If you are new to essential oils, they are concentrated plant extracts that are carefully obtained through cold pressing or distillation, carrying the “essence” of the plant. Aroma therapy has gained wide popularity among holistic practitioners improving mental and physical wellbeing.
The most popular use of essential oils is through a diffuser, by adding a few drops of the oil it will slowly diffuse the scent and aroma around the room. Diffusers can be placed in different parts of the house aiding you to relax, fall asleep, have a better appetite, eliminate odours, relieve pain, boost your immune system, just to name a few benefits.
Essential oils cannot only be used aromatically but can also be applied topically to your skin and hair and some oils may even in be ingested by adding a drop to food or drinks. We’ve talked to yoga teacher and essential oil advocate Donatienne from Santam Yoga, who has shared her expertise on essential oils with us.
Essential oils can be used in so many different ways and aid in our overall wellbeing. “That’s why I believe that we need different oils depending on how we feel certain days compared to others. The use of essential oils is very specific to each person, each mood and each moment.” Donatienne starts and ends her day with essential oils: “I add a drop of oil to my dry brush in the morning, that way something nourishing and pure will enter my bloodstream within minutes every day. After that I add a drop of oil to my day cream and apply it to my face. The kind I use in the morning depends on the season and what my skin needs that particular day.”
DIY Essential Oil Scrub: combine 2 soupspoons of brown sugar, 2 soupspoons of plant-based oil (such as almond, coconut or avocado) with 5 drops of your favorite essential oils.
Food and Drinks
Not only does Donatienne add essential oils to her skincare routine, she uses them in her meals as well. “I use essential oils in dishes to replace fresh herbs. Essential oils like basil, lemon or mint can be used to replace fresh ingredients when I run out. They will give a strong flavour so just one drop is more than enough. I also add oils to my tea after meals, to help with digestion such as peppermint or ginger oil.” Donatienne also infuses vinegars, salt and olive oil with essential oils to add a little kick to her meals. “The other day I infused some coarse sea salt with some lemon oil and it so refreshing to add on top of salads for example.”
Ending the day, Donatienne adds essential oils from pomegranate and yarrow to her relaxing Gua Sha moment before bed. “It gets me in a calm state of mind and these oils are full of antioxidants.” Essential oils can be used in many different ways to aid with a variety of issues:
- When in need of energy: Citrus Oils like orange or lemon: add 1 drop to your tea or your diffuser
- When stressed: Lavender or Bergamot: add a few drops to your diffuser, in your bath or apply 1 drop to your temples
- When experiencing digestive issues: Peppermint and Ginger: add 1 drop to a hot drink after meals
Essential oils are clearly a wonderful addition to your wellness routine, “play around with the oils and you’ll body will tell you what you need, when you need it”. Make sure to use oils that are 100% pure and organic.
Follow @donatiennevanderelst on Instagram for more tips about essential oils and great yoga sessions.