In the midst of winter, it can be hard to recall the smell of a fresh spring day or a garden full of flowers. Essential oils deliver these scents year round. But they’re more than great-smelling; essential oils can also support well-being in body and spirit.
When working with essential oils, there are a few points to keep in mind. Since they are highly concentrated, essential oils are best diluted with carrier oil (sweet almond, jojoba, macadamia nut, or sesame) before being applied to the skin. If any irritation occurs, immediately apply more carrier oil or lavender oil to the spot. If you’re pregnant or nursing, contact your healthcare professional to see which oils are safe for use.
We’ve shared a few ideas for blending scents to help you rev up, refresh, and pause to reflect.
Who couldn’t use more get-up-and-go? Try diffusing essential oils for a boost. Add a few drops of oil to boiling water, or use an electric diffuser or aromatherapy lamp. To combat mental fatigue, combine 8 drops ylang ylang, 4 drops basil, and 8 drops rosemary.
Another blend that can increase mental concentration: 30 drops spruce, 25 drops spearmint, 10 drops myrtle, and 10 drops lemon added to 2 ounces of water. Fill a fine-mist spray bottle with this mixture. Make sure the cap is tight, and shake the bottle well. Mist over the head a few times, and breathe deeply with your eyes closed.
If your feet are dragging and your eyes won’t stay open, make a tired-eye compress by mixing 1 drop chamomile or lavender essential oil with 4 cups of cold water. Saturate two cotton balls with the mixture. Squeeze out excess liquid. Lie down, apply cotton balls to closed eyes, and rest for 10 minutes.
Meditation is a great tool for boosting creativity and connecting with intuition. When you add essential oils to the practice—or even use them on their own—you create a sense of calm and well-being.
The following formula works well for boosting intuition: 4 drops Roman chamomile, 3 drops sweet basil, 3 drops mandarin, 2 teaspoons carrier oil. Apply to wrists, upper chest, and back of neck. Rub in until the oil fully absorbed. Bring your wrists up to your nose and breathe deeply.
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, 2nd edition by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green ($19.95, Crossing Press, 2009)
The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia by Carol Schiller and David Schiller ($19.95, Basic Health Publications, 2008)
Aromatherapy for Life Empowerment by David Schiller and Carol Schiller ($19.95, Basic Health, 2011)