Today we’re talking all things aromatherapy and essential oils - one of our favourite topics over at Forest & Shore! There’s something incredibly special about the power of plants and it’s why we’ve been drawn to the use of natural botanicals in our products since we launched. In our efforts to encourage more self-care, today we’re answering the question, can aromatherapy and essential oils help with stress?
The Lowdown on Aromatherapy and Essential Oils
The definition of Aromatherapy is ‘The controlled use of natural aromatic oils (called essential oils) obtained from plants to achieve balance and harmony of the human mind, body and spirit.’ It’s no wonder then that plants have been used in medicine since time began, each producing their own oils from organic chemicals found in the glands, veins, sacs and glandular hairs of aromatic plants, like rose, ylang-ylang and cedarwood.
Can Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Help With Stress?
In a word, yes! The holistic healing treatment of aromatherapy thoughtfully uses essential oils to enhance our physical and mental wellbeing and offers an alternative, with a naturopathic and organic approach, to modern-day medicines for an array of different issues, including stress. These plant-powered extracts offer a wealth of natural therapeutic properties that can alleviate stress all through the wonderful aromas that are released. From improving sleep to enhancing our energy levels or simply boosting our mood, aromatherapy and essential oils help with stress in their own unique way and create deeper feelings of relaxation,
clarity and focus depending on which oils you use.
How to Use Aromatherapy and Essential Oils
Scent is one of our most powerful senses with a single scent able to transport us back to a time or place. With essential oils, it’s no different and it is a process called olfaction that causes this. When essential oil molecules enter the nose, they then encounter receptors and generate nerve activity. This action enters the limbic system of our brains, assigning meaning to the perceived scent and therefore associating it with a memory or emotion. Essential oils not only enter our body through inhalation, they can also absorb into the skin upon application and so there are a number of ways you can effortlessly introduce them into your day and create regular rituals to help you benefit from their properties. Use essential oils in a way that means you’ll both inhale the scent and benefit from application to the skin - like adding a few drops of your favourite oil to a bath, using for
massage or applying to pulse points before bed.
You can also use essential oils in an electric diffuser to scent your space, helping to create a more considered environment for meditation, relaxing or work. It’s worth noting that the beauty of aromatherapy is that you can blend oils too - creating a unique blend that works especially for you.
Essential Oils for Stress
If you’re experiencing stress and not sure where to start with essential oils, you’ll be pleased to learn there are lots you can use to help with stress, each with their own set of impressive properties. Here are a few of our favourites at Forest &Shore:
● Lavender Essential Oil To improve sleep
Perhaps the most popular and well-known choice, the light floral fragrance of lavender essential oil is renowned for helping to improve sleep and is frequently used in the evening to encourage us to unwind.
● Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
To aid anxiety Chamomile isn’t just for tea - with a subtle floral and herbal aroma, roman chamomile essential oil is often used to help aid anxiety as it supports in calming the mind and improving overall feelings of wellbeing.
● Frankincense Essential Oil
A woody, slightly spicy fragrance, frankincense essential oil has a meditative,
mood-balancing quality making it a great choice for those needing to enhance
feelings of calm and is often blended with bergamot and lavender essential oils.
● Clary Sage Essential Oil
To promote relaxation
With a sweet, herbal scent, clary sage essential oil is known best for helping to promote relaxation, so much so, it’s often used around that time of the month to ease tension and reduce menstrual cramps.
● Lemongrass Essential Oil
If you’ve ever visited a spa, the chances are you’ll have been welcomed by the
invigorating scent of lemongrass essential oil. It’s inviting citrus aroma helps us to switch off, regain clarity and reduce anxiety.
Finally… A small change like adding aromatherapy and essential oils to your every day can have a huge impact in helping deal with stress. For more ways to relieve stress, read our blog here.