These are turbulent times, and when times get tough it’s up to us find a way to allow life to go on and a self-care routine that includes essential oils can help.
How Essential Oils Can Impact Our Emotions
While research lacks when it comes to the use of essential oils, we do know a few things about their benefits. Essential oils can be applied to the skin as well as inhaled. When they’re applied to the skin and absorbed through the body’s largest organ (which is very permeable), they work in much the same way as a nicotine patch. When an essential oil is applied to the skin, massage can increase circulation and therefore improve absorption.
When essential oil are inhaled, odor molecules travel through the nose and impact the brain immediately. And even when essential oils are applied to the skin, they are still inhaled. In both cases, essential oils can have an impact on our emotions.
Essential Oils for Fear and Sadness
A study published in Phytotherapy Research found that bergamot oil
improved anxiety in rats by reducing the release of cortisol in the brain. When the body becomes stressed, we tend to revert back to caveman times by naturally releasing cortisol, our fight or flight response. This hormone release causes a wide range of physiological responses and when too much is constantly flowing, it can cause irritability, depression, and anxiety among a host of others symptoms.
Another study published in Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that lavender essential oils helped with the release of serotonin in the brain when it was inhaled. And another study in the journal of Natural Product Communications found that rose oil used for aromatherapy had some relaxing effects on humans especially those struggling with depression and stress.
Choosing Essential Oils
Whether you want to add bergamot, rose, or lavender (or all three!) to your self-care routine, it’s important to choose high-quality essential oils that are pure, produced sustainably, and don’t contain any unnecessary additives. Plant Therapy ($15) and Mountain Rose ($25) are two high-quality brands to get you started and both can be purchased online.
And once you’ve got your essential oils, you can add them into your routine a number of ways. Inhalation is likely to produce the best results when it comes to calming your emotions, so you may want to consider adding a few drops to a diffuser or to a steamy bath. If you put essential oils on the skin, make sure it’s properly diluted with a carrier oil. Essential oil should have a concentration of no greater than three to five percent. That means in one teaspoon of carrier oil, you would add three drops of pure essential oil. This would make a three percent solution that could be used on a portion of the body. It is not safe to eat essential oils.
Lavender Magnesium Linen Spray
5-6 drops lavender essential oil
¼ tsp. Epsom salts
1/2 cup filtered water
Small spray bottle
1. Add the salt to your bottle and then add the essential oil.
2. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with water. Shake well before using. Give your pillow a spray or two each and every night for sound sleep.
Sea Salt Exfoliating Scrub with Essential Oils
1/2 cup raw olive oil
1 cup sea salt
5 drops each of Lavender, Frankincense, and Ylang Ylang
glass jar with lid
1. Measure your salt and pour into a large glass bowl.
2. Add olive oil and mix well with a metal spoon. Add essential oils and continue to stir the mixture. Slowly scoop into a glass pot.
3. Close tightly with a lid and label. Store in a cool, dark place. Scoop out a silver dollar size of scrub and apply to body.
4. Repeat weekly. This is one of the most pampering DIY essential oil recipes.
Do you use essential oils? What are your favorite varieties? And how do you use them? We want to know! Drop us a line via Twitter @EcoSalon.
Related on EcoSalon
4 Totally Doable DIY Aromatherapy Projects Using Essential Oils
How To Use Essential Oils To Create A Fresher, Healthier Home
Smell Fantastically Natural and Repel Insects: 6 Essential Oils for Summer