February is over and we’re heading into March, with its promise of Spring days ahead bringing hope, light and for me, always a new lease of life.
Personally, I'm all about Spring and Summer so March serves as a signal that my hibernating days are coming to an end and a time full of new life, growth and promise is about to begin.
However, we’re not quite there yet.
I know from the treatment room that Winter can take its toll and there are those who may need a little something to help them skip into the incoming lighter, brighter days. Luckily, we don’t need to look too far for our pick-me-ups as nature always seems to provide us with exactly what we need.
We all know how a walk by the sea, a stroll in the woods or even a visit to the local park can lift our mood and fill us with more positive thoughts – it’s true that nature really is a tonic.
Aromatherapy can come into its own here as essential oils are extracted from those very plants, flowers and trees that we walk among and that our body responds to without us even being aware of most of the time, but which can have such a positive effect on us.
The power of a plants essential oil
Whenever we squeeze a leaf, flower or even the rind of a lemon beneath our fingers, it is the essential oil of the plant that we smell. A quick sniff and our nose sends a signal straight to the limbic system in our brain that deals with our memories and our emotions and so the inhalation of an orange, a fragrant rose or even sitting for an hour or two in a field full of lavender and simply breathing in the air around us can have a powerful positive impact on our mood.
So, when we do need a little lift,
which oils can we reach for?
There are so many, however the citrus oils in particular can be used with great effect when looking for a quick mood boost.
Such a happy oil. I often use Bergamot in the Winter to help treat SAD symptoms – a condition felt more in the Northern hemisphere where we don’t get quite enough light and therefore the vitamin D that our body needs. It has a gorgeous, sweet and citrusy scent and although it tastes so sour that you wouldn’t want to eat one, it's the addition of Bergamot to Earl Grey Tea that makes it … well, Earl Grey Tea.
A fast mood booster, it lightens any feelings of heaviness, refreshes and uplifts the spirit and mind, banishes apathy and is known for its ability to help reduce anxiety.
For skincare blends I tend to use it for oily and acneic skin, but alongside its happy and calming scent it also has great cleansing qualities which is why I add it to my facial Cleansing Melt.
One of my absolute favourites. It never fails to raise a smile of pure joy amongst clients who are presented with the aroma in the Studio – quite simply a smile in a bottle.
It is fabulous for digestive disorders, which are often caused by anxiety and is a very effective anxiolytic, helping to lift mood, reduce anxious feelings and can also be used incredibly effectively in a sleep blend – especially I’ve found when used alongside the calm strength of Cedarwood. In fact both of these oils are in my Calm Essential Oil blend for this very reason.
All of the citruses make marvellous mood lifters, but I couldn’t leave out the tangy, fruity, sweet energiser that is Lime. It has a fresh, zingy, cleansing scent which reminds me of warm Summer days but, it is strong and can easily overpower other oils, so only a drop or two is needed to make a big impact. I find that it is best used when added to an Aromatherapy diffuser or oil burner – it pairs beautifully with Bergamot for this.
With the citruses I could go on…
Grapefruit – light and fruity, it helps us see the positives by gifting us with optimism.
Lemon – cleansing, fresh and full of clarity, a fabulous choice as we open our eyes to the new life that spring brings.
Mandarin - Sweet and gentle, not only ideal for children but it helps bring out the fun loving child in us too!
I would like to do a bit of an about turn though and give a special mention to a non-citrus here.
Sweet yet comforting with strong, sensual, heady notes, Jasmine is quite possibly the most uplifting of all oils.
The Jasmine in our garden
You can read more about the gorgeous Jasmine that covered our pergola here, however I must admit that since I wrote the blog post about this beautiful summer flower, the scent has certainly grown on me.
I’m a firm believer that our body knows exactly which essential oil it needs and I must say that I have adored and even craved the scent of Jasmine at times over the past few years.
Is it because I’ve needed uplifting oils and a sweet hug of hope and happiness more perhaps than I did back then?
All I know is that it is now placed firmly amongst my favourite uplifting oils and along with Sweet orange, is my go-to when I need a drop of happiness.
It is incredibly heady though and like our friend Lime it can be overpowering, so a very little goes a very long way!
Such is the power of scent and our essential oils that a single drop of Jasmine in my diffuser is all that it takes to put a smile on my face and transport me back to that Summer of 2018
As always, dilute essential oils well in a carrier oil, never be tempted to take them internally and avoid when pregnant or seek advice from a trained aromatherapist.
And if you have your own essential oils and need advice on blending, then please reach out and ask me or another trained aromatherapist.