Today’s growing interest in using essential oils for self-care is due first and foremost to the allure of their scent and the pleasure they provide. But it's their therapeutic benefits that broaden their appeal and make essential oils so popular. During these uncertain times, it is their antimicrobial action and ability to improve our overall emotional, physiological and spiritual wellbeing, that make essential oil therapy such a viable complementary therapy of this century.
Essential oils can be your preferred line of defence during the coming months, as they offer real protective benefits regardless of the application you choose. If you start using them as soon as flu symptoms appear, you may limit the duration of a cold. If you are in good health, oils can even help prevent secondary bacterial infection when used regularly.
We caught up with Pat Princi-Jones, Oil Garden and In Essence Aromatherapy Expert and author of A Scented Life to chat all things oils for life in isolation...
1. What essential oils should we have in the home for this time?
At present we are all looking for the most antimicrobial oils to protect us and provide relief from cold and flu symptoms oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon, cedarwood and pine. Australian sandalwood is a powerful base note that works deeply and not only fights germs but also is grounding and nurturing. Frankincense is an all-round healer, and gentle florals such as lavender, roman chamomile and geranium are soothing and comforting.
2. What’s the best oils for anxiety / calming purposes?
Neroli and bergamot mixed together are an excellent choice for calming the senses. Neroli from the bitter orange blossom acts like a healing balm and offset with bergamot’s bitter sweetness, provides a powerful nerve tonic.
3. If we run out of hand sanitizer, can we use essential oils as a backup?
An effective hand sanitiser needs to have at least 60% ethanol / isopropyl, but adding essential oils would enhance the performance of this quick refresh.
It’s important to remember that DIY hand sanitisers are not lab-tested so you need to keep washing your hands and follow government directives.
4. How can we use essential oils as cleaning solutions?
Lavender pure essential oils. Add 3-5 drops in your washing machine for fresh scented laundry.
Oil Garden Peppermint essential oil to get rid of insects and freshen spaces. Add 6 drops to 1 teaspoon of sweet almond before adding to 100ml spray bottle and mix well before spraying. Avoid contact with eyes.
Eucalyptus oil to remove grime, grease and dust - clean with sponge or paper towel. Alternatively, mix with some water and use as a multipurpose style spray.
Eucalyptus pure essential oils are also great for removing stains such as grass or grease marks from clothing by spraying a mix of 3-6 drops of eucalyptus with water prior to putting in washing machine.
To clean mould naturally, add 5 drops of Clove Bud to ½ cup of cider vinegar before adding to 1 litre of water. Mix well and spray bathroom tiles. Leave for 10 minutes, wipe off with a damp cloth and repeat process.