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The majority of my herbal medicine patients come to me because they’re stressed. They’re fried, mentally exhausted, wired, tired. They’re running on empty. The biggest mistake I see when people are in this state is they want something that’s going to hype them up.

Soothe rather than boost your energy

They ask for energy boosters or herbs to help with focus or concentration, but that’s like putting your foot down on the car that’s run out of oil. You’re looking at the petrol gauge, wondering what’s going on and why it’s not working, but you’re measuring the wrong thing. Putting more petrol in won’t solve the problem. You keep going.

Maybe you’ve just got to make it round the bend. Boom. Your engine’s blown. It’s going take a while to fix this vehicle.

What happens when we are stressed?

Stressed energy requires us to be in fight or flight. Your sympathetic nervous system is in the driving seat, and it’s using a variety of inflammatory chemicals to move you forward.

You need to do something, which in the moment will feel like the absolute wrong thing to do. You need to surrender.

Your mind hates that. It will fight you every step of the way.

So say to yourself, it’s ok mind, we’re just going to play with some different feelings for a moment.

Then your mind can get back into the director’s chair. Why? Because it’s time for your parasympathetic nervous system to take hold of the reins. It’s time to rest and digest – physically, mentally, emotionally, deep in your soul. There are essential oils that can help you to do just that.

They’re there to smooth and soothe. Interestingly, it’s not just about the essential oils. It’s also about how you apply them. The process of taking care of yourself, loving yourself enough to shut the world out momentarily. You’re tending to your needs, the connection that comes with touch. Those application methods begin the process of healing.

The best way to use essential oils to calm

Start with touch.

It doesn’t need to be a full body massage. It could be self massage applied to the feet, up to the calves, one foot at a time; a hand massage or massaging your temples.

Be sure to apply extra love on the balls of the feet or on the fleshy pads on the top of your palms.

When massaging your temples. Don’t forget the bridge of your nose all along the forehead until you reach your temples.

Ratio of essential oil to carrier oil

As a rule of thumb, use five drops of your essential oil blend to two teaspoons of your carrier oil.

Play with the effects of different carrier oils as well. So, for example, grape seed oil is super slidey, so it’s a great oil for massaging surfaces. Olive oil or jojoba oil is more dense, so it’s going to sink into your skin, taking the essential oil with it. But it’s not as slippery.

How to use essential oils in the bath

My favourite relaxing oil preparation is in the bath. Stay with the five drops to two teaspoons ratio, but use full fat milk or a denser carrier oil and then enjoy a good soak, preferably by candle light and make sure that you’re breathing slowly and deeply.

Alternatively, you can make a bath bag.

Steam diffusing essential oils

Another soothing method is the steam diffuser. It’s either powered by electricity or a small tea light, and you can up the ratio for this one because the essential oil is released into the air. So go for 6 to 10 drops in 200 mls of water.

If you share your life with a fur baby, make sure you’re using fur baby safe blends or leave the door open so they can choose to leave the room.

Medicinal uses of Lavender Essential Oil

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The research shows Lavender can soothe anxiety. It can lift your mood, and it has the added benefit of being antimicrobial.

Now personally, I find lavender has this amazing ability to help me settle, and it helps my body to open. So it’s the perfect antidote when you’ve been holding on tight, often without even realising it.

Lavender has linalool in it, and although there’s only just a small amount in the plant, Linolool is toxic to cats or dogs, so use it with caution around your four legged family.

Medicinal uses for Neroli essential oil

Neroli is my emotional soother of choice. It can lower blood pressure, and it’s said to be soothing during times of grief. It’s said to help us to find peace.

It’s also antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, and it can relieve pain. Some small scale studies have found it really useful in relieving menopausal symptoms.

Neroli also has linelool.

Medicinal uses of Grapefruit Essential Oil

Grapefruit essential oil is a little more stimulating, but it’s a wonderful cleanser.

It perks you up and it’s detoxifying. So when I want something that’s going to help me cut through the fog, I choose grapefruit.

How to choose the right essential oil for you

There are many essential oils known for their mood enhancing stress busting properties, and these are just three of my favourites. But it does depend on where I’m at and the focus of my blend.

And remember your intention and how you choose to apply your essential oil is just as important, as the oil you choose