Category Archives: Amateur Aromatherapy Recipes

Spirituality Without Fanfare

Once you have been on your spiritual path for a while you will start to realise that it is best to not take yourself too seriously.

There are two types of people who practise spirituality, in my experience. Those who tell others how powerful they are or how enlightened they are or how good their expensive courses are…and those who just get on with it, quietly and without fanfare. Do a course for fun if you think you will get something out of it but do realise that the only thing really worth spending is time itself. Time to learn, time to experiment, time to let things simmer.

Unfortunately being bombarded with all these enlightenment sellers can put some potential newcomers off discovering more about themselves and their possibilities and that’s a shame as there is nothing to be nervous about. Don’t be scared by the hype, don’t be put off by those who dress themselves up as mystical beings who need to be adored. They are selling a service which is the spiritual equivalent of getting your nails painted…it’s fun but it isn’t an essential life choice. You can do what you need to do with a little online research, free resources, reading books and, most importantly, living the life and gaining the experience.

Those who are quietly spiritual know that everyone is an individual who will be spending years on their unique path, no expensive course is going to get anyone there quicker. Sorry. Sometimes it can even slow progress down as you are following someone else’s path not your own. Their way of doing things might not be yours.

Your path is your own and you don’t have to be doing A, B or C to qualify for any award. There is no award. There’s a reward for taking a spiritual path though. Several of them.

If you can successfully meditate you can make your daily life calmer and happier. This can take the edge off the hardest situation. YouTube has some really good meditations. Try Michael Sealey or Jason Stephenson.

Practising mindfulness will give you a better outlook on life and will make those challenges easier to deal with because you stay in the moment, at least long enough to have a break from your mind chatter. Here is a 8 week free course, run by Dave Potter a fully certified MBSR instructor.

Being able to work with the energies to heal yourself and others for free is your way to give back and to do your bit to help change one small part of the world which is suffering…whether that be an individual or a situation.  Learn how to give reiki to yourself with this previous article of mine Reiki For Self Love.  Where you go with it afterwards when it comes to helping others is for you to decide.

Ritual is a way to bring order to chaos as well as engaging in aged practices – whether you just count your morning ritual of shower, tea and toast before work or rituals used with your deity of choice, such as prayers. A good morning ritual sets you up for the day and most of us have several rituals which we enjoy. Perhaps yours is a candlelit bath or a cup of chamomile tea last thing before bed. A ritual is simply something you do at a certain time and, sometimes, for a certain reason. Getting a few rituals of your own in place will bring structure and certainty to your day and you will find you look forward to doing them. They will bring a comfort and a smile, a sense of well-being.

Learning how to work with herbs is another way that you can help yourself. Again there are many online courses out there for the basics but a good book will do you just as well too if money is tight. The work of Susun Weed is a good start if you are in the USA or Herbcraft by Anna Franklin and Susan Lavender is an excellent choice for those in the UK and Europe. Herbcraft gives a broad use for plants including medicinal and magickal as well as a bit of history for interest.

Learning which plants are edible is very important so do take care as there are some deadly ones out there too. 

Knowledge is essential when using herbs in whatever form you choose them. Several good books for cross referencing are essential and you should never rely on just one photo in a book to decide which plant is in front of you in the wild. Several good, clear close up photos are needed. Of course, the company of someone who already knows is ideal but few of us have that and so we must take things gradually and be careful with our choices by being sensible.

Here is a fun video done by someone just starting out using herbs. We all have to start somewhere…

Many of us enjoy a cup of chamomile tea or peppermint tea so why not take it a step further and start learning how to work with the energies of the plants in your vicinity, growing your own or even just in their essential oil form. Pure oils can be used for cleaning and sanitising your home, refreshing the aroma, getting rid of garden pests, used to heal yourself and pets and in a multitude of ways.

I have had no training in essential oils but taught myself gradually over many years and now use them in every part of my life. They are surprisingly versatile, useful and helpful and, of course, chemical free if chosen wisely. There are many articles online which will help you choose a starter arsenal of essential oils. My first three choices would be roman chamomile, lavender and peppermint. I have linked to an article for each to get you started if you are new to essential oils.

If you are starting off on your path and follow the signposts above and in my previous nine articles then together they should give you your first few footsteps. You will be on your way to a spiritual life which allows you to grow, gain confidence, deal with challenges, heal your everyday niggles and give love and strength to those around you. There will be days when it all seems too much and you will want a break. Be kind to yourself on those days and do whatever you need to do. Everyone has a spiritual crisis at some point in their lives…sometimes more than one…but this is good because this is where the biggest shifts happen.

My final suggestions are to enjoy life, love who you are and do what you have to do to make your life your own. Never be dictated by those who surround you or even those in your area of choice spiritually. Always trust your instincts and if you aren’t sure what they are saying then meditate and wait. The answer is there.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

Snored Out – Aromatherapy Recipe

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A blogging friend of mine recently experimented with an electronic facelift gadget to try and cure her snoring with really encouraging results so I decided to share my own aromatherapy recipe* which I have also had good results with…every little helps, hey?

This recipe was tweaked by me from one I found on the internet. The original recipe was a bit hit and miss for us and so the quantities are different. I can’t find the original creator so if that is you then let me know in the comments and I will link to your website and give you a shout out.

The man of the house was a prolific snorer and still is if he forgets to put this little concoction on every night. The windows rattle, dogs howl in the distance and I start thinking about getting creative with a soft pillow and his…no, of course I don’t really, wouldn’t dream of it, wonderful man that he is! (He reads my blog, don’t want to scare him..shh!) 😉

This works for him and smells so good too. I called it Snored Out because I hope he is 😀

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*Just to remind everyone I am self-taught when it comes to aromatherapy remedies and it is always a good idea to check with your health/holistic care provider before using any of my remedies. Do not use the above remedy if you are pregnant. Always use good quality essential oils suitable for medicinal purposes. Remedies are used at your own risk 🙂

 

 

 

Sleep Easier

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The summer months brings those muggy nights where hot flushes due to hormones can become unbearable. There are a few ways you can help relieve the intensity and here I will share with you what I use from my aromatherapy cupboard*.

I have discovered that putting a couple of drops each of Cajeput, Eucalyptus and Roman Chamomile essential oils on my bedtime t-shirt before I go to sleep gives me a much better night’s sleep. The Cajeput and Eucalyptus help to keep the airways clear and have a cooling effect and the Roman Chamomile relaxes and calms. I suggest you use an old t shirt if you are going to put essential oils directly on to it…they will stain and may ruin a silk negligee 😉

I can recommend rubbing a couple of drops of Peppermint essential oil on the soles of your feet for those early morning hot flushes or you can divide a drop between your fingers and rub into your temples. Wash your hands well afterwards though so you don’t get it in your eyes once snuggled back in to bed. Alternatively, put two drops on a cotton pad and inhale a couple of times or scoot it across your forehead, on your temples and the back of your neck.

Rose and Lavender essential oils are also wonderful rubbed on the soles of your feet to calm you down and get you in the mood for sleep. Rub three drops of either (or a 2:1 ratio if you are feeling daring!) between your fingertips and massage neat into each foot. You can also put a couple of drops of Lavender or Rose essential oil directly on your pillowcase…again they may stain so do use a pillowcase you are happy to take the risk with.

You can make a room or pillow spray for a better night’s sleep using Roman Chamomile, Sandalwood and Lavender essential oils. For a 100ml spray bottle use filtered water, a teaspoon of vodka and four drops each of the essential oils. If you want a stronger scent you can add another two drops of each oil. Spray this into the centre of the room or on your pillow before turning off the light and dream easier!

*I am not a qualified aromatherapist just self-taught so do check with someone who is qualified first and do not use any of my remedies if you are pregnant or have respiratory difficulties. All remedies are used at your own risk.

Pamper Time!

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Luscious Locks

Want your hair to shine its way to quicker new growth? Here’s a little tip which has worked well for me:

After washing hair rub a couple of drops of lavender and rosemary essential oils between your palms and distribute over hair, paying particular attention to scalp and roots. Style as usual. For me this has resulted in new hair growth around the thinning areas of fine baby hair on my hairline. Plus my hair is beautifully shiny! Bonus!

Mood Booster

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Feeling sluggish? Get yourself in an epsom salt bath. Remember when our aunties had a jar of those weird smelling pink bath crystals and we inwardly cringed as we soaked in our sexy bubbles? Oh, how times have changed! Now you can buy pure, medical grade epsom salts online for a reasonable price (especially if you buy in bulk of 1kg), add your own ingredients below and get yourself a healthy dose of magnesium.

My Personal Favourite – and *shock horror* it is just because I love the smell not because I am aiming for the chosen oils to do anything in particular in this combination! Swap the essential oils for a 20 drop combination of your own choice for something specific.

1/4 cup of epsom salts

1/2 teaspoon of sweet almond or jojoba oil

1/2 teaspoon of dried lavender

5 drops of ylang ylang essential oil

5 drops of lavender essential oil

5 drops of ginger essential oil

5 drops of petitgrain essential oil

Mix it all together and run under the hot tap into bath. Afterwards, pamper yourself with a rich, thick layer of cocoa body butter and you can float off feeling contented.

You can also use combinations specifically suggested for certain purposes like balancing, calming, uplifting, etc. Have a look at this selection of ideas from Hello Glow. They also have their own recipe for bath salts so you can try that too…I will take a poll later *big grin*

Need a better night’s sleep?

Massage your feet with a good grade lavender or rose essential oil before going to sleep.I rub three drops of either between my hands for each foot and then massage in. Better still, get your partner to do it for you! Wonderful!

 

The usual common sense advice – Always try on a very small area first, just in case your skin doesn’t respond well. Some of us are sensitive flowers:-)

The disclaimer – All my recipes are shared with the understanding you try them at your own risk and consult a qualified practitioner. Do not use aromatherapy oils if pregnant unless under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.

 

Migraine Self Help

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One of the things which can rear its ugly head (or indeed get worse) during perimenopause is The Migraine. I have always had these myself and, despite taking a preventative,  I was still having a bad one every month…yep, at THAT time…which I was prepared for and expected. Since I started winding down to the menopause I still get them every month but they last for four or five days at a stretch. Lovely! I have heard this is a very common symptom and happens to many women so I know I am not alone in this change.

If any of you are dealing with the same beast then here are a few ideas on comforting yourself.

Meditation

Whether caused by tense muscles, hormones or both there is a lot to be gained by laying down in a dark room and listening to a guided meditation aimed at relaxation. Not only does this relax you it can also get your mind off the pain and help you have a nap to take the edge off.

Aromatherapy*

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Cajeput, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Peppermint, Marjoram and Rosemary are all good choices and what you choose will depend on whether you want to keep going or have a nap. I use a diffuser when possible or put a couple of drops of my chosen essential oil on a cotton pad to inhale. I also rub lavender oil on the back of my neck, my temples and across my forehead. Peppermint used in the same way can be soothing too but don’t get it near your eyes! Ideally a willing partner who is happy to massage the back of your neck/bottom of skull area with a little carrier oil/essential oil mix is always a bonus and much better than doing it yourself 😉

You can also use a homemade balm for pain and I have given a recipe for this in a previous post How To Make A Balm. I usually find applying this to the back of my neck, temples and across my forehead will do a lot to take the edge off as long as you don’t mind smelling of Camphor! If you are in the middle of a migraine then you probably won’t care as long as you get some relief 😉

Always do a skin test first as some oils can react negatively on sensitive skin.

* If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have any medical problems (especially asthma or other respiratory problems) then check with your health provider first before using any essential oils. All recipes and ideas used at your own discretion and risk.

Crystals

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Amethyst is my go to for migraines and headaches. I hold a piece to the side of my head over the pain or to the back of my neck if caused by muscle tension. There are other crystals you can use such as Aventurine, Magnesite, Rose Quartz, Lapis Lazuli and more. Watermelon Tourmaline or Pietersite may also be of help as these can support hormone regulation.

 

Wheat/Lavender Heat Cushions And Ice Packs

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Personally I like the comfort of a nice hot lavender scented cushion to blast away at that pain and block out the light. For some people keeping an ice pack in the freezer for such moments is what works for them.

Reiki

You can learn to give yourself a form of Reiki if you choose. Check out my previous article on Reiki For Self Love. This can soothe and take the edge off; relaxing you and giving you comfort. Touch is one of the greatest forms of comfort there is for any human being in pain.

Reflexology

I find a foot massage works really well for me when my man is around to help out (any excuse, hey? *big grin*) or I am able to do it myself if the pain is moderate. Check out this article by Holly Tse CMP on Chinese Foot Reflexology for a guide to where to find the points which bring relief.

Sleep

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If you can, just go to bed. Simple and usually effective. I listen to a podcast or an audio book quietly playing to help me drop off and surround myself with sedative aromatherapy oils. An open window, if not too noisy outside, is also a good idea. Florence Nightingale was a clever woman.

Water

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Keep hydrated! Sometimes easing any sort of headache or migraine can be as simple as drinking more water. We get so busy we sometimes forget to drink several litres of water a day (I know I do sometimes!) and this can be all which is needed to wrestle that thumper to the ground and bring relief.

I hope these ideas will help any of you who are struggling with The Migraine Beast. If you find the frequency of your migraines (or indeed any other symptoms which impact on your quality of life) are becoming a real problem then I would encourage you to go to the doctor and ask for help. Too many women ‘put up and shut up’ during the perimenopause and menopause but there is no shame in asking for help when you need it. Nobody gives you a medal at the end if you have struggled on needlessly, girls 😉

If you have any ways of coping with migraines yourself then please do share them in the comments below – I am up for trying anything to take the edge off my own!

Made By Zen Soto Diffuser

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This wonderful piece of kit is my Made By Zen Soto ultrasonic diffuser. I have had it on several times a week since it was bought for me and, as I write, it is oozing out Lemon, Basil, Peppermint and Geranium goodness into the air and helping me stay awake after a particular rough night’s sleep.

I use it for headaches and migraines, to freshen the air and fill it with lovely scents, to help with coughs and colds (and there are plenty about this year!) and sometimes just because I like to envelop myself in something soothing.

I have had this for around 18 months now and it was about £35 when I bought it although you do have to shop around. The only maintenance needed is a wipe around after and before use and changing the ceramic disc in the bottom when needed. I have only had to do the latter once in all this time and, at £4 a go, it isn’t expensive to do either.

It can be used at night as it turns itself off when almost empty. It has three settings for the colours – changing, static and off – and so doesn’t light up the room when in use if you don’t choose it to do so. It has a quiet and soothing bubbling sound which I find to be a mood enhancer in itself. As always I recommend using pure, good quality essential oils only, particularly in this diffuser as using anything else may damage it.

In short, a bargain and something I didn’t realise I couldn’t do without until I had it. Always a fun find 🙂

The Perimenopausal Itch

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The title sounds like this article may be about some stage play involving lots of dodgy references to the under carriage of the female nether regions. Possibly involving a handsome hero or a washing machine on spin. It has potential. I may write it. In the meantime, I have to disappoint some of you slightly by admitting it is about the dry, itchy skin which we women of a certain age start to suffer from despite years of applying copious amounts of body lotion which gets more expensive and thicker in consistency as the years go by until it resembles something a channel swimmer would slap on.

I am not a trained aromatherapist and have simply dabbled for several years but what I can tell you is this little balm works for me and the skin on my legs and arms which can plague me at 3am in protest if not suitably soothed.

The recipe for the balm itself can be found here on a previous post of mine. Just make the plain balm up, put it on the side to firm up and then stir in the following magic –

5 drops of roman chamomile essential oil

5 drops of lavender  essential oil

3 drops of thyme

1 drop of camphor essential oil

2 drops of rose essential oil (5% dilution)

2 drops of frankincense essential oil

Putting Camphor in there might not make it smell like your usual expensive body cream (okay, it doesn’t, I admit it!)  but, hey, if it gives me some peace from the nocturnal scratching then it can smell however it likes as far as I’m concerned. You will probably be happy to join me on this if you have a similar problem.

On a final note, do make sure the oils you use are aromatherapy safe and of good quality. This is an area of natural healing where cheaper really isn’t better. However, once you have a selection of good quality oils you will find they last a long time and are well worth the investment.

The usual common sense advice – Always try on a very small area first, just in case your skin doesn’t respond well. Some of us are sensitive flowers 🙂

The disclaimer – All my recipes are shared with the understanding you try them at your own risk and consult a qualified practitioner. Do not use aromatherapy oils if pregnant unless under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.

 

Amateur Aromatherapy…How To Make A Balm

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I make my own home-made aromatherapy balms. This involves a cauldron, a black cat, eye of newt and the dogs tail (which he was quite put out about). Oh okay, it didn’t really but it sounds more authentic, doesn’t it? 😉

In actual fact this balm is really easy and quick to make. Once you have the basic recipe, you can add the aromatherapy oils to it which are necessary for the job at hand. In this case I was making two – a balm for my partners work chapped hands and a pain relief balm for headaches etc. This little balm works wonders and has a lovely creamy consistency!

For a 120ml jar you will need –

16g of beeswax

42g coconut oil

32g sweet almond oil

8g of Cocoa Butter (optional)

1 teaspoon of honey

1/2 teaspoon of aloe vera gel

Put the beeswax, coconut oil, cocoa butter and sweet almond oil in a glass jug. Stand the jug in a half full frying pan of hot water and stir briskly with a metal spoon until it is all melted. Add the honey and aloe vera if you are using it and return to the heat for a few seconds to make sure it is dissolved. Pour into a dark glass jar and  mix thoroughly with a wooden lollipop stick (or similar). Put the lid on and put it the fridge. When it is nearly set, give it another quick mix with the stick and then return to the fridge for another 30 minutes or so. You can add the essential oils to the balm when it has cooled and there you have it – a gorgeous balm!

Easy, hey? All the ingredients are available online and cheap to buy.

I am not a qualified aromatherapist so if you aren’t sure which oils to use then do check with someone who is (as I am self-taught it would be wrong of me to claim otherwise) but I use the following essential oil combinations –

For Chapped Hands –

For Men – 5 drops Lavender, 5 drops Benzoin, 5 drops Lemon, 5 drops Thyme

For Women – 5 drops Jasmine (Dilution 10%), 5 drops Bergamot, 5 drops Petitgrain, 5 drops Benzoin

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For Pain Relief –

10 drops Camphor

9 drops Peppermint

5 drops Clove

5 drops Thyme

4 drops Wintergreen

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It’s fun to make your own products and you will also know there aren’t any of those nasty chemicals lurking in the jar! Bonus! Perimenopause is a time to relax, pamper yourself and try new things. Aromatherapy could be just be the natural alternative you are looking for 😉

The usual common sense advice – Always try on a very small area first, just in case your skin doesn’t respond well. Some of us are sensitive flowers:-)

The disclaimer – All my recipes are shared with the understanding you try them at your own risk and consult a qualified practitioner. Do not use aromatherapy oils if pregnant unless under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.

Have You Tried Aromatherapy?

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Feeling stressed? Anxious? Wired and unable to sleep? Skin not clear? Need to unwind after a long day? Headache? Got a cold? These are just some of the things which aromatherapy oils can soothe. They aren’t just for floaty, spiritual types like me (!) they really can make you feel comforted. Anyone who has had an aromatherapy massage will be with me on this and, not only that, the majority of the oils smell divine.

Now I don’t claim to be an expert, I have zero professional qualifications in aromatherapy.  What I can do is give you the benefit of my years of experience using them on myself and my family. I use aromatherapy for a teenager’s odd blemish, hand cream, exam tension, wonderful relaxing baths, as a ‘pick up’ when fatigued, to refresh the house using oils in a diffuser (better than a chemical spray!) and in many, many other different ways.  It’s become part of every day life and it really does work for all members of my family.

Here are a few examples of the recipes I use frequently. The quantity of oils quoted are what I have personally found to work best but do seek the advice of a qualified practitioner before making and using these yourself.

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For a cream for use on dry, cracked hands/feet –

60ml of 100% pure organic cocoa butter

5ml oil (almond, coconut or olive)

5 drops Benzoin

5 drops Lavender

2 drops Thyme

Melt in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water, add the oils and put in a separate 60ml jar.  Leave in fridge until set. Scrape off a small amount with your fingernail and melt in your palm and then massage it into hands or feet. Smells wonderful and it works in a just a few days on overworked hands in the winter.

For a relaxing bath to drift away from stress –

Half eggcup of unscented foam bath

4 drops Lavender

3 drops Neroli Dilution 10%

1 drop Vetivert (very strong smelling and rather a peculiar smell at that but it is used as a base for perfumes! Added in with the other oils it does its job in soothing the mind very well).

3 drops Geranium (optional but I just love the smell!)

Pour foam bath under the running tap, add the oils, swish and get straight in to ease those worries away.  You can also add the same amount of oils to a separate 50ml bottle of foam bath and use it as a shower wash.

For relief from headaches and migraines –

Rub a couple of drops of Lavender and Peppermint into your temples and across your forehead. Alternatively, you could use Rosemary or Eucalyptus on a damp, cool flannel and apply on your forehead. I tend to let my nose (or their nose) guide me when deciding which ones I ‘need’ to use. It’s important to let the person having the oils applied decide which oils out of the appropriate ones they like the smell of best.

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Want a natural skin tonic for normal skin?

100ml Orange Flower Water

1 drop Neroli

1 drop Orange

Put the oils in the flower water, give it a little shake and use on a cotton wool pad swept over face as needed. Smells wonderful, does the job and no nasty chemical additives.

Using good aromatherapy oils is essential and the best UK online site I have ever used is Calmer Solutions Ltd.  Their oils are very reasonably priced and I have found them to be of a good quality.  They also supply base products (massage oil, cocoa/shea butter, foam bath, flower waters) and they have a good stock of containers too.

The best books out there in my opinion are The Fragrant Pharmacy by Valerie Ann Worwood and Aromatherapy A to Z by Patricia Davis.download

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Give aromatherapy a try and add a little of nature’s tender loving care to your world 😉

The usual common sense advice – Always try on a very small area first, just in case your skin doesn’t respond well. Some of us are sensitive flowers:-)

The disclaimer – All my recipes are shared with the understanding you try them at your own risk and consult a qualified practitioner. Do not use aromatherapy oils if pregnant unless under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.