cancer and pregnancy. It is also advisable to consult a qualified aromatherapist.
Never consume essential oils and keep them out of children’s reach.

Offer of the month

20% off the retail price of all stocked essential oils throughout April 2020.