If you're looking for a natural way to ease pregnancy-related health conditions, here's my list of all-important essential oils for mums-to-be:
Essential oils for pregnancy and childbirth
How to use aromatherapy oils for a healthy pregnancy
Here are some of the most common pregnancy-related ailments and how aromatherapy essential oils may help:
Backache/pelvic girdle pain - Many changes take place to the pelvic joints and ligaments during pregnancy and as a result, women may experience back and pelvic girdle pain. An anti-inflammatory and pain relieving blend of lavender and chamomile essential oils may ease the symptoms of pregnancy-related back pain and pelvic girdle pain/symphysis pubis dysfunction.
Constipation - Changes in bowel transit time can occur due to increased levels of the hormone progesterone, which has a relaxing effect on the smooth muscles of the intestines. Massaging the abdomen in a clockwise direction using ginger and chamomile essential oils diluted in a carrier oil may get things moving.
Haemorrhoids (piles) - Caused as a result of increased weight placing pressure on dilated veins and often linked to straining due to constipation, haemorrhoids, once formed, can be difficult to treat. A tried and tested natural remedy to shrink haemorrhoids is the astringent witch hazel. Combine one part in a bottle with three parts distilled water, geranium and lavender essential oils and apply using a cold compress or spray to soothe the area.
Heartburn - Pregnant women may experience heartburn, a burning pain in the chest caused by upwards pressure from the expanding bump. To ease this uncomfortable sensation, a blend of ginger and lavender essential oils diluted in a carrier oil can be applied to the abdomen and bra strap area of the back.
Morning sickness - Often one of the first signs of pregnancy, morning sickness is thought to be caused by hormonal changes that occur in early pregnancy. It can also affect women in the third trimester. Inhaling essential oils of either peppermint or ginger may alleviate nausea in mums-to-be.
Stretch marks - During pregnancy, stretch marks are formed on the abdomen and lower back as a result of skin stretching over the expanding bump. As always, prevention is better than cure, so keep skin supple by massaging your bump daily with skin-strengthening essential oils. A blend of geranium, frankincense and lavender in a sweet almond and wheatgerm carrier oil base works well.
Swollen hands and feet - Fluid retention, or oedema, is believed to occur in pregnancy as a result of rising levels of the hormone oestrogen. Arm and leg massage using essential oils of geranium, peppermint or ginger diluted in a carrier oil, using long strokes towards the heart is a fantastic way to reduce swelling.
How to use aromatherapy during labour
Calm - Create a peaceful atmosphere in the delivery room by vapourising essential oils or making a room spray. Geranium, frankincense, rose, jasmine and lavender are some of the best oils for this purpose.
Confidence - Essential oils of rose, jasmine and frankincense are thought to evoke feelings of inner strength and positivity during labour. Inhale a few drops from a tissue or apply a drop to your inner wrist as needed.
Insomnia/fatigue - Lavender can be used in early labour to help ease anxiety and to promote rest and relaxation. It is also beneficial for women experiencing a slow labour as it may calm contractions and give the exhausted mum-to-be a break.
Nausea/vomiting - Peppermint and ginger essential oils may relieve nausea in labour. Avoid peppermint oil if you are also using homeopathic remedies.
Pain relief - A blend of lavender, chamomile and jasmine diluted in carrier oil is wonderful to ease painful contractions and backache, which may be experienced if your baby is in a back-to-back position.
Weak contractions - Clary sage has been shown to have a similar effect as the Syntocinon drip and can be used to strengthen contractions during a slow labour. Inhale or apply diluted onto the abdomen and lower back.
How aromatherapy can help in the post natal period
Aromatherapy can aid in physical recovery from childbirth as well as help with the emotional rollercoaster that new mums find themselves on.
It goes without saying that new mums should seek advice from their GP, midwife or health visitor if there are any health concerns post labour, especially if infection is suspected.
If you feel that you may have post natal depression, your health visitor and GP can provide advice and support.
Aromatherapy and breast feeding - Essential oils can be very helpful if you choose to breastfeed. If you have problems with low milk production, geranium and clary sage (one or the other) diluted in carrier oil and massaged onto the breasts daily may increase breast milk. Always wipe off before feeding. Should you be unfortunate enough to experience mastitis, a warm compress of lavender and chamomile oils can ease pain and inflammation.
Aromatherapy for 'baby blues' - Low mood in the post natal period is very common, especially around day 3-5, thought to be due to fluctuating hormone levels. Mood enhancing aromatherapy oils for the post natal period include rose, jasmine, frankincense and geranium. Adding a combination of these oils to a warm bath (diluted in carrier oil or full fat milk) is a wonderful way to rebalance mind, body and soul. If you can't find the time, rub a diluted blend of oils onto your inner wrist and inhale throughout the day.
Perineum/haemorrhoid soothing oils - Use a combination of geranium and lavender essential oils, one part witch hazel and three parts distilled water in a spray bottle or cold compress to soothe and repair swollen and damaged perineal tissue. The antibacterial oils may also help prevent infection. This blend can also be used to provide relief when applied to haemorrhoids.
So there you have it; nine essential oils that will help you through the pre and post natal period. Which is your go to aromatherapy oil during pregnancy and why?
The advice in this article is generic; a full consultation with a qualified aromatherapist is recommended. To find a practitioner in your area, search the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) register - http://www.fht.org.uk/search-directory
Doesn't winter seem much more fun in December, when Christmas lights are sparkling, advent calendars give the perfect excuse to eat chocolate every morning and the excitement of spending time with loved ones is building?
Come January, it's cold, wet and dull and summer seems a lifetime away. It's a time of year when we make resolutions to better ourselves, but often get caught up in the trap of making unrealistic goals that we are unable to stick to. Rather than making lofty resolutions, try changing small things that may make a big difference.
Forget the detox and the expensive gym membership for now, and focus on the one area that is exposed all the time - your face. Whether young or not quite as young, male or female, we all want to look our best. Here are seven simple steps to achieving ravishingly radiant skin.
1 - Be religious about removing make-up
We've all bypassed the bathroom and thrown ourselves into bed after a late night, but just how bad is it to sleep with make-up on? Whilst the odd blip won't cost you, repeatedly committing this sin may aggravate skin conditions such as acne, eczema, rosacea and psoriasis as well as contributing to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Why so? Make up forms a barrier that clogs pores and impedes the skin cell renewal process.
There's a simple solution - take it all off! Remember to double cleanse; first use a cleansing balm or oil along with a bamboo flannel soaked in warm water to remove make-up, then follow with a cleansing milk or facial wash.
2 - Switch to certified organic products
If you have never bothered taking notice of the ingredients list on the back of your beauty products, make 2016 the year you do so. Choosing organic is best for your skin, your health and the environment. Avoid known skin irritants such as sulphates, parabens, preservatives, mineral oils and artificial fragrances, as these weaken the skin barrier, causing worsening of many skin conditions, especially eczema. What we put on the skin is also absorbed by the body and some of these ingredients have been linked to infertility, neurological conditions and cancer, so why be a human guinea pig?
Which brands are best? There are many ethical brands with a long heritage of using natural plant extracts that work with the skin's natural processes. Founded in 1921, Weleda www.weleda.co.uk is perhaps the world's leading organic skin-care and natural beauty brand and carries the NATRUE seal of approval.
3 - Use the correct products for your skin type
Many of us over a certain age are guilty of using the same products, despite the fact that our skin changes constantly through the seasons and over the years. Faced with a bewildering array of products on the shelves, it certainly seems the safest option to stick to what you know. If you've been struggling with skin issues for a while, or if your skin often feels tight and uncomfortable, a professional assessment of your skin may be just what the (skin) doctor ordered.
For a free consultation, find a Weleda wellbeing advisor in your area (only available in the UK). They are trained to assess your skin and demonstrate products that will work with your skin to reinforce it's natural function. Three reasons why you should do it - 1) Wellbeing advisors are lovely, knowledgeable professionals 2) There's never any pressure or obligation to purchase products 3) If you do wish to buy, products are very reasonably priced, with over half of the entire range priced under £10.
4 - Schedule regular breaks from your laptop
Why is sitting at your laptop considered a skin sin? Long periods spent staring at a computer or laptop screen can result in frown lines as well as saggy jowls from looking downwards. It's easy to get engrossed in what we're doing and forget to move the muscles of the face, neck and shoulders, causing impaired blood flow to the skin and muscles.
The solution? Take regular breaks away from your screen to have a good stretch of your fingers and wrists; rotate the neck and shoulders. Pulling faces at nearby colleagues, children or pets is also recommended; as well as getting blood pumping to the facial skin and muscles for glowing skin, it also has a de-stressing effect!
5 - Keep hydrated
Dehydration can make your skin appear dull, dry and lined, so make sure you are getting enough fluids by carrying a bottle of water in your bag or keeping one on your desk at work.
Need some inspiration? Check out this ingenious product by Hydratem8 that is part BPA free water bottle, part health coach. It reminds you to sip throughout the day and even gives you praise for doing so! www.hydratem8.co.uk
6 - Wear sunscreen
As well as being constantly exposed to the environment, facial skin is thinner and therefore more susceptible to ultra-violet damage. Many dermatologists will tell you that the single most important thing to look after your skin is to wear sunscreen every day, year round. It's easy to avoid chemically laden creams by opting for natural mineral blocks containing titanium or zinc to deflect the sun's rays.
Green People offer a good selection of natural and effective sunscreens and tinted moisturisers www.greenpeople.co.uk. Also worth a mention is Bare Minerals natural sunscreen powder; perfect if you need coverage but want to let your skin breathe www.bareminerals.co.uk
7 - Get a good night’s sleep
There's a good reason it's called beauty sleep. Sleep is the body's rest and repair mode when cell renewal and tissue repair occur. Aim for 7-9 hours a night. Lack of sleep, either quality or quantity, may result in higher levels of stress hormone cortisol, which has been shown to aggravate skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and rosacea. It is also known to reduce production of collagen, leading to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
If you have trouble dropping off, aromatherapy may help. Add a drop of Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Neroli or Ylang Ylang essential oil to your pillow or add a few drops to a capful of full fat milk to use in a warm bath before bed. Remember to switch off all electrical devices in your bedroom and turn your mobile phone onto flight mode at least an hour before lights out.
Stick with these solutions for one month to look and feel better than ever! Happy New Year!
What's green, slimy, abundant at Halloween AND good for your health? Pumpkin seed oil!
October marks pumpkin harvesting season and by now you may have seen some scary 'Jack-o'-lanterns' lurking outside homes and shops (pictured is my husband's cracking effort last year!). In some countries though, pumpkins are solely grown for the precious red-green seed oil.
Obtained from cold pressed pumpkin seeds, this amazing oil is rich in nutrients including omega-6 and omega-9, vitamin E, zinc, antioxidants and phytosterols.
Currently being touted by health experts as the new coconut oil, pumpkin seed oil isn't a trendy new superfood but has been used to improve health and well-being around the world for hundreds of years.
Want to know how pumpkin seeds have been used as medicine and how the oil can improve your health AND your looks? Read on...
History of pumpkin seed oil
It's thought that pumpkins were originally cultivated by native Americans to use as food and medicine; they used pumpkin seeds to successfully eliminate parasites and to treat kidney problems. The oil has long been used in Austria and Slovenia to enhance health and beauty, with women religiously applying it to soothe chapped skin and to prevent the signs of ageing.
Benefits of pumpkin seed oil
Anti-inflammatory - Due to its high fatty acid profile, it is considered to reduce inflammation in the body and could help conditions including arthritis and inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS).
Anti-parasitic - It turns out that Native Americans were correct in believing that pumpkin seeds could eliminate intestinal parasites, as cucurbitin, an amino acid found in pumpkin seeds, has demonstrated anti-parasitic properties.
Cholesterol lowering - the high content of phytosterols may contribute to lowering levels of LDL (low density lipoproteins, or 'bad' cholesterol) and increasing HDL (high density lipoproteins, or 'good' cholesterol).
Diuretic - studies show that pumpkin seed oil can improve the function of the bladder. Interestingly, it was used to prevent bed-wetting in children by native Americans as it would ensure that the children would go to sleep with an empty bladder.
Immune boosting - pumpkin seed oil is rich in the mineral zinc, which is known to improve the body's defences.
Prostate health - research has demonstrated that pumpkin seed oil is effective in reducing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Sedative - pumpkin seed contains high levels of tryptophan, converted by the body to serotonin and then melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Skin health - fatty acids work to maintain the skin's protective barrier, in order to retain moisture and repair rough, chapped skin, whilst high levels of vitamin E may reduce the appearance of fine lines, scarring, stretch marks and redness.
3 ways to use pumpkin seed oil at home
So this year once your pumpkin is carved, instead of discarding the seeds, roast them on a low setting or lightly fry in a little coconut oil, add cinnamon, sea salt or cayenne powder and treat yourself to a healthy Halloween snack!
Did you know there is a tiny orange-red fruit growing wild in the UK that has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties?
Said to contain twenty five times more vitamin C than an orange, as well as vitamins A, D and E, important minerals including magnesium and calcium and disease protecting phytochemicals, rosehips are currently ripe for the picking and free from a hedgerow near you.
Take gloves to protect against thorns and pick away from busy roads, remembering to leave some for our furry and feathered friends. Rosehips are full of hairy seeds that can irritate when digested; for this reason it's best not to consume them raw.
So what can you do with them? A cheap, easy way of supercharging your health in time for sniffle season is to make a delicious, immune-boosting syrup.
Rosehip syrup recipe
500g wild rosehips
Remove leaves and stalks and give the rosehips a thorough wash. Once clean, give them a good blitz in a food processor or blender (I used my trusty Nutri Bullet and added a little water), then pour the liquid into a stainless steel pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes. Strain the liquid through a muslin cloth and discard the pulp. Boil the liquid again, allow to cool and add the honey. Store in sterilised jars and keep refrigerated.
The syrup will resemble the appearance of tomato soup, with a sweet yet tart flavour. It can be taken by the spoonful, used as a cordial, drizzled onto pancakes, waffles and porridge and is said to make a great accompaniment to blue cheese.
If you are using the syrup medicinally, it is best to take small amounts throughout the day as vitamin C is water soluble and can't be stored by the body. It is worth bearing in mind that some of the nutrient content will be destroyed by the cooking process, nevertheless it is a fantastic free tonic that is definitely worth a try.
A similar recipe for rosehip syrup was given out by the Ministry of Food during WW2 as a way to boost vitamin C intake when imported fruit was scarce.
Rosehips can also be used to make jams, jellies and soups. It is a popular tradition in Scandinavian countries, with their folklore even suggesting that the Vikings fuelled their invasions on a diet of rosehips!
As well as supporting a healthy immune system, research has shown that rosehips may be beneficial for:
Caution: If you are on medication or being treated for a long-term health condition, it may be prudent to avoid use as drug interactions are possible due to its high vitamin C content.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding it may be wise to avoid this remedy as a precautionary measure, due to the lack of safety data available.
Discontinue use immediately if you experience itching, swelling of the tongue, skin rash, digestive disturbance or a change in breathing pattern.
Do let me know if you give it a go! My nearly two year old is currently getting stuck into our current batch - "more medicine mummy!"
After a burst of unseasonably sunny weather, autumn looks like it's well and truly upon us. It's only a matter of weeks before the clocks go back and winter arrives, along with its entourage of chilly weather, darker days and cold and flu bugs.
Making positive changes to your health and well-being now can stand you in good stead. So what can you do now to lift your spirits, strengthen your immune system and feel energised? Read on...
Become a soberhero
Want to look and feel better and support people with cancer at the same time? Join thousands of people up and down the country by giving up alcohol for one month and raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support. There's still time; see www.gosober.org.uk for more information.
Pack it in for good
Make October the month you quit with the NHS and Public Health England's campaign Stoptober. It's been shown that giving up smoking for four weeks means that you are five times more likely to stay a non-smoker. Join comedians Al Murray and Rhod Gilbert by signing up at https://stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk
Enjoy the great outdoors
It is arguably the best season to exercise outside; crisp, autumnal days were made for a walk in the woods or a cycle in a country park. Whilst you're out and about, take the opportunity to see what gifts nature has left in the hedgerows. Blackberries, elderberries and rosehips are bountiful at this time of year (keep your eyes peeled on a future blog post on how to make an immune boosting syrup from these berries!).
Warm your plate
There is a tendency to reach for stodgy comfort food once the skimpy summer wardrobe is safely packed away. It's natural to want something more substantial than a salad, however remember that we need the nutrients that fresh produce provides.
To aid digestion and build energy conserves for the winter months ahead, switch from cold, raw foods to warm soups, stews and baked fruit. Here are some simple meal ideas:
Instead of cold cereal in the morning, opt for a bowl of warm porridge made with rolled oats, quinoa or chia seeds. Add cinnamon and a drizzle of raw honey.
Still on salads? Give your digestion a helping hand by switching to a simple homemade soup using seasonal produce. Try roast tomato and red pepper, spicy sweet potato and butternut squash or curried kale and spinach. Roast the vegetables and steam the leaves before blitzing in a blender. Add plenty of herbs and spices; rosemary, oregano, garlic, ginger, thyme, turmeric and black pepper all boost immunity and aid digestion. Enjoy the soup with a few oat cakes or corn bread to give your gut a break from gluten-rich grains.
Embrace seasonal root vegetables such as carrots, celeriac and butternut squash - add to beef or lamb stews or as an accompaniment to seasonal game such as pheasant. For a hearty vegetarian option, see this recipe for a mouthwatering Moroccan stew
It's still important to keep hydrated, however it may seem chore to drink cold water. Remember that hot drinks including tea, soups and water-rich foods all count. If you're not a fan of fruit or herbal teas, Rooibos tea is worth a try as it's closer to black tea in taste and appearance, or spice up black tea with the following recipe for Masala Chai tea
Puddings can be tasty and good for you; try baking or poaching apples, pears and peaches or make an Autumn fruit crumble
Relax and recharge
Take some time out, even if you can only manage an hour a week, to do something just for you. Instead of automatically turning on the television once work is done or the kids have gone to bed, why not get caught up in a good fiction book instead? Or treat yourself to a complementary therapy treatment to balance mind, body and spirit.
Do you find yourself feeling a bit flat, lacking energy or succumbing to cold and flu as soon as summer packs its bags?
A few tweaks to your usual meal plan may improve digestion, increase circulation, boost immunity, raise energy levels and improve mood. How?
Adorning your plate with seasonal produce and adding flavoursome spices will top up your vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to supercharge your health in preparation for the cold winter months ahead.
Here are three of my favourite autumn recipes that are mouth-wateringly delicious and easy to make:
Moroccan sweet potato stew
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ras-al-hanout
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 can chopped tomatoes
3 carrots, sliced
2 sweet potatoes, chopped into cubes
1 butternut squash, chopped into cubes
1/4 pint vegetable stock
Honey, to taste
Handful of raisins (optional)
In a casserole dish, sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Add spices and stir for a few minutes before adding sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover for five minutes. Add the can of tomatoes and chickpeas and simmer on a low heat until vegetables are soft. Add raisins if desired and honey if you want a sweeter dish or a bit more cayenne if you like it spicy.
Masala chai tea
6 cardamom pods, sliced open
1 star anise
10 black pepper corns
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick snapped into small pieces
2 cups whole milk or alternative (almond works well)
1 and a half cups water
1 teabag or tablespoon loose leaf black tea such assam or Ceylon
Brown sugar, honey or agave nectar to sweeten
Add the milk and spices to a small saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce heat and add tea and water. Bring to the boil again and reduce heat. This can be done a few times to intensify the flavour; it depends on how patient you are! Strain then sweeten if desired.
Autumn fruit crumble
Bowl of blackberries
3 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
3 pears, peeled, cored and chopped
2 plums, seed removed and chopped
Organic rolled oats
Mixed nuts, crushed
Maple syrup/agave nectar/unrefined sugar
Place the fruit in a medium sized ovenproof dish and sprinkle with allspice. With your fingers, combine butter, oats, nuts and your choice of sweetener to form a crumble topping and add to the top of the fruit mixture. Bake in oven for 30 minutes at 190C. Serve with fresh custard or vanilla ice cream.
How well do you know this prevalent plant?
Aloe is commonly used in skincare preparations and household products, even toilet paper! So just why is it so popular and what can it do for you?
Here's 7 fascinating facts about aloe and 3 home uses for the plant...
7 facts about Aloe vera
3 home uses for Aloe vera
For an in-depth look at why Aloe is so wonderful for skin, check out the full blog post on Salcura's website - https://goo.gl/UgYbvG
Some things in life are certain, like death, taxes and the very British way of digging out shorts and tees as soon as there’s a mere glimpse of sunshine.
The glorious weather can certainly lift our spirits, making us feel happier and more positive, but spare a thought for the 25% of Brits who dread the start of the sunshine due to the misery of seasonal allergic rhinitis, or as most of us know it, bloomin’ hay fever season again!
Why does hay fever occur? In some individuals, the body displays an exaggerated immune response to proteins in pollen, releasing a substance called histamine which floods the body, irritating the lining of the nose, eyes, throat and sinuses. This results in the symptoms we all know and hate... streaming red eyes, itching, sneezing, sore throat, runny/blocked nose and sinuses - definitely not a good look!
Although there is no cure, many sufferers turn to anti-histamine and steroid medication for relief from these symptoms that can become debilitating. Unfortunately these medications can sometimes bring worse side effects than the initial symptoms!
So what else can you try? Here’s a lowdown on how a few simple changes to your diet and the use of aromatherapy oils can beat the blasted fever of the hay...
What to eat
Solutions from nature
Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis & Matricaria recutita) - Queen of the anti-allergy oils due to anti-inflammatory & anti-histamine properties, the former is milder, therefore more suitable for babies & children. Sniff a drop or two on a tissue or soothe irritated eyes by applying used chamomile tea bags that have been chilled in the fridge.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) - a powerful decongestant that reduces nasal congestion, sniff from a tissue or add a couple of drops to a bowl of hot water, pop a towel over your head and inhale the steam to clear the nose and sinuses.
Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) - the number 1 choice if you also have asthma, this oil relaxes the breathing muscles to allow more oxygen in to the lungs. Blend 2 drops of Frankincense with 2 drops Lavender & 1 drop Lemon in a teaspoon of solid coconut massage cream for a ‘breath easy’ chest rub.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) - decongests and soothes, use in conjunction with Chamomile in the bath to promote restful sleep (add 5 drops of each to a capful of full fat milk), or add a drop to a finger nail scoop of solid coconut massage cream & use to line the inside & outside of your nostrils to create a protective barrier against pollen.
Lemon (Citrus limonum) - boosts immunity by stimulating white blood cells which may help dampen down the over-active response to pollen, wonderful combined with Peppermint in an oil diffuser to lift mood (being a snotty mess is miserable) & clear congestion.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) - opens stuffy nasal passages and promotes better breathing. Ease a headache by rubbing a drop onto temples in a circular motion.
If you have hay fever, how does it affect you? What do you use - have you got any tips that work? Try the above remedies and let us know if they work for you!
Want to know why Cleopatra used rose oil to seduce Mark Anthony and Caesar, or why black pepper was referred to for it’s erotic properties in ancient Arabic sex manuals?
The answer lies in the aphrodisiac properties of certain aromatherapy essential oils.
With Valentine's day looming, we look at why scents can stimulate sexual desire, and which oils you can use to make to make your day (and night) extra special this year.
Essential oils, volatile aromatic compounds extracted from plant material, have a long history of use as aphrodisiacs. In fact, Frankincense and Myrhh are even mentioned in the Bible for their ability to increase desire.
Why do some essential oils have such potent aphrodisiac properties? It’s simple. When essential oils are inhaled, aromatic molecules travel along the nasal cavity to the olfactory bulb, which is directly linked to the limbic system, known as the ‘primitive brain’. As the limbic system is responsible for mood, emotions and sex drive, scents can instantly stimulate feelings of desire.
Interestingly, when an American neurologist observed that 18% of patients who lost their sense of smell developed sexual dysfunction, he conducted research into which scents caused arousal in men and women. The most arousing scent for men was a combination of Lavender and Pumpkin pie, while for women it was Licquorice!
Oils with aphrodisiac properties can be divided into the following categories:
These exotic, sensual oils open the heart and encourage a deep connection between lovers. Good examples are:
These warming oils improve circulation and blood flow to the reproductive organs. Most commonly used are:
These oils are wonderfully grounding, releasing fear and nervous tension. The top three are:
Try them for yourself this Valentine's Day - treat your partner to an aromatherapy massage using a pre-blended oil, or add a few drops of oil to a little full fat milk (another one of Cleopatra’s tricks!) and add to a bath big enough for two!
Get your passport and your bikini,
you need a holiday, come see me,
I know you’re tired of the same old scenery, and I could change all that so easily....
What does aromatherapy have in common with Dizzee Rascal? It can whisk you away from a dull and dreary winter's day to somewhere you'd rather be!
Simply add a few drops of this, a couple of drops of that and voila! - in a matter of seconds you're lazing with a cocktail in hand on the golden sands of a tropical beach, wandering the mazes in the souks of the middle east or taking in the alpine air at your favourite ski resort.
We've thought of a few places we'd prefer to be on this wet and windy winter's day and created evocative oil blends to recreate the atmosphere. Simply add the recipes below to your diffuser or a tissue, close your eyes, breathe in the scent and escape....
Island paradise-2 drops ylang ylang, 2 drops vetivert, 4 drops lime
Woodland walk - 2 drops Douglas fir, 4 drops cypress, 2 drops cedarwood
Romantic weekend - 2 drops jasmine, 4 drops sandalwood, 2 drops clary sage
Eastern promise - 2 drops myrrh, 1 drop cinammon, 1 drop clove, 4 drops mandarin
Herb garden - 1 drop basil, 2 drops marjoram, 2 drops rosemary, 3 drops lemon verbena
Summer garden - 2 drops geranium, 3 drops neroli, 3 drops lavender
Turkish delight - 1 drop Rosa damascena, 4 drops sweet orange, 3 drops black pepper
Which is your favourite? Where would you like to escape to right now?
Complementary therapist and natural health expert. On a mission to sprinkle health and wellness wherever I go...