Stress Relieving Aromatherapy Recipes

stress relieving aromatherapy recipesStress Relieving Bath Oil:

There isn’t always time to book an Aromatherapy Massage, so here is something you can make easily at home.

Massage blend Ingredients:

125 ml of carrier oil (grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil is ideal)
12 drops Lavender
2 drops Cedarwood
25 drops Sandalwood
or
10 drops Bergamot
10 drops Geranium
20 drops Frankincense

Blend the oils well together and store in an airtight dark coloured glass container.  Keep in a cool dark place.  Run a warm bath, not too hot or the oil will just evaporate too quickly.   Once the bath is run add 1 tablespoon of the ready mixed oil making sure to shake well before adding to the bath.  Swish the oil around in the bath water well with your hand before getting in.

Make sure that the doors and windows in the bathroom are closed so that you get full benefit from the aroma. Enjoy!

You can purchase your oils from my Neals Yard Organics online shop by  following this link.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog.  I would love to hear if you tried these recipes out.

Thanks for reading.

Sue Sig

Essential Oils to Repel Insects

Essential Oils to Repel InsectsEssential Oils To Repel Insects:

Insects can be a right pain at this time of year.  I much prefer them outside the house to inside the house.  Earlier on today I was queuing in the bank when I felt something tickling my leg, I don’t know what sort of insect it was but it had a good chomp on my ankle and now I have a bite.  Luckily I had some Tea Tree oil in my handbag.  Meantime there are ants everywhere, not to mention flies which are coming through the open doors and windows during the good weather.  Not that I am complaining about the good weather you understand – us Brits have to take the good weather when we can, seeing as some years summer seems to pass us by.

Essential oils can be helpful to persuade pesky pests to go the other direction:

Ants

they don’t like Peppermint essential oil.  Arm yourself with some cotton wool balls onto which you have sprinkled a few drops of Peppermint and place them in the areas where you think they are coming in.  Generally ants follow the same trail so if you can spot where the trail is, put a couple of cotton wall balls on the trail.

Spiders

I am not afraid of spiders, they don’t bother me, but my sister really doesn’t like them.  To keep spiders away put a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil onto cotton wool balls and place in your cupboards and clothes drawers or anywhere else spiders may lurk.

Moths

Keep moths out of your wardrobe by sprinkling a few drops of Frankincense, a few drops of Juniper and a few drops of Cedarwood onto cotton wool balls and place or hang on the clothes rail. You can also put the drops onto a piece of kitchen roll.

Insect Repelling Essential Oils for the house:

Prevention is better than cure, as they say, and in generally insects dislike lemongrass or citronella.  You can buy citronella candles.  A diffuser is a good idea as this method causes the essential oil droplets to become airborne reaching the whole room.  You can also use a plant sprayer and dilute the essential oils in water and spray liberally around the room avoiding polished surfaces.

Insect Repelling Essential Oils for the body:

If you are looking to put something on your skin to avoid insects then lavender is always a great choice.  The easiest way to use this is to put 30ml of massage oil such as sweet almond in a bottle and add 30 drops of lavender.  Use this lotion before you go out to repel insects whilst smelling nice at the same time.

One of my Aromatherapy bibles is this super book –  The Fragrant Pharmac by Valerie Ann Worwood. It is full of fantastic recipes and I will share a couple with you below:

 

 

Insect Repelling Blend:

  • Thyme 4 drops
  • Lemongrass 8 drops
  • Lavender 4 drops
  • Peppermint 4 drops

You can multiply these ingredients up to make a quantity, ie  x 4 (16 drops Thyme, 32 drops Lemongrass, 16 drops Lavender, 16 drops Peppermint) if you wish.  Place the blend into a small dark coloured bottle and shake. A dropper bottle is great if you have one.

Here are some ways to use the blend:

  • 2 drops on a cotton wall ball leave it somewhere near your bed at night time to repel mosquitoes.
  • Cut up lengths of ribbon or tissue paper and put one drop on each piece and hang around the area you are sitting – if you are outside on trees or balcony for instance, or above a window.
  • Use 2 drops in 1 dessertspoon of massage oil such as sweet almond oil or jojoba oil for a body rub or add the neat essential oil to any unperfumed body lotion or cream.
  • Add 5 drops to 1 tablespoon of witchhazel and dilute in 4 tablespoons of water. Shake and splash on your body.  Always avoid eyes.  Alternatively you can use vodka instead of witchhazel!
  • Put a few drops in a diffuser.

Too late – already been bitten? 

When you are out and about it is easy to get bitten or stung by mosquitoes, horse flies, wasps, and other little beasties.  They can be irritating, itchy and hurt.  I always keep a bottle of lavender handy.  Make sure to remove the sting if applicable and apply neat lavender to the bite or sting.   You can do this with a cotton bud or just the tip of a clean finger.

If you suspect a tick bite, though, or if the bite looks infected it is best to seek medical advice.

Here’s a Disinfectant Wash blend you can create and keep handy:

Disinfectant Wash Blend

  • Lavender 10 drops
  • Thyme 20 drops
  • Eucalyptus 10 drops

Keep these in a dark coloured bottle (with a dropper if you have one) and when needed simply add a few drops to a bowl of luke warm water to wash/dab the affected area.  Again, keep out of eyes.

If you don’t have the blend ready made, then just add the following to a bowl of water:

  • 2 drops Lavender
  • 4 drops Thyme
  • 2 drops Eucalyptus

Also, you might like to refer to my Aromatherapy First Aid Kits blog for further reading.

All oils can be purchased through my online shop or from any reputable essential oil retailer.  Go for organic wherever you can. It’s worth paying a bit extra and the oils last for ages.

Once you are bitten by the essential oil bug (excuse the pun!) you will never look back.

Give it a go – let me know how you get on.

Thanks for reading.

Sue Sig

6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

6 Essential Oils for Insomnia – helping you sleep and relax

You know the feeling, your mind is hyper-active and you just can’t get off to sleep. Stress at work, problems with relationships, financial worries turn over in your mind just when you want nothing more than to relax. The clock is ticking away and you know that it won’t be long before you have to get up and start a new day. The anxiety of not being able to sleep is now keeping you awake. Your brain keeps turning over the events of the day, maybe noises keep you awake, the dog next-door barking, or traffic on the nearby road.

Sometimes we can get off to sleep okay, but for some reason we wake at some point and just can’t get back to sleep again.  Insomnia affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives.  We all need our sleep, it is vital for our overall health.  We need all the help we can get.

Here are six essential oils known for their sedative properties.  Put a few drops on your bedding (but not directly next to your skin), or on a tissue, alternatively use a diffuser. Remember you will only need a few drops as they are powerful oils.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)Choosewellbeing, Clary Sage, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

Clary Sage is a powerful relaxant with a sweet and heady aroma. It is uplifting and relaxing, good for relieving anxiety, tension and mental fatigue. Promotes dream filled sleep. Good for calming children. Use sparingly. If you  simply want to relax and have a good night’s sleep then Clary Sage oil can help you. Chronic stress and anxiety are helped by the use of Clary Sage essential oil.

 

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)Choosewellbeing, Geranium, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

This is an uplifting oil with a natural sedative action, helpful with overcoming insomnia.  In addition it helps to alleviate stress, depression and anxiety.

Once you have dropped off to sleep, should you wake again, the sedative effect of Geranium should ease you effortlessly back to sleep.

Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)Choosewellbeing, Roman Chamomile, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

There are different types of Chamomile essential oil, but the best for insomnia is Roman Chamomile.  This is a calming and relaxing oil, good for relieving anxiety, depression and stress. Particularly suitable for children.  A good choice to help you relax.

 

 Choosewellbeing, Lavender, 6 Essential Oils for InsomniaLavender (Lavandula augustifolia)

An essential oil with balancing properties. Uplifting, soothing and therefore helpful for insomnia. Do not overdo the drops of oil or it will have the opposite effect and keep you awake. 2 drops is sufficient.  There are various types of Lavender but look out for Lavandula augustifolia as this is ‘true’ lavender with the best properties to help with insomnia.

 

Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)Choosewellbeing, Sweet Marjoram, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

This is a soothing and comforting oil with a light aroma. It is calming and sedative and helpful for insomnia and periods of irritability.  Again make sure that you choose the right type of oil in this case Origanum majorana as this has the best properties.

Warning: Avoid during first five months of pregnancy.

 

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)Choosewellbeing, Ylang Ylang, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

Ylang Ylang has a calming and sedative effect and soothes the nervous system. This oil helps is helpful in times of stress and helps with anxiety, tension, shock, fear and panic.

 

Relaxation Blend:

2 drops Lavender

2 drops Roman Chamomile

2 drops Ylang Ylang

Place onto a tissue or on your bedding and inhale deeply as you settle down to sleep.

Choosewellbeing, NYR Night Time Blend,

 

Ready Made Blend:

Available from NYR Organic – Aromatherapy Blend Night Time.  Key action: Relaxing

This blend of grounding vetiver and relaxing lavender brings welcome relief when you find it difficult to relax and switch off. It will stop your mind whirring and give you a refreshing night’s sleep.

All of the links I have provided will take you to my NYR Organic UK page.  As a qualified Aromatherapist for many years now, I recommend these products as they are organic and the oils are second to none.

I hope that the information and ideas in this blog will help you sleep well and relax.

Sweet dreams.

Sue

10 Natural Remedies for the Common Cold

Common cold, aromatherapy, choosewellbeing, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynes

10 Natural Remedies for the Common Cold

Everywhere you go there are coughs and colds around and it is hard to prevent catching them. Having a cold can make you feel really miserable. Here are 10 things you can do to help relieve and shorten the symptoms.

  1. Echinaceaecinacea, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynesthis herb can be bought as a herbal supplement or as a tincture from your local health food shop and is said to help boost your immune system to help your body fight off infections. Studies are mixed with some studies say that it doesn’t help to actually prevent a cold but that it can shorten the symptoms by a few days so that has to be a good thing. Take it as soon as you feel the symptoms coming on and continue for a week to ten days. The tincture is said to be a little more potent that taking the tablet form. Go for quality – a cheap product won’t give you the results you want.
  2. Zinc – again studies are inconclusive with some showing that although taking a zinc supplement may not prevent a cold, it may help shorten the length of time and the severity of the symptoms.
  3. Vitamin Cvitamin c, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynesThis is one of the most studied remedies and again studies show mixed results, but out of all remedies this has most support of its benefits. Research shows that it can reduce the time you suffer from cold symptoms but it won’t prevent you getting one.  You can buy vitamin C supplements alternatively increase your intake of fresh organic fruit and vegetables, especially citrus fruit, sweet potatoes and kiwi.
  4. Chicken Soup – is it an Old Wives’ Tale? Possibly, but a very effective one! Chicken soup can help cold symptoms by easing your blocked nose. Recipe here. There is a compound in chicken soup called carnosine which helps the immune system. You need to take it regularly though so a constant supply would be required! MailOnline Article.
  5. Fluid – a warm drink relieves your blocked nose and soothes your throat and keeps you hydrated which is very important.  A cup of tea, black tea, green tea, honey and lemon, hot water, all important in keeping you hydrated.
  6. Hot Toddy – a teaspoon of honey, a small shot of whiskey, a squeeze of lemon in a cup of herbal tea helps to ease congestion, soothe your throat and help you sleep
  7. Garlicgarlic, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynesgarlic has anti-bacterial properties and helps the immune system to fight infection. Taking a garlic supplement may help prevent colds when taken regularly. Better still use garlic regularly in your cooking together with onions and leeks which have similar properties.
  8. Steam – breathing in steam decongests and relieves your nasal passages.  See 10. below for ideas for steam inhalation using essential oils.
  9. GingerGinger, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynesginger is a valuable consideration. The way to take it is to soak fresh ginger in some hot water, and drink the tincture. Alternatively include fresh ginger in your cooking. You can keep a root in the freezer and grate as you require it.
  10. Essential Oils – I would recommend keeping the following oils in your Aromatherapy First Aid Kit – Eucalyptus, Ginger, Thyme, Tea Tree, Lavender, Lemon.   When you feel a cold coming on run a warm bath and add 2 drops of thyme, 2 drops of tea tree, 1 drop of eucalyptus, 3 drops of lemon and swish the oils around well before getting in the bath for a soak. Inhale deeply. For steam inhalation use 1 drop of thyme, 1 drop of tea tree, 1 drop lavender. Put hot water into a bowl, add the oils, and put your head just above the bowl with a towel over your head. Inhale deeply. All these oils can be bought from Neals Yard Remedies here.10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynes

When you have a cold, keep hydrated, take time to rest, remember that colds last around 7 to 10 days so it will soon be gone. If you are always catching colds then it may be that your immune system is lowered, perhaps you are stressed and not sleeping well, so it may be that you need to look at your lifestyle and diet.

(See also my previous blog about Aromatherapy First Aid Kits here.)

Thanks for reading 10 Natural Remedies for the Common Cold.  If you like my blog please comment, like or share.

Sue

Aromatherapy First Aid Kits

Conventional First Aid Kits

Hopefully we all have a first aid kit of some kind in the cupboard. I did my First Aid refresher course with St John’s Ambulance recently so I am feeling all inspired again to make sure my kit has the right stuff in it. (Good course – here is the link – if you get the chance, do it!)   Anyway, I decided to buy a complete new kit as my old one had things missing, and, quite frankly, was a bit of a mess.  What does yours look like?
Aromatherapy First Aid Kits

Aromatherapy First Aid KitsWhen I was on holiday recently, we went out for the day, when we arrived at our destination (an hour’s drive) I went to get my dog out of the car and looked for the dog lead. It was nowhere to be seen and then I remembered where I had left it, back at the apartment where we were staying. Not bright. I was not popular. Think……what can I use…….INSPIRATION – a large bandage from the first aid kit of the car. It was okay at first until she pulled a bit and the bandage stretched, and stretched, and I ended up with a 12 foot long lead and getting some very strange looks. I kept wrapping the excess around my hand until it looked like I had a nasty injury.  Anyway I thought I deserved Brownie points for ingenuity, but my point is, this is what happens to First Aid kits, well to mine anyway. And here is another story….

During a visit to a large supermarket chain at the weekend, (I won’t mention which one), I was standing in the queue waiting for my turn when I noticed a member of staff running along the shop behind the tills and I was sure she was shouting ‘I need a First Aider‘, but my friend thought she was shouting ‘I need a Key Holder‘.  Anyway a good 5 minutes later a woman passed us, holding her arm, she had her hand wrapped in a supermarket carrier bag, she was crying, and her hand was dripping with blood. No one was helping her, everyone just staredat her, so I went to see if I could help.   Turns out that the member of staff was a cleaner who was indeed shouting for a First Aider, but the only First Aider was serving on the checkout, and the injured woman was still waiting. A young male member of staff then came over and looked totally flummoxed as to what to do, so I sent him off to get the First Aid kit. He returned after a few minutes with this tiny and tatty First Aid kit, which had nothing useful in it, but it did have one very large size dressing, and about six pairs of disposable gloves.  I dressed her hand and she was okay after a while the bleeding stopped and she went off to the hospital for stitches. Take my advice don’t have an accident in a certain supermarket. Anyway back to my point – First Aid kits – make sure they are refilled and you have everything you should have in them. What is that I hear you ask?

  • A leaflet giving general First Aid guidance.
  • Individually wrapped sterile plasters (assorted sizes). (Some people are allergic to plasters so hypoallergenic maybe)
  • Sterile eye pads.
  • Individually wrapped triangular bandages.
  • Safety pins.
  • Large sterile individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings.
  • Medium sizes sterile individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings
  • Disposable gloves (beware latex allergies)

The above is the advice from www.hse.gov.uk and is applicable to workplaces.

Aromatherapy First Aid Kits.

However, if you are at home obviously you can put in your First Aid kit whatever you find useful and being an Aromatherapist these are some things that I find invaluable in my personal First Aid kit. Always make sure the oils you buy are pure essential oils and not fragrant oils. I have added some links to pure oils further on. Keep them in a cool dark place. They keep for ages (but citrus oils can go off after six months or so).

Tea Tree – antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-fungal so this is a supreme oil. It can be applied undiluted – minor cuts and abrasions, put a few drops onto a cotton wool pad and dab gently on the area. I wouldn’t advise a cotton wool ball where the cotton wool might stick. A few drops of this oil in a foot bath for athletes foot, or in the bath. Use for acne and spots, just dab on gently.  I have added a link here to an Neals Yard organic essential oil.
Tea Tree, Aromatherapy First Aid Kits, Choosewellbeing

 

 

Lavender – antibiotic and antiseptic properties, plus it smells nice. Great for minor burns and sunburn.   For small burns, eg to the hand, run the hand under cold water for five minutes first. Apply a drop of undiluted lavender oil on to the burn – repeat every few minutes. For larger areas and for mild sunburn you can mix up a spray with a hand sprayer, fill with cold water add 3 to 4 drops of lavender and shake, then spritz the area with a fine mist. Dab it directly onto insect stings and bites (if it’s a bee-sting, remove the sting first). It’s a lovely calming oil, so a drop on a pillow to aid sleep and induce calmness. A drop on the temples for headaches.  Here is a link to Lavender Neals Yard organic essential oil.

Lavender, Aromatherapy First Aid Kits, Choosewellbeing

 

 

Roman Chamomile – superb for children, soothing and calming, super to add a drop or two into a warm bath. A gentle clockwise massage on the tummy using a small amount of carrier oil (such as sweet almond) with a drop of this oil helps with tummy ache. 5 ml carrier 1 drop oil. Here is a link to NYR organic Roman Chamomile essential oil.

Roman Chamomile,Aromatherapy First Aid Kits, Choosewellbeing

 

 

 

Eucalyptus – decongestant and antiseptic – immediately when we smell eucalyptus we think of cold and flu remedies – I like to add a couple of drops to a bowl of hot water and inhale when I have a cold, it soothes and clears the sinuses. Or put a few drops on your pillow, or on a hankerchief.    Here is a link to NYR organic Eucalyptus essential oil.  (Do people use hankerchiefs anymore? My dad always had some with his initials on.)

eucalyptus, Aromatherapy First Aid Kits, Choosewellbeing

 

 

I have limited myself to 4 oils for the First Aid kit – I could go on! All of these oils can also be used in an oil burner of course.  I have one of the oil burners that you plug in, but that is a bit expensive.  Otherwise you can use the ones that have a night light candle and a drop of water in the top.  Check out the range by NYR here.  Use cool (not hot) water otherwise the oils will evaporate too quickly. The idea is that the candle gently heats the water and then you will get the benefit from the oil. I have recommended these essential oils as I use them myself and know them to be a good quality and pure essential oil.

Any questions? Suggestions? Just contact me I will be pleased to hear from you.

Thanks for reading,

Sue.

PS: Apparently they still do hankerchiefs with initials!! Who knew!
Aromatherapy First Aid Kits