My favorite essential oils will change depending on what day you ask me. There are so many to choose from! I may fall in love with an oil new to me, or be reminded why I love an old favorite. I may have one on my favorites list in my head for years, or one on my list for just a few weeks. These 5 oils are most often on my list of favorites:
Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) is and indispensable sedative for calming and relaxing, especially before bed. It can be used to relieve minor anxiety, nervous tension, nervous exhaustion, and stress. With anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile is also calming to irritated skin, and is gentle enough to use (diluted to 0.5%-1%) on children.
This is an expensive oil, but also has a strong aroma. Straight out of the bottle, the aroma is usually objectionable. Max use on skin is 4%, but I dilute it down to 1% or less to allow its sweet fragrance to really come out.
Although there are many types of eucalyptus, the one I use most is blue gum eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus). I think this is the best all-around eucalyptus, in both aroma and use. It's a fresh and clearing oil, a great decongestant for stuffy noses and sinuses, and may ease congested headaches. It's a must-have oil for cold and flu season.
It can be used in dilution up to 10% on skin, but a much lower dilution is suggested. It's best used non-topically, in a diffuser, an inhaler, a steam bowl, or just a cotton ball. Use with caution on or around children, as it can be irritating.
Lavandula angustifolia has so many uses, if a person could just have one essential oil, I'd always suggest this one. There is a reason it's one of the most well known essential oils.
It's relaxing and calming (but not as sedating as chamomile), and great for stressful situations, like before an interview or when stuck in rush hour traffic. It's perfect for relaxing after a long day, or for calming before bed, especially when used the chamomile. Lavender can help ease tension and tension headaches, and may be beneficial to ease mild (non-clinical) depression and anxiety.
In addition to its ability to calm the mind and emotions, it also contains antibacterial and some antimicrobial properties and can be used to ease myriad skin issues from burns, to scrapes, to acne, to eczema.
Lavender is one of the few oils that can be used in a high dilution on skin, 16% maximum, but dilutions around 2-5% are usually strong enough for topical use.
I fell in love with roses just last year. Roses for the heart, is my mantra. Rosa damascena is my favorite rose, and although rose otto (essential oil) is thought to be superior to the absolute extract, I'm a bigger fan of the aroma of the absolute.
Rose is a comforting oil. It's calming and relaxing for stress, nervous tension and nervous exhaustion, while simultaneously it improves concentration. Topically, rose can soothe skin irritated from acne or eczema, and its antibacterial properties make it an excellent addition to deodorant.
Rose can be used up to 2% on skin, but it is a precious oil, and a 1% dilution would be just as effective in most cases.
Rosmarinus officinalis is an uplifting and stimulating oil, and has been found to improve concentration and memory. This is a great oil for working or studying, and may be useful in focused scent recall (use it while studying, then again while taking an exam to help stimulate the memory).
Rosemary can help ease cold, sinus congestion, and catarrh, when used alone, but is excellent in combination with eucalyptus and/or lavender.
Rosemary can be used topically in dilution up to 10%, but 2-4% is usually sufficient.
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I'm taking part in an Instagram Challenge called March Meet the Maker. Joanne Hawker started this challenge in 2016, but I only heard of it this year and jumped in late, just a couple days ago. Joanne set up each day with a different prompt, and makers share photos and stories related to that prompt. Today's prompt is "design process", and since this is my favorite part of my job, I wanted to share more than an Instagram post would allow.
Each type of product I make has a slightly different design process, depending on whether it's a lip balm and I'm creating new scents, or it's an aromatherapy blend where the ingredients are therapeutic, or it's a limited edition body product that is completely new. But they all start the same - an idea. Usually followed by the question, "how can I make this scent with just natural ingredients?"
Two years ago, I was browsing in a bookstore, and I picked up a book on their bestsellers table. I liked the way the book looked and felt in my hands, and I made a split second decision to buy it just before they closed, completely unaware that what I felt was what the book was about - an item sparking joy in myself. The book was Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Though the KonMari Method is about following your heart, not necessarily your instincts, I'm so glad I picked up that book!
I love stuff. I love to collect things, especially old things. I love the memories they hold, the connections they remind me of, and the history they contain. I am comforted by always having useful things around in case I need them. It's rare I ever leave my house without a bag (although I do try to challenge myself sometimes).
Over the last couple of months, I've been joining new groups and meeting a lot of new people, especially other women in business. When asked what I do for work, I usually end up stumbling over my words a bit, unable to decide between a few different ways to answer.
I make lip balm is a good, basic answer but not the whole story.
I'm a herbalist* and aromatherapist and I make products is a better description of what I do, but it feels like I'm selling my brand short.
I own a small natural skincare and aromatherapy company is my favorite straightforward answer, but it's often met with questions like these:
"Like day creams and night creams?"
"Do you make under eye serums?"
"Do you have something for these wrinkles, haha?"