We’re just going to come right out and say it: We LOVE essential oils. They’re in our bedrooms. They’re on our desks. They’re in our bags. We burn them, diffuse them and roll them onto our temples and other pulse points. Essential oils are exactly that: Essential. Can’t live without.
Whether you’re pretty new to them, whether you’ve been buying a lot of essential oils randomly, or have never quite understood the appeal — or benefits — of what we’d like to call tiny miracles in a bottle, well, you’re at the right place. Even though we have been shopping, buying and using them for a long time now, it still intrigues us every time we stand before a shelf of brown bottles, each one with a little tag which informs us of its healing prowess. Lavender to calm the spirit and give you a good night’s sleep. Eucalyptus to cleanse and clarify. Grapefruit to uplift, refresh and ease breakouts. And so on. Believe it or not, there is an essential oil for every problem. These natural oils, which are extracts of plants, herbs and flowers, have been used for their medicinal properties since time immemorial. They don’t call it aroma-therapy for nothing.
But don’t take our word for it. We had a chat with our favourite energy healing artist and co-founder of [RE]2, Angela Flame, who walked us through a few ways in which essential oils can ease some of our dis-eases, whether it’s migraines or poor digestion, insomnia or stress.
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
For Anxiety & Stress
“Clary sage is a herb that acts as a nervine. Its sedating effects aid in calming nervous convulsions and other stress-related disorders. It brings out feelings of joy and happiness that replace negative emotions, and is often used to treat chronic stress and depression. Apart from being an anti-inflammatory, it can also be used to treat backaches, joint pains, and stimulates a change in thinking towards a more positive way of approaching life.”
Idaho Blue Spruce
“The Idaho blue spruce essential oil is known to ground and relax. It enhances spiritual connection, awareness, intuition and higher senses. This oil has a high frequency that creates balance, while raising the vibration of the body and mind with its peaceful and calming energy — a favourite of mine.”
For Memory & Clarity
Rosemary & Cypress
“The lemon/pine aroma of rosemary is soothing and helps to clear the head while it reduces stress and anxiety. By using this oil on the forehead and temples, it can improve speed and accuracy when performing certain mental tasks, ultimately helping to boost memory. Cypress essential oils have a slightly woody masculine scent. Compared to the rosemary oil, it is a slightly lighter scent. It performs best when you rub a few drops in your palms and inhale it directly from cupped hands. Like rosemary, the cypress essential oil assists in forgetfulness while promoting brain function. It helps you to stay focused and alert.”
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
For Headaches & Migraines
Peppermint & Lavender
“The cooling sensation of menthol in peppermint essential oil alleviates tension in the head, instantly releasing any tightness and discomfort. It is also recommended for its anti-nausea benefits, and is well known for its anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic qualities. It has been widely used throughout history to treat these illnesses. It also relieves muscle aches and fatigue.
Lavender oil is known for creating a relaxing mood which leads to a restful sleep. This calming and sedating oil works well on the temples and vita flex points via inhalation and diffusion. I recommend using these two oils together as they complement one another to relieve headaches and migraines effectively.”
For Digestion & Weight Management
Grapefruit & Fennel
“The grapefruit essential oil is derived from the skin of the fruit. It has been known for centuries to beat sugar cravings, burn fat, and aid in weight loss. You may also know it to be a good disinfectant, stimulant and anti-depressant, as well as for its antiseptic and lymphatic properties. Grapefruit is also rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C which help boost our immune system and fight against free radicals. Inhaling the essential oil can be similarly beneficial.
The fennel essential oil delivers much of the same qualities as the grapefruit. It has a spicy, rich aroma that’s akin to liquorice, which is why it is widely used for culinary purposes — like in salads and cooked dishes — and it can double up as a mouth freshener, too. As a carminative, fennel makes gases escape from our intestines, which can give immense relief to someone suffering from indigestion, restlessness and pains in the abdomen, stomach, chest and, in more serious cases, mitigate hypertension.”
“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” – Ferdinand Foch
For Sadness & Depression
Lemongrass & Sacred Frankincense
“Frankincense is a pure and pleasant essential oil that reconnects the mind to the spirit when it is anointed or inhaled. It releases nervous and negative thoughts and energy, helping one to refocus spiritually and banish any sad emotions. It also has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a good ingredient for skin care. It is one of my favourite oils and I recommend diffusing it.
Lemongrass needs no introduction — it is often used in Thai cuisine with its’ distinct lemony and earthy undertones. This herb, with its citrusy scent, helps relieve irritability, boosts positive energy and makes it a soothing remedy when applied to the vita flex points and inhaled.”
“Myrrh is a potent and natural anti-depressant that has a unique ability to stimulate the production and release of dopamine and norepinephrine. These two hormones are responsible for making us happy. By increasing the production of these hormones, Myrrh acts in the same way as most prescription anti-depressants but with none of the negative side effects. It brings out an uplifting energy and soothes angry, negative emotions to balance our mood. It is also recognised for its beautifying properties and grounding aroma, which was used frequently in incense and perfumes in ancient Egypt.”
Basil & Eucalyptus
“The basil essential oil stimulates the brain and clears brain fog and mental fatigue. It also helps with blood circulation in the body, increasing energy levels when they are low. This oil is a must-have for stressful situations. Use regularly and you’ll find it provides mental strength and clarity. It is also a good source of Vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, iron and calcium.
Eucalyptus has many great benefits apart from relieving fatigue. It is commonly known to help treat respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis while aiding our bodies to detox harmful microorganisms and toxins that can make us unwell. It is also an antiseptic for wounds and cuts. By diffusing this essential oil, with its intense and sharp green forest aroma, it will help increase energy levels in your work space which greatly assists with fatigue or stress.”
For Getting In The Mood For Love
Ylang Ylang & Neroli
“Did you know that ylang ylang is the key ingredient in Chanel No 5? This essential oil is from flower petals of the large tropical ylang ylang tree, and it means ‘flowers of flowers’. It has a sweet floral scent. It’s a sedative, anti-depressant, antiseptic and antispasmodic in one, and supports a healthy circulatory system while boosting your mood, opening your heart and clearing any lower vibrational emotions that stop the heart from having those lovey-dovey feelings.
Neroli is widely used as a fragrance centuries ago. Inhaling this oil eases tension, anxiety and uplifts your mood. It also relaxes your nervous system and digestive tract, leaving you with the feeling of weightlessness and bliss. Do use it as an aphrodisiac or stimulus to boost libido.
A FEW MORE QUESTIONS…
What are your own go-to or hero oils?
Angela: I am a big fan of woody and earthy tones. They are tenacious and warming, and they bring about a nice touch of spice. Cedar wood, sandalwood and agarwood are my personal favourites. I like using them daily or with my mediation and yoga practice.
What are other ways we can use essential oils?
Angela: You can use them with detoxing salt baths; diffuse them through an ultrasonic diffuser, vaporiser or use a ceramic diffuser with a tea-light burning underneath it. Applying essential oils on vita flex points works wonderfully because this brings energy into your meridians — and you’ll smell great. A dab on the tip of your nose works well, too.
Is it safe to consume essential oils?
Angela: I personally do not recommend ingesting them, as inhalation and application give great results. Instead, I prefer to use the real herb to make an infusion. However, food-grade essential oils are safe for consumption. Peppermint and lavender are two that I’ve tried and had positive effects.
Thanks, Angela! 🙏🏻 ✨