Relax and de-stress with essential oils


If you often find yourself feeling stressed and tense at the end of a long day, chances are you’d really benefit from a long soak in the tub, complete with candles, bubbles and a blend of essential oils perfectly tailored to lift your mood.

Essential oils are extracted from various plants, herbs, seeds and trees and used as part of a holistic approach to health and emotional wellbeing. Their use for these purposes can be traced as far back as Ancient Egypt where they were used extensively for medicinal, religious and cosmetic purposes, as well as being an essential part of the embalming process.

Aromatherapy can be used for a number of things and in a number of ways, and if you’ve never tired it before it can often be difficult to know which products would be best for you. That’s why we’ve put together this guide, to give you an overview of how it works and the benefits it can have for you and your wellbeing.

Banishing the stress

It has been scientifically proven that essential oils can affect our emotions and moods. As a result they’re widely used to combat stress, anxiety and tension, leaving behind a more balanced and relaxed state of mind.

There are a number of essential oils that work for easing feelings of stress. Amongst these are:

Sandalwood: A woody scented essential oil for promoting a sense of deep relaxation. Sandalwood also has strong anti-depressant and antiviral properties.

Frankincense: With its warm exotic fragrance, frankincense is comforting and great for use in relieving stress

Better sleep

The calming and relaxing properties of essential oils make them great for helping to aid sleep if you suffer with insomnia.

Although they can’t cure the condition, they can certainly help you to fall asleep more easily and stay asleep for longer. Just add a few small drops to your pillow before you go to bed. Some of the most effective include:

Lavender: Perhaps the most widely associated with aiding sleep, lavender is calming and relaxing. Its flowery, earthy scent provides comfort and familiarity and its sedative and anti-inflammatory properties help aid good sleep.

Roman chamomile: Chamomile has a sedative effect and as a result is great for easing mental anxiety and paranoia and helping you to drift into a more peaceful sleep.

Ease headaches

Essential oils can be a powerful and effective way of easing the pain caused by headaches. Massage small amounts of the oil into the forehead, temples and back of your neck while inhaling deeply to feel the full benefits.

Eucalyptus: With its minty and fresh woody scent and its anti-inflammatory properties, eucalyptus is great for clearing blocked sinuses and helping to alleviate other flu-like symptoms, including headaches.

Peppermint: Another oil with a strong menthol fragrance, peppermint oil is stimulating and effective in relieving tension headaches as well as muscular aches.

Both of the above are highly stimulating though, so it’s best to use them during the day if you don’t want them to disturb your sleep.

A few things to remember…

It’s important to make sure that you find high quality oils, as many of the cheaper ones are often low quality or fake and may irritate your skin.

The labels of any essential oils you buy should include the botanical name of the plant and state that it is 100% essential oil. To alleviate any doubt though, buy your oils from reputable suppliers such as G. Baldwin & Co.

Depending on which essential oils you choose, and the desired effect, you can blend different ones to benefit from the therapeutic qualities of each. But not all oils work together, so it’s important to understand how the different aromas work together.

Each essential oil is put into a category according to its fragrance. These are woody, floral, earthy, medicinal, oriental, menthol, herbaceous, citrus and spicy. So when blending oils, bear in mind its aroma group and think about what it will go well with.

Oils usually blend well with other oils in their aroma group, for example citrus blends such as lime and lemon would work. But different aroma groups can still be blended, it’s just a case of knowing what works together. Floral and woody notes usually complement each other – for example lavender and pine – as do oriental and spicy aromas like ginger and nutmeg. See what works best for you depending on the oils you need.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect oils, you can use them in a number of ways. Perhaps the more simple way is to use a diffuser. Just fill the bowl with water and add a few drops of oil. Then light a small candle underneath and let the aroma waft around the room.

You can also achieve a similar effect by making your own room spray. Fill a small pump spray bottle with water and add about ten drops of oil. You can then spray this anywhere you most need it, such as on linens or just into the air.

For the ultimate relaxing experience, use essential oils in your bath. They aren’t water soluble, so you’ll need to add them to something like bath salts before you put them in, but you’ll benefit by absorbing the oil through your skin and inhaling it through the steam of the bath.

You can also add oils directly to your skin, but in this case it’s always better to blend them with a carrier oil such as almond or jojoba to dilute the strength of the essential oil and prevent any damage or irritation from applying them directly to your skin.

You may have to try a few before you find the perfect oil for your needs, or you might find it straight away, it’s just a case of researching what’s out there. But once you’ve found an aroma that you love and an oil that really works for you, relaxing and winding down will become a whole lot easier.

Share |

Jamie Bell is the managing director of Illuminated Mirrors. You can find Jamie on Google+; he also occasionally updates the Illuminated Mirrors Facebook page.

Leave a Reply

 Made in Britain

Made in Britain

We are devoted to hand-crafting our mirrors right here in the UK

Made in Britain
 The Illuminated Mirrors story

The Illuminated Mirrors story

We really know about illuminated mirrors. We are enthusiasts and devotees

Our story