Q: It all sounds like something that my hippie yoga guru would be into. Sure it’s not all hokey?
A: Essential oils may or may not help your yogi with their cobra poses. But according to Dr Olivier Wenker, who has worked in emergency disaster relief medical missions, there’s actually a science to essential oils.
“The more scientific way to create blends is to look at the natural chemical formulas of compounds found in particular oils and then blend those that fit well together," he explains. Other holistic specialists look at the frequencies of the oils and blend those that might complement each other. I personally have been analysing the effect of aromatherapy on the brain and blending the oils until I see the desired effect on my own brain using real-time brain activation technology.”
When he’s not seeing patients for integrative medicine consultations in Texas, where he’s based, he travels the world championing the use of essential oils as part of a healthcare regimen for patients recovering from various ailments; he was recently in town as a speaker for esssential oil brand Young Living and its essential oil-infused home care product range, Thieves.
Q: It seems too good to be true. What are the precautions I should take?
A: “Essential oils are highly concentrated and pure, so avoid topical application to anywhere sensitive such as the neck, face, and the areas near the eyes. Dilute the oils with a carrier oil. And make sure to use 100 per cent pure essential oils, like those in Young Living’s range, instead of just everyday brands which might not be able to guarantee purity and health benefits that come from using the essential oils,” he cautions.
Q: I only use them to make my home smell like a resort in Bali. How else should I use it?
A: Good for you. But with the right recipes, you can also use essential oils as insect repellents, linen sprays and body sprays.
“You can either diffuse the essential oil in a diffuser, drop one or two drops in your palm and inhale the oil directly, or apply the oil topically. The easiest way to use blends is to get ready-made blends. Alternatively, you can easily create your own blend by mixing oils that you like and play with the ratios until you create your own favourite blend,” Dr Wenker says.
Here are a few ways to use essential oils:
#1: If you've had a long day at work and need to unwind.
Mix: Lavender, bergamot, and Young Living’s Stress Away blend, which also comprises lavender and copaiba. This combination restores equilibrium and reduces nervous tension. Great to take on vacays too.
#2: If there are pesky insects at home you need to get rid of (and we don't mean your mother-in-law).
Make: A DIY insect repellent. Use 10 drops of peppermint oil and two drops of lavender oil. Mix with 295ml of water in a spray bottle. Don’t leave home for a hiking trip without this.
#3: If you went overboard with the café-hopping and artisanal lattes and now You! Can’t! Sleep!
Mix: Lavender and ylang ylang essential oils are your new best friends. Sweet dreams!
#4: If you need to finish this major presentation tonight.
Mix: Peppermint, lemon and frankincense essential oils. This refreshing blend keeps you alert and focused so you can power through that Powerpoint presentation.
#5: If you’ve run out of body scrub and need to be smooth-as-a-baby’s-bottom for a big date tomorrow.
Make: Your own body scrub with one cup of organic fine sugar, ½ cup melted coconut oil, one tablespoon of honey, two tablespoons of jojoba or avocado oil, 10 drops of orange essential oil, and 20 drops of lemon essential oil. Mix in a bowl and pour it into a 120ml jar. For a gentler scrub, grind the sugar beforehand. This formula brightens a dull complexion and can also be used before shaving for smoother, less irritated skin.
For more info, go to www.youngliving.com.
Photos: www.sxc.hu and Young Living