Some essential oils are relaxing, some stimulating, whilst others are regulating and balancing. Some have a physical effect and some a more emotional effect that is difficult to measure.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are the essence of aromatic plants – they are the volatile molecules, produced in the plant after the miraculous process of photosynthesis. The energetic and special properties of aromatic molecules are what make aromatherapy the mystical, practical and beneficial science/art combination that it is.
These concentrated extracts from aromatic plants must be used with care since only a few drops can exert an effect. Topically they can be used sparingly in their neat form, or preferably they should be diluted in a base oil or cream.
Essential oils can be used aromatically (inhalation) which can have profound effects on emotions and feelings; or topically (applied via a cream or oil) which has a physical effect on our bodies, be it for pain relief or an energy boost.
Here are our top 5 essential oils for winding down and relaxing: Any of these oils used alone or in combination are wonderful for treating stress and for relaxation
1. Camomile (German ) is a rich greeny blue oil rich in azulene. It has calming and soothing properties and a rounded warm aroma.
2. Neroli (orange blossom ) is a very soothing, sedating essential oil from the blossoms of orange trees. Its aroma is delicate, a beautiful mix of citrus and sweetness.
3. Sandalwood is a deep rich oil with a distinct woody aroma that has sedating and soothing properties.
4. Marjoram has a sharp herby aroma that is ultra-relaxing and comforting.
5. Lavender is a well known sedative oil helpful for stress and to induce sleep.
How to use these oils
The oils can be used singly or in combination for relaxation and winding down whilst we go about our busy lives. Use the oils aromatically or topically.
Aromatically – the aromas of these oils, alone or as mixtures of one, two or up to all five, will provide a soothing ambiance. The oils all soothe and calm the mind encouraging relaxation. Serotonin production in the brain seems to increase after inhaling these aromas inducing a calming sedative type effect. Use the oils in a traditional burner, as a room spray, or dropped onto a tissue. It can be used with our Scentstation from which the aromas will naturally evaporate into the surrounding air.
Topically – When used topically via a cream or oil, the oils will be absorbed by the body and relax sore and stiff muscles, aching joints and painful areas. Use our Bath & Massage oils in the bath or get a loved one to massage you after the bath. A self-massage of your legs, feet and arms is also wonderfully soothing. When using the oils in the bath, linger in the bath for more than 10 minutes to allow maximum absorption of the oils. Candles enhance the ambiance of relaxation and remember that lying in a bath or receiving a massage are in themselves relaxing experiences, enhanced with the use of these essential oils.
Eye pillow / heated bean bag – anther way to use these calming oils is with an eye pillow, a brow pillow or a heated bean bag round the neck or on the stomach. Take care as heated oils are more potent.
Lifestyle adjustments to enhance the experience
While the oils are effective I recommend some lifestyle adjustments to receive the maximum benefit of the aromatic experience. Some ideas are
1. Switch off the TV – or change the TV channel at least – switch you’re your usual drama/series to a relaxing music channel
2. Ditch the coffee or tea – or exchange regular coffee and tea for soothing camomile or herbal teas
3. Reduce processed and sugary foods – try to replace these with food as close to nature as possible – fruits, nuts, vegetables and unprocessed meat
4. Switch your phone to silent and ignore it – Lie in a bath with a good book rather than with your phone checking your emails / facebook / instagram.
5. Create your own loadshedding schedule – turn off the bright lights, and light those candles.
We’ve created a host of products that help you relax and wind down.
Yours in aromatic wellbeing