Essential oils are concentrated extracts of different types of flora which may be taken from the bark, flower, root or leaves. They are a rich and highly potent way of absorbing the benefits of the plant and have a vital role to play in medicine, cosmetics, spiritual rituals, and ceremonies.
One of the main reason essential oils have such a long history, and are still used and trusted today, is the increasing scientific evidence for the balancing and healing effect they have on the mind and body. Essential oils can be effective in treating minor illnesses but also have a direct link to our emotional state.
Your essential collection:
There are more than 90 common essential oils available. They are incredibly versatile and depending on the combinations that you create and the way in which you administer them, you can produce wonderful states of mind and healing treatments.
If you’re new to using essential oils, I would suggest creating a kit bag of the most important and useful ones to start with. Together this essential collection will bring a range of benefits and properties to help you support your own physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
Lavender has a floral and light fragrance. It is anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antiseptic, while for the mind and spirit, it is balancing, relaxing and soothing.
Peppermint has a strong and fresh fragrance. As a medicinal oil, it is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral and an astringent. It can be clarifying and stimulating for the mind.
Rose is light and floral. When used topically it is excellent for the skin and is highly rejuvenating. Often considered an aphrodisiac, it is a sensual and uplifting oil.
Tea Tree is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antiviral. It can help to cleanse your environment and for your mind it is clarifying and stimulating.
Geranium is floral and a little zesty. It is a balancing and uplifting oil that has numerous benefits for the skin and body, including treating fluid imbalance and inflammation.
Frankincense has a sweet, honey-like scent. It is uplifting and rejuvenating, often used to stimulate the mind or to help regenerate the skin.
Chamomile is a soothing and calming floral scent. It can help to relax the mind and aid sleep. In the body it reduces inflammation and irritation and is perfect for sensitive skin.
Rosemary is herbal and earthy in fragrance. It is stimulating, helping to improve circulation and memory. It is also an empowering and grounding fragrance.
Orange is sweet and uplifting. It’s very good for treating low mood but is also revitalising and rejuvenating for dull or tired skin.
The tenth item in your essential oils kit is a carrier oil such as Almond, Castor or Jojoba Oil. They have this name as they are used to carry the essential oils to the body, helping dilute them for use on the skin. Essential oils are very volatile and are often too potent to be used directly. Add just a few drops of essential oil to a carrier oil and it can be used in massage, aromatherapy or for medicinal treatments.
Essential Oils for mental and physical well-being:
When you inhale essential oils, either through diffuses or steam treatments they are carried by the olfactory nerve directly to the emotional centre of the brain. Essential oils have a balancing effect on the mind, helping to release chemicals and support metabolic functions for better physical and emotional well-being.
Lavender, for example, has an impact on the cortisol levels in the body helping to reduce and relieve stress. Orange is uplifting but is also known to help release serotonin, meaning it can relieve symptoms of depression and sadness. The effect they have can differ slightly for each person, depending on the memories associated with the fragrance and our chemical makeup.
Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin very easily and the molecules can reach the bloodstream and pass through the blood-brain barrier quite quickly. Massage is the usual way of using aromatherapy to treat the body, but you can also create and use topical treatments that directly heal skin complaints by adding essential oils to cream or lotion.
To get the most from your essential oils, bathing is an amazing way of getting dual benefit for both body and mind. I have a DIY recipe for a healing Salt Bath that you can follow easily at home and customise with your own essential oils. Not only will sitting in water that is infused with essential oils help the skin to absorb their qualities, but the steam from the hot water will also help to carry the scent of the oils to your emotional core.
Essential Oils for spiritual wellbeing:
Essential oils can play a vital role in all aspects of ritual and ceremony. Using essential oils in this way can help you to achieve awakening, healing, protection and cleansing. By including them in meditation practices, you can deepen your state of mind to progress your spiritual journey further.
Returning to our essential collection, Geranium is a powerful protector and purifier. You can use Geranium to achieve a deeper understanding that will lead to self-love and inner peace. Rosemary can help to release psychic blocks making it an ally in spiritual development, it can also be used to attract good luck, peace and to consecrate your home. Frankincense promotes acceptance and emotional balance and can be used for anointing in ceremonies and for rites of passage.
There are a few ways to incorporate essential oils into your rituals and practices, such as with diffusers, steam inhalation, mist sprays or directly onto your pulse points. You will find it beneficial to select the oils that work well for you using intuition and personal preference. It’s important that you enjoy the scent so that you can settle into a state of prayer or meditation without distraction.
When used regularly, the scent of essential oils can help to return you to a previous state of being. Preparing for upcoming events or spiritual practices is aided by adding essential oils that will reconnect your mind and emotions, creating a sense of awakening, intuition or peace in readiness for the next stage.
Essential Oils and time:
Connecting your body and mind so that they work in unison is only one benefit of using essential oils for your spiritual practice. Aligning yourself to the passing time is both grounding and empowering. Synchronising our use of essential oils with the lunar cycle is a way of opening our psychic state to the changing energy. When we are open to it we can absorb it into our own spiritual and emotional centre.
The New Moon is a time for rebirth and regeneration. Using a few drops each of Frankincense and Orange oil in a diffuser will help to create an environment that is open to your creative energy. As you look to expand the oils that you have in your collection, try adding Patchouli during the New Moon as it will detox negative energy and vibrations, helping to release blockages and cut ties with feelings that no longer serve you.
During the Waxing Moon you will be alive with intuition and able to apply your practices. This is also the period when our mind and body are most able to absorb new energy. As Rosemary is good for memory it is often thought of as an oil for reflection and the past, but it is important to use it at this point in the cycle as it improves brain function for better clarity and releasing endorphins to increase motivation and courage.
The Full Moon is a time for release, with amplified emotion and open expression. Peppermint is a very clarifying oil that will help you to see through this experience to spiritual growth. It is also a purifying oil helping to free you of surplus emotion towards the end of this period. Bergamot and Lime can be added to our collection later if you need support with releasing a difficult emotional state.
The Waning Moon brings clarity and enlightenment. During this period, you will benefit most from meditation and reflection. Lavender will deepen your restful states and will combine well with Geranium, which is balancing after a turbulent and emotional Full Moon. Adding Cedarwood is grounding and stabilising to ensure you travel safely through your meditation.
I hope that you have enjoyed this overview of essential oils and how to use them. They are a truly powerful resource that comes directly from nature to support us throughout our lives.
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