Nourish your senses – Grapefruit essential oil

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This month I’m going to explore the wonderful refreshing and uplifting essential oil of Grapefruit.  It is one of my many favourite citrus fruits, both to eat and use in a massage or a body lotion blend.  Perfect to awaken the senses first thing in the morning!

Graperfuit grow in large bunches,  on a glossy leaved tree with white flowers and the oil is mostly obtained from Israel, Brazil and USA.  The oil is expressed from deep within the peel of the Grapefruit and can range in colour from yellow through to orange/green, yielding a small quantity of oil in comparison to the other citrus oils.  It is widely used within food, cosmetics and perfumes.

Due to its balancing effect on the central nervous system Grapefruit can be beneficial during times of stress and anxiety and help stabilise depression.  It soothes the body and helps relieve headaches, migraines and premenstrual tension and may help with some of the effects of jetlag.

It is also an excellent lymphatic stimulant, nourishing tissue cells and helping to rid the body of excess water retention and build up of toxins.  It’s diuretic effect could help with cellulite.  A combination of Grapefruit, Fennel and Juniper essential oils make an perfect cleansing blend to detox the body.  Regular massage is the most effective way to improve overall skin tone, helping with flabby skin and stretch marks.

Grapefuit is known for its amazing cleansing properties, aiding the kidneys and vascular system and said to be a liver tonic, improving secretion and function.

It can be a beneficial oil for those taking part in regular sport activity, in treating stiffness and cramps in muscles, as it helps with the release of lactic acid in the muscles, therefore easing muscular aches and pains.

Within skincare it is a particularly good oil for balancing oily skin and treating skin conditions such as acne, resulting in an overall clearer complexion.

Precautions: can cause skin irritation if exposed to sunlight after application. Avoid during                                     pregnancy.

Blends well with: Basil, Bergamot, Chamomile, Frankincense, Geranium, Jasmine,                                                               Lavender, Palmarosa, Rose, Rosewood and Ylang Ylang

Mairead x

 

 

 

 

Nourish your senses – Bergamot essential oil

If you have ever sipped Earl Grey Tea you would have tasted a citrus smoky flavour, which is the unique aroma of Bergamot. It was first sold in Italy and named after the Italian city of Bergamot, used in beverages and toiletries, especially Eau de Cologne.

Citrus Bergamia is a 15 ft tree with long green leaves and white flowers.  The essential oil is squeezed from the peel, which resembles a nobbly looking lime, using the distillation method.  It demands a special climate and soil, usually grown in Italy and Morocco.

Bergamot is a light, refreshing and uplifting oil with floral overtones.  It is used for skincare, digestive complaints, urinary tract problems and emotional challenges.

In skincare it has antiseptic and healing properties to benefit acne, eczema and oily skin conditions, especially when linked to stress.  Bergamot can be used in a compresses for infections and boils and excellent for cold sores, when combined with Eucalyptus.  Note, strong sunlight should be avoided after use, as skin may burn and can irritate sensitive skin.

It works well on the digestive tract, aiding conditions such as indigestion, flatulence and loss of appetite.  A drop of Bergamot can be added to black tea.  A valuable oil for urinary tract infections such as, cystitis and other bladder problems.

In massage, Bergamot is a wonderful oil which can be used as a sedative, yet uplifting, making it excellent for any emotional problems such as, anxiety, depression and nervous tension.

Blends well with: Chamomile, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Patchouli, Ylang Ylang, Neroli, Juniper, Coriander, Cypress and Eucalyptus.

Mairead x

Nourish your body – Sleep Awareness

 

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We all know the vital importance of a good nights sleep in boosting your mental wellbeing. Continual poor sleep can have detrimental effect on our lives.  This can result in us feeling constantly tired, suffering from poor concentration/co-ordination, irritability, and generally feeling low, making us unable to function properly and carry out important daily tasks.  This can be dangerous in certain jobs which require good concentration.

I am one of those lucky people who has generally no problem getting off to sleep and can get back to sleep easily when (or if!) I wake during the night.

However this was not always the case.  Previously suffering from depression and severe anxiety this resulted in me having an extremely poor sleep pattern.  In fact some nights I got no sleep at all and others a few hours when at my worse.  I then developed an anxiety around not been able to sleep.  It was a vicious circle I was in and needed to get myself out of it, as my health and wellbeing was really suffering.

Once I began to get myself back on track, my sleep  started to improve over time.  I gradually taught my brain to switch off at bedtime and fill it with happy thoughts.  I told myself bedtime is for sleeping and nourishing my body in preparation for daytime and I realised that worry is such a waste of precious time and energy.  I now try to fill my life with things which make me happy and smile, leaving very little time for worry!!

Here are some of the things I found  which helped me personally.  Each persons situation is individual, and it is important if there is a reason for you not sleeping well, it is tackled or resolved if possible.

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Nourish your senses – Rose essential oil

This month I’m going to explore Rose essential oil, truly one of the most exquisite and expensive oils, described as ‘the queen of flowers’.  The finest and most expensive rose comes from Bulgaria, ‘Rosa Damascena’ – known as Rose Otto.

‘Rose Centifolia’, also known as cabbage rose, is produced in Southern France.  It smells sweeter, is not as potent and used more in perfumery.

The expensive price tag reflects the quality and the quantity of blooms  to produce Rose oil.  It takes 30 Roses to make one drop of essential oil, making it obvious why it is one of the most precious oils.  Harvesting flowers is done by hand in the morning before sunrise and distilled the same day.

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Nourish your senses – Benzoin essential oil

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For thousands of years Benzoin has been used in the east for incense, inducing meditative states and warding off evil spirits!  More recently it was an ingredient in ‘Friar’s Balsam’, referred to as gum Benzoin, a component in a traditional cough medicine.  Today it is used as a fixative in perfumes.

The Benzoin tree is cultivated in Java, Samatra and Thailand.  The sap is  extracted from the tree, by making a deep incision into the bark, catching the resin as it oozes out.  Therefore it is not strictly an essential oil and more of a resin, with a warm, creamy vanilla like aroma.

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Essential Oil of the month – Ginger

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Winter is a cold contractive time, but with the use of essential oils, we can bring light & balance into the long dark season.

One of the delightful aromas around Christmas time is freshly baked gingerbread cookies. The warming scent, stimulates the taste buds, similar to that of ginger oil.

Ginger has been used since ancient times in Asia, and during the Middle Ages, travelled to the west along the spice route.

Ginger is very warming, spicy oil, with a hint of lemon and pepper. It is used for many circulation conditions; especially arthritis, muscular aches, pains and sprains. It is also helpful for digestive disorders such as; flatulence, stomach cramps and indigestion. Ginger is very effective with feelings of nausea, motion sickness and hangovers, as it seems to settle the stomach.

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