The best essential oil to help you combat chaos

Blog published 21/04/2020

We are all feeling the uncertainty, the restlessness and the worry of the chaotic existence this unusual spring of 2020. It takes a lot to stay focused or productive when so many of our habits have been changed by the COVID-19 and the restrictions due the pandemic. It is easy to get sucked into negativity and overwhelm. And what happens when we feel overwhelmed? At least my foxy little brain reacts by suggesting:

Katja you should really be more productive! Try multitasking! But I’m no spring chicken, I have some hardy experience of overwhelm in my life so I respond: Be quiet brain! I will not go down that jungle! This calls for gentle and effective monotasking.

This is also where Lavender essential oil comes into the picture. It is the perfect tool for overwhelm. One bottle, one plant, to help you sort out one problem at a time.

Come to Provence!

Let's take a break from Corona chaos and breathe some fresh clarity into our day. Grab your bottle of Lavender essential oil and breathe deeply until you feel oxygenized, aromatized and detached from your overactive thought machinery. Concentrate diligently on the aroma and the sensations. If you don’t have Lavender essential oil at hand, find something fresh from outdoors like a pinecone or even a handful of green grass. Imagine you are on a sunny lavender field in Provence, southern France. You are knee-high in blooming Lavender plants. Don’t worry if you have no idea what that feels like! I haven’t been in a lavender field either, but we have our imagination and a nice aroma under our noses.

True Lavender’s aroma is uncomplicated, clean, floral and deeply relaxing. Your focus softly shifts from dwelling on your favourite problems, to feeling the easy beauty of being alive. Simple. Obvious. You are as magnificent as the plants around you, cool and chic. Nature reminds you that you are great and everybody loves you!

This is aromatherapy. Breathing in aromatic molecules and letting them travel to our brain where they have an effect on our nerves, muscles, hormones and ultimately our cells. Aromas also create emotions and spark memories. I use essential oils daily to help me handle everything from my own stress levels to my children’s earaches. Incorporating aromatherapy into my life is a way of having less chemicals in my home, more natural healthcare and skincare products and an array of lovely fragrances to beautify my living with.

Lavender the great cleaner

The aroma of Lavender is so fresh that many cleaning products have tried to replicate the scent. In fact, the name lavender is derived from the Latin word lavare, meaning “to wash”. Lavender use has been documented for over 2500 years. The ancient Egyptians used lavender for mummification and perfume. The Benedictine abbess St Hildegaard, (1098-1179) recommended Lavender for “maintaining a pure character”. In the Victorian era, 1837-1901, the Queen of England loved lavender and spoke of it often. Lavender essential oil has many therapeutic qualities. It is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, analgesic (painkilling), skin healing, antiallergenic, antispasmodic, immunostimulant, antispasmodic, sedative for the central nervous system, deodorant. The list goes on and the research on Lavender is impressive. It cleans dirt, microbes, and bad temper.

One essential oil for hundreds of irritating issues

Why would I recommend Lavender as the first and best essential oil you should get to help you combat chaos? Because it is so versatile. It can be used in so many different ways and it is so effective. With one bottle of Lavender you can do so much. Here are some examples:

  • Add a few drops to your floor mopping water to enjoy an aromatherapeutic moment while cleaning your floors. Lavender also comes with a broad spectrum of antimicrobial properties making you home spick and span.

  • Lavender treats inflammation, try it for earaches. Put a drop on a cottonball and insert into ear or apply with a carrier oil around the ear.

  • Make a natural beauty oil with Lavender and almond oil for your skincare routine.

  • Make an effective headache blend with Lavender, Peppermint, Frankincense in a carrier oil.

  • Treat a burn, insect bite or rash with lavender to easy pain and itching and to help heal the skin.

  • Add Lavender essential oil to your diffuser to help with insomnia or anxiety.

  • Put a drop of Lavender on the corner of your pillow to help with an overactive mind.

  • Massage a mild Lavender blend on your child's (over 5 yrs) back for relaxation and calm.

  • Make a natural deodorant with Lavender. It is antibacterial and removes unpleasant scents.

  • Try Lavender in a steam bath to help with seasonal allergies and to boost immunity.

  • For irritable bowel syndrome, rub Lavender on your belly. It relaxes the smooth muscle and eases pain.

  • Treat menstrual cramps with Lavender, Bergamot, Marjoram and Roman Chamomile.

  • Rub Lavender hydrosol on canker sores/cold sores in your mouth.

  • Add a few drops of Lavender and Orange essential oil to your hand soap or hand cream to kill germs, treat your skin and leave a sweet floral scent on your hands.


And the list goes on. There is a great deal of research on Lavender and you can find fascinating clinical proof and scientific evidence on: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Real Lavender aroma

If you have bad experiences of Lavender before this, you should try a high-quality Lavender essential oil and seriously rethink. The aroma can be totally different depending on what product you are smelling. A synthetic Lavender is not at all the same as a pure essential oil. On the quality of different oil brands, I can strongly suggest that you invest in a reputable brand, not a cheap mockup. The healing qualities listed above only apply to the real thing. The lesser quality oils will give you a rash and a headache instead of zen.

Mixing Lavender with other fragrances

Lavender is also a great oil to add to blends as it plays well with most other oils. You can alter the aroma of Lavender by blending with Orange, Mandarin, Bergamot, Geranium, Roman Chamomile, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Rosewood, Ylang Ylang for instance. Lavender is skinsafe and nonirritating, making it a great oil for the home apothecary. It is suitable for children over five years. For younger children and babies I recommend using Lavender hydrosol instead

Good reads with your Lavender this spring

As a self-help New Age literature junkie, I feel obliged to share a few book tips.

To help you get through the Corona chaos, I can recommend anything by self-help guru Lousie Hay. Her affirmations can turn a bad day into a good one in a minute. Her legacy is incomparable, you can find high quality books and audio recordings on the Hay House website. I especially recommend the book “You can heal your life” by Louse Hay.


Another great thought leader in chaotic times is David R. Hawkins. In his book Letting Go: The pathway of surrender, he teaches you to let go of the illusion of control and to free yourself of negativity.


We have little control over the worldwide situation that the Corona virus has forced upon us. It is better to focus on managing our feelings and enjoying our french Lavender at home this spring.


Lots of love,

Katja

Aromatherapy - a path back to nature

Blog published 15/03/2020

Humans are a part of nature. As natural beings we thrive and stay balanced when we are in contact with natural elements. Unfortunately, in our modern lives we have managed to distance ourselves from our source.

Essential oils are derived from plants. They can be used as a beautiful way to find a path back to that lost connection with nature. We can use them to access the healing and restorative powers of the natural world. Essential oils are helpful in dealing with a range of physical and emotional conditions. The effectiveness of essential oils treatments is due to our common biochemical and cellular heritage with plants. The possibilities of plant medicine are enormous and the interest to study plant extracts scientifically is widespread.

Most commonly, though, aromatherapy is associated with pleasant fragrances. How can an aroma have healing powers? How can a smell be classified as a therapy?

Ancient and holistic

Aromatherapy is a is a type of plant therapy that has been used for at least 4000 years. It is a holistic practice, concerning itself with the whole person and attempting to create balance for the whole body, mind and spirit. When the aromatic molecules enter our noses and/or penetrate the skin they cause different reactions in tissues, nerves, organs and cells while stimulating our feelings, cognitive processes and memories. Depending on the essential oil’s characteristics and the way you personally react to the aroma, it can make you feel relaxed, sleepy, happy, focused, energized, comforted, safe etc. The sense of smell is directly connected to the cortex and limbic system of the brain, responsible for emotions, memories and arousal.

Inhaled essential oils work instantly. Applied on your skin they work within seconds or hours. Try peppermint essential oil on the skin to feel an icy-hot effect within seconds. There are oils that effectively reduce pain or inflammation. Some oils are antimicrobial and antiseptic. These easy-to-use and natural substances are a treasure. They can become a part of your first aid home-pharmacy, natural beauty care regimen, non-toxic cleaning products and atmospheric home décor.

Aromatherapy in the 2020's

Today aromatherapy has partly developed into a hard science, where essential oils and their chemical components are meticulously analyzed in laboratories and in clinical studies. The consumer industry has boomed since the 1980’s. Essential oil brands challenge each other in quality standards and it is hard for us to know which oil brand to trust as they all claim to be “Real 100% Pure”. One thing is for sure, there is money in this business and not all essential oil manufacturers care about quality standards, your safety or about sustainable production methods.

Only use good quality oils, especially if you are sensitive or want to avoid unnecessary toxic burden. One way of ensure good product quality is to check that the oil is GC/MS tested. GC/MS testing means analyzing the oil in a laboratory to ensure that it is pure and clean. In these tests the chemists determine the chemical composition of the oil and its chemotype. You can ask your oil brand to show you this report. If they are a good brand they will give you the report. If they do not have a product code written out on the bottle's label you will probably not get a report and the oil is probably not 100 % pure.

There are several different schools of Aromatherapy in the world. In France, Belgium and Southern Europe essential oils and herbal medicine are appreciated in the medical profession as one way of treating illnesses and are used alongside pharmaceuticals in health care. In France you can be prescribed Oregano oil capsules instead of antibiotic pills for an infection.

The English and American Aromatherapy tradition stay away from internal use of essential oils. They use essential oils externally in massages, skincare and as aromatic fragrances to be inhaled.

How to use essential oils

Aromatherapy is flexible, fun and easy to incorporate into our lives. It can be combined with most other healing modalities, any diet, lifestyle or spiritual practice. We can wear a therapeutic oil during the workday without much effort, we can amp up our mindfulness session with a meditative oil, or breathe some calming oils when we are stuck in a traffic jam.

Some essential oil users like high dilutions in strong blends to get fast results, maybe 10% dilution or even higher. Others prefer to stay on the safe side and use very gentle blends with only 1% dilution, or 2 drops in 10 ml of carrier oil. I recommend you experiment to find out what works for you. Always use the minimum amount necessary to get the result you desire. Start small and increase the essential oil amount until you reach your purpose. If you do it the other way around you might end up with skin issues or other bodily reactions that are not so therapeutic.

Good quality oils are bioactive, they are extremely potent, precious drops from thriving plants made by dedicated farmers. Drop carefully, save your money and respect nature. Remember to read the safety considerations of the oils before you use them.

Even though using essential oils is not the same as going out in nature it is a great complement to it. In the Japanese wellness ecotherapy called Shinrin-Yoku, or forest bathing, some forest guides use essential oils on their tours to intensify the participants’ sensation of the forest.

Considering how many of our most common health concerns are stress related, I personally think the biggest benefit of aromatherapy is its capacity to help me relax. When I start my aroma diffuser or apply a nice oil blend, I can put worldly issues into perspective. As I take in the aromatherapy I let it remind me of the things that really matter in my life.

Aromatherapy is self-love. Give it a try!

Love,

Katja

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