Stress, stress, stress. Can I just move to an island and grow my own food and let my kids run wild… and not watch them fight over the ipad, or who wore the other ones socks, of whether or not I remembered to pay the rates bill, or fix the doorbell, or clean the potty OR spray stain remover on the kids’ clothes? Every morning, we go from the breakfast table/floor/kitchen counter to the slog of dressing (when noooo ooooone wants to remove pj’s), to nappies to noise to lunch boxes and school bags and lost water bottles, trying to remember to pack swimming togs and food for extra play and whether or today is a Fit Kids t-shirt wearing day and and aaaaaaaaand.
Once I have lost almost every ounce of patience, self control, and brain space, I make a mad dash into work, realize I left my lunch at home, forgot to give my kid a ‘show and tell’ item, and then see that there is dried oats on my pants.
Not stressed at all.
Enter – stress relieving essential oils. Ahhhhh. Essential oils. If you aren’t quite clued in, essential oils are the highly concentrated fragrant essences found in plants. The leaves, flowers, fruits or roots of the plants are usually steam distilled or cold pressed to extract this aromatic liquid.
I love SOiL Essential Oils because they are organic and Ecocert certified. This means that the herbs, shrubs and other plants that provide the oils are grown on land that is not exposed to herbicides, pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Winning all round.
I feel like essential oils are a bit like the ocean. Strange comparison – but stick with me here. When I look at the ocean (from, say, the top of Chapman’s Peak), I see this beautiful vast gorgeous sheet of water, but only when I have a chance to stop and think, can I begin to imagine the intricate ecosystem below, its vast depth; from the tiniest fish and piece of coral to the hugest and most majestic blue whale.
Essential oils are the same (kinda). They look cute in their neat little bottles and smell nice when opened, but once you dig deeper, those powerful little drops of oil can greatly contribution to ones life, health, healing, and restoration.
Here are the top 6 essential oils for stress relief:
Frankincense, also known as Olibanum, is obtained from steam distillation of the gum resin. It has been used for 1000’s of years as incense in religious ceremonies. I know of Frankincense from the birth of Jesus :). Its centering aroma slows the nervous system and promotes a feeling of calm and introspection (Mary probably needed it), and a few drops in an essential oil burner can aid concentration and meditation. R100.00 (5ml)
Safety Information: Do not use during pregnancy.
*Frankincense smells similar to eucalyptus to me. I love the ancient heritage and how it can contribute to effective mindfulness.*
Geraniums originate from South Africa and were introduced into Europe in the 17thC. The essential oil is distilled from the leaves and branches of the plant. Geranium is known to lift the spirit and relieve anxiety. It is useful in treating PMS and menopausal problems. R115.00 (10ml)
Safety Information: May cause skin irritation in some individuals
Lavender is the most popular and versatile oil in aromatherapy. It’s a must for the first aid box – a great oil for skin conditions where there is inflammation, burns, scarring etc. Lavender is also well known for its relaxing, antidepressant and calming properties, and for treating headaches and insomnia as well as benefiting throat infections, colds and flu. R70.00 (10ml)
*I love Lavender – it is SO versatile! I literally keep a bottle in my bag and give it a sniff when I need to chill out. This is my go-to in my home diffuser.*
Originating from South-East Asia, Cananga odorata is a fast-growing, tall evergreen tree, which produces large yellow-green, strongly scented flowers. Ylang Ylang has an intoxicating floral aroma. It is calming and soothes mentally, physically and emotionally. Traditionally used as an aphrodisiac. R80.00 (10ml)
Safety Information: Excessive use may cause nausea or headache are must be taken to always keep the oil away from children.
Melissa oil is steam-distilled from the leaves and flowering tops of the plant. It is sometimes referred to as the bee balm. It has anti-depressant properties and is indicated for insomnia, hysteria and irritability. It is also an anti-spasmodic and is reputed to regulate the digestive system, relieving stomach cramps and nausea. R220.00 (2.5ml)
Contraindications: A possible sensitizer and dermal irritant
Vetiver is a tall grass, native to India. It is sometimes used to prevent soil erosion due to its network of roots. It is these fibrous roots which are cleaned, dried and distilled to produce the sweet earthy smelling oil. Vetiver is often used in perfumery and is a valuable oil for relieving anxiety and depression due to its grounding nature. It is suggested as a good oil to strengthen the skin as well as being beneficial to the musculo-skeletal system due to its ability to promote blood flow. R150.00 (10ml)
*Vetiver caught me off guard with its potent peppery/earthy scent*.
Book a massage, grab your oils, take some time out, diffuse, sniff and relax.
*If you are not sure about certain oils or have not used them before, please contact your health practitioner before use. Please be smart and educate yourselves on the dangers of essential oils before using them. Using essential oils in conjunction with carrier oils is encouraged.
*Essentail oils are not recommended for pregnant or nursing mums, or on sensitive skins such as babies’ skin. All preggos must be very careful when using essential oils.
*If you are not keen on using an undiluted essential oil directly on your skin (which many aren’t), you can dilute it with a carrier oil – such as almond, apricot kernel, grape seed, rose hip etc.
Feaured image: www.aromasense.co.nz