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Article: Aromatherapy For Your Best Life


Aromatherapy For Your Best Life

It’s no coincidence that lavender is often associated with relaxation, and roses with love! 

Our sense of smell can have a direct and powerful effect on the deepest levels of the body and mind. As aromas pass through the sinuses and enter the brain, they activate digestive, neurological, immunological, and hormonal functions, enhance positive mental and emotional states, and can even build resistance to pathogens.

Adding aromatherapy to your routine is a fun, easy, and creative way to level up and live your best life. The natural power of plant aromas, often in the form of essential oils, has been used for millenia.

Here are a few common scents and their effects:

  • Lavender: calms nerves, while mediating insomnia, anxiety, PMS and headaches 

  • Frankincense: promotes feelings of peacefulness, purpose, grounding and spiritual connectedness 

  • Vetiver: calms anger, irritability and frustration, promotes reassurance and self-awareness 

  • Lemon: removes mental fatigue and supports the lymphatic system 

  • Cinnamon: energizing, heating, supports heart and lungs 

  • Fennel: promotes healthy digestion/appetite, encourages kindness to oneself 

  • Rose: brings about love and compassion, aphrodisiac, soothes pitta 

  • Jasmine: strengths women’s reproductive system 

  • Sandalwood: promotes meditation, reduces irritability, cooling 

  • Rosemary: relieves headaches and emotional tension 

  • Patchouli: cleanses the digestive system, brings joy, soothes kapha 

  • Tulsi (holy basil): cleanses the mind, increases intuition/devotion, soothes vata and kapha

  • Peppermint: gently soothes all doshas 

  • Eucalyptus: opens the mind and senses, clears the lungs, alleviates depression 

  • Ginger: enhances joy and creativity 

  • Saffron: Aphrodisiac, promotes circulation 

  • Nutmeg: Induces relaxation of mind and muscles

  • Clove: soothes vata and kapha type headaches, improve circulation 

  • Camphor: opens mind and lungs, increases perception 

  • Orange: soothes anxiety, relieves insomnia, uplifts the spirit and promotes happiness 

  • Lime: stimulating and refreshing 

Using Essential Oils

  • One way to use essential oils is to place a small amount of carrier oil (such as sesame, almond, sunflower, coconut or jojoba) in your hand, followed by a drop of essential oil. Blend with your hands, and then dab behind your ears or rub the mixture on your wrists like perfume.

  • You might also add a few drops to your carrier oil and use for a full body massage – or use to oil your feet before bed!

  • Consider adding a few drops of essential oil to a warm bath

  • Apply the essential oil directly to a cotton ball and place in the air vents of your vehicle

  • Add a few drops of essential oils to a spray bottle with water and mist over furniture, carpet, or linens

  • Add a few drops of oil to a load of laundry

  • Finally, try placing a few drops of essential oil into a diffuser to allow the scent to permeate your home. This is an especially beneficial practice during your yoni steam! (Note that you should NEVER add essential oils directly to your yoni steam.)

There are a few precautions you should keep in mind when it comes to essential oils...

  • Essential oils should not be consumed internally, as they are far too potent and have the potential to harm mucus membranes and the liver.

  • Oils should always be diluted in a carrier oil before being applied to skin anywhere on the body. Again, your carrier oil might be sesame, almond, sunflower, coconut or jojoba. Add approximately 1 drop per 1 ounce of carrier oil to be sure the oil is properly diluted. 

  • Never apply directly to the skin of the eyes or the inner ears, nor to broken, damaged, or otherwise injured skin.

  • Do not use a diffuser if you have cats, and be mindful if you have other pets, as this can be dangerous for them!

  • Never add essential oils directly to your yoni steam. 

Essential oils are incredibly potent because they are truly the essence of the plant. This means it takes a LOT of plant material to produce a small amount of oil! It is important to use essential oils responsibly, with deep reverence for the plants that made this experience possible for you. Always purchase organic essential oils to reduce the impact of harmful pesticides — not only for your own health, but for the health of the land where these products are grown as well. Where possible, support companies that focus on fair trade and regeneration of the environments in which they work. One company we enjoy working with is Eden Botanicals, which has a strong commitment to integrity in their product and impact.

Incorporating aromatherapy into your lifestyle

In addition to using essential oils, you can also access aromas through the plant itself in the form of flower, bark, or root, or, by making a cup of tea, using high quality natural scented non-fragrance candles, incense, soap, body care and even home cleaning products. Just be absolutely sure that these products are using natural ingredients, or more specifically essential oils, rather than fragrance – which is most often a chemical creation and will not have the same effect.

Adding aromatherapy to your toolbox for thriving and living your best life is as easy as paying attention to how certain scents make you feel and incorporating them into your daily routine. Take in a deep breath of gratitude for all the gifts from these powerful plants!

Sierra Brashear, MA is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, DONA-trained doula, and founder of Vibrant Souls. She has successfully supported hundreds of people through some of their most critical childbearing moments — from conscious conception through the joy of labor and birth. Guided by the belief that self care is a radical act, Sierra weaves her knowledge of Ayurveda into the wellness education and lifestyle design she provides through her practice, Cultivate Balance. She is a graduate of Alandi Ayurveda's 2-year 2,000+ hour Practitioner of Ayurveda program in Boulder, Colorado.

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