There’s a shift in the air. As the world is changing, and we are starting to figure out that in order to treat ourselves and the planet (should be the same thing) right, the mainstream basics won’t always cover it for us. Plant based alternatives are on the rise, and chemical products are being swapped for natural ones. It seems, in the long run, they could be of more value to us, and are way more constructive. Is mother nature making a comeback in our cabinets? The average household seems to become more and more receptive towards her healing powers. One of those powers, research has proven, is aromatherapy.
If you have ever so much as smelled the scent of a flower, you’ve already been in touch with essential oils. They are the aromatic extracts of the oils in seeds, stems, leaves, roots or any other part of plants. Using these to maintain a healthy body and mind, is what we call aromatherapy. Because the oils physically and chemically are so easily evaporated, their compounds move through the air very quickly to reach our noses, and have a very instant effect.
Our top five:
1. Lavender oil. If you only use one, this is your all-rounder. Kind of the ginger shot of essential oils, it has so many components in such high quantities, it has to be on top of our list.
Body: It is soothing and healing for all types of wounds, cuts, bites, burns. It will protect against blood sugar spikes and oxidative stress, and it alleviates nausea. Being antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, it’s also immune boosting.
Mind: On the mind it is one of the strongest stress relievers and helps with any anxiety-symptoms, insomnia, panic attacks.
Body: It is a strong antiseptic and works anti-inflammatory, which will help with almost every form of bad bacteria or pain, from tooth-aches to digestive problems. Apart from the fact that it generally boosts your immunity, it actually has mechanisms that prevent illness, disease, even cancers.
Mind: It will induce a 'I got this'-feeling of calm focus and mental clarity. It naturally reduces high blood pressure and heart rate, so it has a strong effect against anxiety- and depression-symptoms, and will help with falling asleep. Spiritually, it could awaken insight and peace of mind.
3. Peppermint oil. This is probably one of the most versatile and uplifting oils.
Body: It's antispasmodic, antiviral, anti-fungal and an antioxidant. It is famous to have a very direct and strong alleviating effect on headaches and nausea. Interesting side note: studies have shown it is one of the oils that work against antibiotic resistance, which happens when your body has had too many antibiotics and is producing antibiotic-resisting bacteria.
Mind: Invigorating and refreshing,
4. Clary sage oil. Ladies, if you are looking to treat PMS and other menstrual problems, this is your go-to aid. Scientifically proven!
Body: It balances out your hormones and alleviates pain.
Mind: As it can improve dopamine-release in your brain, it has an antidepressant effects and helps relief stress, so basically all the things that havoc that time of the month.
5. Aesop Burner Oils. One of our favourite brands houses three beautiful blends of essential oils that can be diffused and added to your oil burner.
- Catherine: calmingly spicy and warm, with Orange Rind, Cedarwood Atlas and Clove Bud.
- Anouk: refreshing and floral, with Lemon Rind, Ylang Ylang and Bergamot Rind.
- Isabelle: minty and stimulating, with Spearmint Leaf, Sage Leaf, Rosemary Leaf.
As you can see, essential oils no longer have to be reserved for the witchy lady down the road. They can offer a personal mini-first-aid-kit in private and professional life that we don't want to miss out on. They won’t permanently cure any illness or mental hazard, but they will definitely help. If you keep an open mind and expect the oil to support you with a physical condition, symptom, mood or state of mind, you will find it to be generous and you will be grateful with the results. Mother nature strikes again.