Protection from Winter Colds and Chills with Aromatherapy

In these more difficult times, we are all trying to look after ourselves better. Taking care of our health, and those dear to us, has probably become our number one focus this year. The subject of protection from winter colds and chills is one, that working as a clinical aromatherapist, I have been asked about by clients for many, many years. So it is a good time to revisit this topic in depth. In this article we will be looking at using organic essential oil by way of inhalation – in an oil burner or diffuser, or as a steam inhalation.

However, for use on the body, in the shower or in your bath, I do have a ready blended oil – the Aching Limbs Bath & Body Oil. This enlivening but also soothing blend, has rosemary, lavender and basil in it. These can offer a great protective element from colds and chills as well as soothing sore, aching bodies.

Eucalyptus pure essential oil organic

To provide protection from winter chills and colds – not to mention infections, there are some essential oils that I personally would always reach for and recommend for you – LemonTea treeEucalyptusLavenderCypress, Thyme & Bergamot 

Some protective oil blends

You can use these oils  individually in a burner of diffuser – or blend two or more together for a stronger synergy.  A pleasant blend, I think, to the nose, is 1 drop cypress 2 drops lemon and 2 drops bergamot.  This blend is not only air cleaning, but hugely uplifting too.

A few drops are all you need to clear a room in your burner or diffuser, don’t be tempted to use more, or else it will become overpowering. Start with a small amount of drops, I always recommend three to four should be enough, unless your room is very large. If a smaller flat or room start with two and if you need it is easy to add one or two more.  A more medicinal blend would be 2 drops tea tree, 1 drop eucalyptus, 1 drop thyme and 1 drop lemon. This is a brilliant combination, really helpful with immune health, but good for respiratory protection or issues.

From very young I remember watching Mum using oils in a bowl with hot water on the table, while she was bent over the bowl with a towel over her head and the bowl, when she had a cold. This method is a little risky with the hot water, and not recommended for the young, elderly or vulnerable. I would say it would now be better to simply use a cup of hot water, not full of course, so that you can hold on to it while steaming. We are also lucky now, as we can use this treatment, but not in such a risky way with the possibility of the hot water tipping over . There are now facial steamers/inhalers on the market that you can buy so you can use the essential oils in them much more safely, and get the good effect that they can give with this method of inhalation.

Festive Protection

For a completely different essential oil blend that is helpful in clearing the air, one that is often only used for its decorative scent, is my  Spicy Heaven blend.  This  has a very festive, Christmassy smell, but the cinnamonclove & frankincense (sweet orange is the other ingredient) can be a powerful help to banish unwanted airborne infections. Just perfect at this time of year to add a uplifting Christmas feel into the home as well as give you that extra element of protection. Another oil that helps clear the air is Lemon Scented Tea Tree (note a different botanical ‘family’ to the better known Tea Tree)

It may not be possible to use an oil burner or diffuser when at work, but you can still have an essential oil or blend on a tissue so that you can inhale when possible during the day.

For extra protection from winter colds and chills – Tea treeeucalyptus, thyme bergamot are also believed to be immunostimulants.  They are again helpful to lift your immune system when the stress of the what we have all been through this year depletes it, or everyone has the cold or flu around you.

Safety information. 

  • All these blends are for inhalation use only. For use on the body, contact a qualified aromatherapist who will do a full consultation (medical and lifestyle) with you, and can provide you with treatment blends made for your individual health needs.
  • Take care with the hot water to avoid any scalds or burns. Do not use with or with very small children present. Older children or the elderly to be supervised at all times while using inhalations.
  • If you are using a bowl/cup of water, place it on a mat or towel to that it doesn’t slip or mark any surfaces
  • If you feel during inhalation, that the aromatherapy steam is too much, lift the towel or take your face from the steamer and have some fresh air before continuing. Stop entirely if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Take medical advice before using inhalations if you suffer from asthma, hay fever or other allergies.
  • A good recommendation is hen first trying an inhalation, inhale the steam for 30 seconds, see if you have any reaction. If there are no adverse reactions, repeat a few hours later, increasing the time to 1 minute. Then gradually increase the inhalation time up to 5 minutes maximum.
  • Do not use steam inhalations if you have broken veins / thread veins on the face.
  • If you have a complex medical history/medications always check with your GP before using essential oils, or ask a qualified aromatherapist

Aromatherapy for Loss and Grief

I wrote a blog post two years ago, about aromatherapy for loss and grief, but because of what I personally have been through along with most everyone else in the UK and indeed the world this year, it was time to rewrite it and revisit this important topic. Aromatherapy is an extremely gentle, but powerful tool when loss and grief is present.

I have obviously faced big challenges with the business in this difficult climate, BUT I am SO lucky to have incredible customers, who have supported me throughout with their custom. Thank you SO MUCH!! I will continue to work hard to provide the products and support that you all need to the very best of my abilities.

Using Aromatherapy Gives Back So Much

However business has not been my main focus this year. We lost my dearest Mother In Law, Hazel ( who was one of my closest friends) last month through cancer. She got a terminal diagnosis in November last year. I have used all my knowledge with aromatherapy & my products to support where it was wanted. I am also in the final days of my two year course in Calmology (with an amazing teacher, Sandy Newbigging), and I had the absolute joy of doing twice weekly online meditation sessions with Hazel, and my daughter (who is at the other end of the country) throughout lockdown this year. When the rules allowed, I gave Hazel foot massages using oils in the blend and also using a diffuser. After so long without a loving touch, it was so fabulous to see her enjoying these sessions. This was one of the most special things that I have ever been able to give with my skills – I am very grateful for them.

So after this personal loss, and all the loss of all different kinds that is going around us all each day, it is incredibly important to take time to look after ourselves and also support each other. Aromatherapy (and meditation) are the most fantastic ‘tools’ we can have in our tool box, in my opinion. So here are some blends – aromatherapy for loss and grief. I have included some more blends to give you a wider range to choose from here, but of course you can make up your own blends too.

Roller Balls and Diffusers

I have used my diffuser (I absolutely love my new electric diffuser!) not just when I am taking time for myself at the end of the day, but use it when I am in meetings with clients, sometimes when I am working in the office at the Mac as I am now, when I am doing my course. In short, whenever I feel it would be supportive, instead of waiting for a time when I am not working/laying aside time for myself, as this I have found narrows down the time that is available for self-care. You can bring it in during your day too, this is why I added the two pulse point roller balls to my range, so your aromatherapy is portable and accessible at most times during the day for you, where it may be not so suitable to use a diffuser. (I am developing more roller ball blends right now)

You can choose from Restful Evening (helpful to relax, release tension, and also to aid sleep at the end of the day) or Nervous Exhaustion (supports you to de-stress and balance). They safely blended for use on the skin and are in a 10ml Roller Ball for easy application to the pulse points These are wrists, behind ears, at base of neck at the front. I would recommend using only two sites, wrists and front of neck. Only a little is required on each application – less is more, with this effective approach to aromatherapy. I also recommend at night a little on front of top of chest – for extra inhalation too.

Both the Restful Evening and Nervous Exhaustion blends are also available as a Aromatherapy Bath and Body Oil (50ml) for using in your bath, after your shower, for a body moisturiser or for massage (self massage or with your friend or partner). I have found that a self massage of hands, feet, neck and shoulder area is incredibly soothing. Even if you have body restrictions reaching feet, it is often possible to work with your hands. I have a video here that shows a self hand massage. It is not necessary (although fabulous when possible) to have someone to do it for you.

Comforting Aromatherapy Blends

If I was asked to use a single oil for use for grief and loss I would choose from this list:  nerolirose ottoroman chamomilepetitgraincypressfrankincenseclary sagelavender.

Having mentioned all the individual oils I would reach for, it would be much more normal for me to use a blend.  I am deliberately using low levels of essential oils, when faced with these emotional circumstances (as I mention above) it is definitely a case of ‘less is more’ with essential oils.  The first choice of essential oil blend would probably be 1 drop rose otto, 2 drops frankincense, 1 drop cypress.  Use in a diffuser, or oil burner.  Alternatively the way I prefer to use a pure essential oil blend is on a tissue by my pillow overnight.

Lavender Essential Oil for Grief and Loss

If you prefer a blend for use on the body, mix these essential oils with a carrier such as jojoba or evening primrose oil (10ml). If you have a good quality olive oil in the cupboard that is great too for using on the body.  I recommend to clients to use a blend with carrier oil on the upper chest area, gently rubbed into this area of the body before sleep. Then again, if you wish to use it during the day, especially when you are feeling very affected with grief. As I mention above with my own pulse point roller balls, many people also like to use a blend on the pulse points on the wrists. You don’t have to have a roller ball to do this, just apply a tiny amount of the blend using a clean finger onto the pulse points.

Another helpful blend would be  1 drop neroli, 2 drops lavender, 1 drop roman chamomile.  Or 1 drop rose otto, 2 drops petitgrain, 1 drop clary sage.  Use these blends in the same way as suggested above.

Aromatherapy Blends Are As Unique As You Are

My recommendation for aromatherapy for loss and grief would be to use a blend that you like the smell of very much,and the gentle, comforting fragrance will soothe you when you need it most.  For an ‘off the shelf’ ready made blend, you could find our Aromatherapy Bath & Body Oil Restful Evening which contains lavender, rose geranium and roman chamomile, very helpful indeed.

Everyone reacts differently and copes with grief and loss in a different way, there is no textbook way to manage it.  The joy of essential oils is there are so many different oils to choose to suit our differing needs and when you blend them together they give a more powerful synergy – and create a completely new fragrance.  You can tweak the amounts of each essential oil in the blends to, which will create yet another fragrance.  Find an oil or blend that really resonates with you right now.  Be aware also as you journey forward through processing these emotions, you may be drawn to different oils or blends, and I would recommend that you listen to your own inner guidance on this.

Choose What is Right for You

In this article I have spoken solely about a self-help aromatherapy approach to grief and loss.  Some of my clients first came to see me for aromatherapy massage because they were looking for help and support with their emotions.  Again, you may find yourself attracted to different therapies. Find the one which is most aligned to your own individual needs, but you could find therapy and/or counselling extremely helpful.  Talking about your grief and loss to sympathetic friends/family members or a trained professional can be greatly comforting.

Be gentle with yourself, and take time to take care of yourself at all times.  This is true for everyone, but especially for those who care for others, as they often do not see themselves as a priority, but  ideally to care for others, we firstly need to be ok ourselves.

If you have a complex medical history/medications always check with your GP before using essential oils, or ask a qualified aromatherapist

Coping with Anxiety – Essential Oils to help.

This is an unprecedented time in our lives, where we are all coping with things that have not been faced before. I would like to offer you some reassurance that this is where essential oils can provide a welcome uplift and calming effect to help you cope with anxiety. My Monday aromatherapy practice with my small band of regular clients has of course been stopped just now, and I want to use the time to offer them and you all some helpful information to allow you to bring some calm and steadiness into your life.

Some of us will have essential oils already at home that you can use. either in an electric diffuser, oil burner, drops on a tissue placed nearby you – for inhalation. Below are some single oils and blends to use in this way

For use on the body, there are ready blended oils that you may have, or you can purchase from me or elsewhere, or alternatively blend your own, I offer some blends here for you to try.

You may already have a very good quality olive oil in your cupboards for cooking use, this can be very handy for adding essential oils to for use on the body.

As it is not so easy to just get hold of specific measuring tools right now, perhaps – something we probably have access to are spoons! Using a dessert spoon gives approximately 15ml of carrier oil (for use on body), whereas a teaspoon gives approximately 5ml (for use on face).

So which oils have I been reaching for right now to calm anxiety:  neroli,  petitgraincypressfrankincenselavender, bergamot, sweet orange, jasmine, rose geranium, ylang ylang and vetivert. A long list – but trying to shorten it, I found I didn’t want to exclude any of these.

I would also be using rose otto, but I sadly cannot right now get supplies, so I am using what I have left in stock in my Rose Heaven Blend, which is an ultimate blend of rose geranium, petitgrain, bergamot and rose otto. A synergy that works on uplift, balance and reassurance, soothing – anti-anxiety. (I also have a rose heaven organic soap)

The oils in the list can be used on their own, but I think some would find cypress and vetivert quite unusual on their own (I couldn’t live without either) and blending them with some of the sweeter oils, such as jasmine, neroli or rose geranium may be more pleasurable on most noses.

 I am deliberately using low levels of essential oils, to help you cope with anxiety in these emotional circumstances it is definitely a case of ‘less is more’ with essential oils.  The first choice of essential oil blend would probably be 1 drop neroli , 2 drops frankincense, 1 drop cypress.  

Another two blends helpful blend would be  1 drop jasmine, 2 drops lavender, 1 drop frankincense.  Or 2 drops sweet orange, 1 drop ylang ylang, 1 drop vetivert.  Use these blends in the same way as suggested above.

As I mentioned above use these blends in a diffuser, or oil burner.  Alternatively the way I prefer to use a pure essential oil blend is on a tissue by my pillow overnight.

Lavender Essential Oil for Grief and Loss

If you would like to use the blend on your body, mix these essential oils with a carrier as I mentioned earlier, such as olive or sunflower, which you may have available in the kitchen cupboard. The quantities that I give here in the blends would be fine in 10-15ml carrier. If you are using on the face I would only be using 1 drop of the combined blend in a teaspoon of carrier oil – or maybe you would prefer to use just a single oil for this such as lavender, frankincense, neroli or rose geranium. Online in my website I offer the richer oils – rosehip, evening primrose and jojoba for ultimate moisture and skincare.

My recommendation would be to use a blend that you like the smell of very much, and the gentle, comforting fragrance will soothe you when you need it most and help you cope with anxiety.  For an ‘off the shelf’ ready made blend for use on the body, you could find our Aromatherapy Bath & Body Oil Restful Evening which contains lavender, rose geranium and roman chamomile, very helpful indeed. Restful evening is also available in roller ball, pulse point format for direct application to wrist pulse points, behind/below ears. At bedtime can be used on front of chest and/or a tiny application on temples either side.

I hope that this is helpful for you to cope with anxiety – everyone will enjoy different oils/scents and blends and everyone reacts differently and copes with things in a different way.   No one size fits all. The joy of essential oils is there are so many different oils to choose to suit our differing needs and when you blend them together they give a more powerful synergy – and create a completely new fragrance.  You can tweak the amounts of each essential oil in the blends you make, which will create yet another fragrance.  Find an oil or blend that really resonates with you right now.  Be aware also as you journey forward through processing all these emotions around right now, you may be drawn to different oils or blends, and I would recommend that you listen to your own inner guidance on this.

Be gentle with yourself, and take time to take care of yourself in these challenging times. If you can at all find times just to be still at some point in your day and use your essential oils to support this stillness and promoting calm. Even if it is just a few minutes a day, but ideally 10-20 minutes twice a day. Keep well and safe.

If you have a complex medical history/medications always check with your GP before using essential oils, or ask a qualified aromatherapist

Using Organic Aromatherapy Essential oils to Relax

How to Use Relaxing Organic Aromatherapy Essential Oils

When things get busy at this time of year, it is a good time for taking just a little time out at the end of your day.  Using aromatherapy essential oils to relax in your bath or after your shower, can help you power through the next few weeks.  Use them every night if possible or 2 or three times a week, if every night is not possible.

When you are using essential oils safely in the bath/shower it is best to use 4-6 drops and dilute them in a little carrier oil such as jojobarosehip or evening primrose oil  Alternatively you can use a little milk or alcohol.  All these mediums help the essential oils to disperse in the water.  It is best to use the essential oils in a carrier oil for use after your shower, which again make them safe to use on the body (not face).

In a bath place the oils with the dispersant of choice and swirl the water around to further disperse throughout the bath.  In a shower once you have finished and dried yourself, add the essential oils in the carrier oil(s) as a body moisturiser. A warm bath/shower will increase the amount of essential oils that penetrate the skin by as much as 100%, so no more than 6 drops are required in 5ml (approx a teaspoon) of dispersant/oil.

You can use a single oil such as sweet orange or lavender, but I always like to blend a few to suit my particular needs at any given time.  The different blends that you can create with oils are endless, but I love the blend of roman chamomile(1 drop), lavender (4 drops) and vetivert (1 drop) — soothing,

Aromatherapy Essential Oils

de-stressing and gentle on skin.  For clearing the mind and calming emotions with cypress (2 drops), frankincense (2 drops) & sandalwood (2 drops).

For balance rose geranium (3 drops), mandarin (2 drops), ylang ylang (1 drop)

Another blend which is relaxing, but can provide a gentle uplift of mood is  sweet orange (2 drops), frankincense (2 drops), petitgrain (1 drop).   It is good to keep the oils changing from time to time, to ensure optimum efficacy i.e. don’t use the same blend for weeks.

If you feel too time pressured to be blending essential oils for yourself – try our Aromatherapy Bath & Body Oils which are already safely blended to create your therapeutic bath using aromatherapy.  Use 1-2 capfuls in the bath and swirl the water to help disperse.  You can also use the Bath & Body Oils on the body as a moisturiser after a shower.  Choose from Restful Evening with Lavender, Rose Geranium and Roman Chamomile, Nervous Exhaustion with Rose Geranium, Lavender, & Basil, or Aching Limbs with Lavender, Rosemary & Basil.

We also have two Pulse Point Roller Balls in Restful Evening to help with sleep and Nervous Exhaustion for de-stressing. These easy to use roller balls can be used direct onto the skin and they come in a perfect size for taking with you wherever you go.

Enjoy using organic aromatherapy essential oils to relax over the next few busy weeks.

If you have a complex medical history/medications always check with your GP before using essential oils, or ask a qualified aromatherapist

Sandalwood Essential Oil – Top 10 Uses

Welcome to another of Organica J’s Top Ten Uses! Here I focus on 10 helpful uses for Sandalwood. This is an oil I use a lot in therapy and I have it in my Meditation Blend. I use an Australian Sandalwood (santalum spicatum), not the Indian Sandalwood, for ethical reasons. But its properties are very similar, I have always found it a incredible asset in my essential oil kit.

Sandalwood is a small evergreen tree. It is a parasitic tree – it needs to grow attached to other trees and shrubs. Sandalwood also takes a long time to mature, so needs to be harvested sustainably.

Sandalwood Essential Oil

The oil is obtained mostly by steam distillation of the wood of the tree. It is quite a viscous brown liquid with a distinctive, gentle woody fragrance (in my opinion).

The oil has been used for centuries as a perfume and is available in many modern perfume products. It blends incredibly well with many other oils, such as lavender, sweet orange, rose geranium, mandarin, rose otto.

Here are what I would like to include as my top 10 uses for Sandalwood, as I have found in my aromatherapy practice. Remember always to dilute the oil in a suitable vegetable/carrier oil before any use on the body, and also that with aromatherapy less is always more with essential oils.

1.  sedative, relaxing and calming
2.  can relieve coughs, sore throats and sinus issues
3.  helpful for eczema and psoriasis
4.  moisturising for dry skin conditions but also good for oily skin
5.  can be anti-inflammatory and helpful for varicose veins
6.  may be helpful with fungal skin issues
7.  can relieve scalp irritations and acne
8.  to assist with your meditation practice

9.  can be helpful for treating cystitis

10. may help with insomnia and sleep issues

If you feel that sandalwood essential oil would be a useful oil for you, you can buy it here.  There is also available a full range of other aromatherapy essential oils, with information on their uses available in the essential oil category on the website.  If you require further information on any oils, feel free to contact us by email or phone.

For using essential oils for specific or complex medical problems always contact a qualified aromatherapist or your GP.

Trouble sleeping? Aromatherapy can help.

Trouble sleeping is one of the most common things that clients contact me about, it is an incredibly widespread issue. There are many aromatherapy approaches and blends that can help ease it though and I have had great success working with this common problem.

If I am working with clients following a consultation then usually we will be exploring the root cause of the sleeping issue/insomnia and working on that at the same time.

Usually though, a full consultation is not possible, and most of my customers use either my Pulse Point Roller Balls Restful Evening, which is helpful for sleep. The Nervous Exhaustion which is de-stressing, and so can ease you into a better place to allow sleep. They are so easy to use and very portable for travel and in your bag at work too.

An alternative is the Restful Evening and Nervous Exhaustion in Bath & Body format, that can be used in the bath or after shower or as a massage oil. These products are ready blended for you just to use. I have no preservatives in these products, they are pure aromatherapy blends, always my first choice. I am delighted with the continuous positive feedback on these products.

However, you can blend your own bath and body oils or for using on your pulse points. I will share some of my favourite blends that I have used with clients for help with sleep.

The first oil that everyone thinks of with sleep is lavender. I have had over the years had quite a number of people saying ‘I don’t like lavender’. But the scent they are recalling actually isn’t the same as the true lavender, lavandula angustifolia from France, that is my first choice. This is due to the powerful, soft note that I feel that this lavender provides and is perfect for therapy.

Our own lavender in the UK is fabulous, but has (for me) a sharper note. There are a number of varieties of lavender out there, some are more suitable to other treatments, such as lavandula spica, which is excellent as an analgesic and expectorant properties. Another common one that you may see is Lavandin a blend between true lavender and lavandula spica.

If you don’t like the scent of lavender, my personal choice would be sweet orange oil. I use it so much in my therapy practice and products. It has been a favourite since I first used it in training. Very gentle and excellent for the very young to the much older generation too.

Roman chamomile is another definite for aiding sleep, but I would always blend it (as I have in the products mentioned above), it makes a very comfortable companion with lavender. If you don’t like too much sweetness in a blend, this is perfect.

Sandalwood is excellent for relaxation of the nerves. I use it in my Meditation blend, as it is ideal for this and it adds a soothing effect to any blend it is part of. I use an australian sandalwood, santalum spicatum for ethical reasons.

Two other favourites of mine for trouble sleeping are frankincense and neroli. An incredible combination together, bringing in the physical effects of relaxation, clearing the mind and nurture and self care, with a gentle uplift. Neroli is very much known as an aromatherapy treatment for insomnia, but frankincense is not so often put in that category. I have found it incredibly helpful. In most cases the client is coming with an extremely busy mind, full of constant thoughts dealing with a problem/stressful situation. Either right now or from something that happened in their past. So frankincense is fabulous to slow down the breath, calm the thoughts, and free the mind to allow healing/rest to begin.

I will also mention rose geranium here, that I use in my products for sleep, and in therapy with clients. It is a fabulous balancer of mood, hormones (and skin). I find a small amount in a blend is extremely helpful to encourage balance in the body and mind.

A few suggested blends are lavender (3 drops), roman chamomile (1 drop), sandalwood (2 drops)

Another is Neroli (2 drops), frankincense (2 drops), sweet orange (2 drops).

Or lavender (2 drops), sandalwood (2 drops), rose geranium (1 drop), roman chamomile (1 drop)

For trouble sleeping, you can make up these blends (multiply equally for larger quantities). Use as two/three drops on a tissue by your pillow at night, or on a tissue by you as you relax in the evening. To use on the body always blend with a carrier oil. For the above blends use a 5ml spoon of carrier oil, such as sunflower, sweet almond, jojoba. Or for a richer (more moisturising) blend rosehip, evening primrose oil. Remember if you multiply the essential oil blend also multiply the carrier oil equally at the same time.

I hope that this information on essential oils for sleep issues has been helpful for you. If you have a complex medical history/medications always check with your GP before using essential oils, or ask a qualified aromatherapist.