How To Make A Lavender Scrub

This DIY scrub is perfect for gardeners and walkers alike.  It is easy and cheap to make and acts as an exfoliant and softener for hands and feet.

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Ingredients

One cup of oats

Ten drops of lavender essential oil

One tablespoon of melted coconut oil

A few sprigs of lavender

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Method

Strip the lavender from the stalks then combine all the ingredients.  Slather on your feet but beware: it makes a mess! The added bonus is that your kitchen will smell fantastic and you can leave any remaining potion on the worktop for a few days to enjoy the scent.

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The Flowerpowerlife Aromatherapy Kitchen Garden

Since I last wrote about the importance of aromatherapy in my life,  I’ve been inspired by some wonderful medicinal herb gardens and have made some decisions.

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Aromatherapy massage is just a very small part of this huge world and it’s one that I won’t be venturing into.

Instead I plan to bring aromatherapy into my kitchen and garden!

1. Grow as many medicinal plants as I can fit into my tiny plot (I already have quite a few but it’s an excuse to buy more plants I know).

2. Experiment with more essential oils in candles, scrubs, lotions etc.

3. More research on plants and their uses.   RHS Tatton next week here we come!

4. Make beauty products with herbs and flowers.

I know that I’ve finally found the right path on my aromatherapy journey and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Using Jasmine Essential Oil

Jasmine or Jasminium officanale is one of the oils I’m most likely to put in the burner simply because its heady fragrance reminds me of summer nights in exotic locations.  For the same reason, I’ve planted it right outside my back door so that the scent wafts in, as well as in my quiet corner, where it trails over a garden seat.

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The essential oil is non toxic, non irritant and generally non-sensitising.  Like all essential oils, it should be used with caution especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition, and this one should be avoided in early pregnancy.

Jasmine has many uses but this week I’ve been using it for its sedative properties.  Just two drops in the oil burner is enough to scent the bedroom.  I leave it to burn while I read my book for an hour, and by then, my eyelids are dropping.  It can also be used to increase sexual desire, so if reading isn’t on the agenda but a little cuddle time is, then it’s a good oil for creating the right atmosphere.

Jasmine blends with virtually anything, but for a relaxing massage blend, I tend to combine it with one of the citrus oils (such as mandarin)to add a bit of edge to the sweetness.  For a PMS blend, you could add it to clary sage: add three drops of clary, three drops of jasmine, and one drop of black pepper to a tablespoon of carrier oil (such as sweet almond or grapeseed) and slather it on after a warm bath.  It helps with menstrual cramps, as well as reducing that ‘antsy’ feeling you get just before your period.  This restlessness (especially in my legs) has increased for me as I head further into menopause and massaging in this oil is a great relaxant.

I know I’ve said this before,  but don’t be tempted to add more essential oil to the carrier to make a stronger blend.  Use sparingly.  Less is more!

If anyone has any essential oil blends for menopause, I’d love to read about them.

Aromatherapy: Becoming a Practitioner

I’m a fully trained and qualified aromatherapist, yet, aside from massage for friends and family, I don’t practice or charge for treatments.  When I first qualified in 2005 after a year’s full on training, and with many hours of case study under my belt, I was absolutely sure that I would become self employed and leave my desk job.  However, I still needed an income, so couldn’t just plunge straight in.  So, it went on the back burner until I figured out what to do, and to all intents and purposes, that’s where it has stayed.

The itch to practice however, has never gone away.  I love the feeling of heat in my hands when massaging.  I love the study of the plants, the essential oils and their uses.  I periodically dream of setting up in business and seeing clients in their own homes.  Yet, I don’t actually do anything about it.  I know I can’t work from home because my house is just not practical in its configuration.  I worry about the cost of hiring a therapy space and then finding no clients coming through the door.  I guess I’m just super cautious and clearly not a risk taker.

So, what can I do to share my love of aromatherapy?  Well, I can write about it, that’s for sure.  I can grow medicinal plants and herbs in my garden.  I can get creative, making lotions and potions as gifts (I’m thinking teacup candles in vintage china).  I can read all the latest professional journals and keep up to date with what’s happening in the aromatherapy world.  And of course, I can still offer massage to my friends and family when they need it!

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I’d be interested to know if any other therapists have faced this dilemma and how they approached it.

Beauty Kitchen Inspire Me: Review

This week I’ve been trying out a trio of products from Beauty Kitchen’s Inspire Me Brightening & Toning range which came as part of a prize bundle I won with Holland & Barrett.

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Inspire Me Body Polish

This is my favourite of the three.  It comes in a cute little kilner jar which looks good in the bathroom.  It contains detoxing Himalayan pink mineral salt, a blend of carrier oils, including sweet almond and grapeseed as well as the all important essential oils: orange, sage, may chang, lemongrass, spearmint, basil, grapefruit and sweet fennel.  These oils have been chosen for their toning and detoxifying qualities and when you slather on the contents, it does have a bit of a spa experience feel about it.  I make something similar to this myself with ginger and lime essential oils and I enjoy using this type of scrub.  If I have one criticism of this product, then it would be the mess the green bits make in the bath, but I’m being picky.

 

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Inspire Me Body Wash

The body wash contains the same essential oils as the polish, but the carrier is water rather than oil based and contains algae oil derivatives.  The instructions on the bottle are to lather up using a sponge, inhale oils, and rinse.  Of all the products , this is the strongest smelling and I think the may chang and lemongrass (which smell very similar) overpower the other essential oils.  That said, the smell is fresh and invigorating, and smell is all down to personal preference.

Inspire Me Body Oil

I like this product on a number of levels.  Firstly, the blue glass jar with a long dropper.  It looks good and, always a bonus for me,  it can be re-used for my own potions.  Secondly, the oil is not too thick and applies and absorbs very easily.  Thirdly, this feels like a luxury product which again gives me the ‘spa’ feel that I enjoy.   It contains the same essential oils as the others in a mix of carrier oils.

This is a great set of products to use when you are having a detox day.  The essential oils they contain improve circulation and have a detoxifying and stimulant effect on the body.  Interestingly, lemongrass is the oil most recommended for jet lag, so if you need a pick me up after a flight, this should do the trick!

They contain no parabens, no sulphates, no synthetic fragrance and are made in the UK.

http://www.beautykitchen.co.uk/by-scent

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/

PS  I’ll be reviewing the other products in the prize bundle soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Dreams

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The one thing that’s guaranteed to send me to sleep is a relaxing bath-time aromatherapy extravaganza!  I trained in clinical aromatherapy, so have more than a passing interest in the properties of essential oils, but it has to be said, I do love a good pampering session! These are some of my favourite products.

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Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Mind & Body Oil

I’m a huge fan of this Aromatherapy Associates  especially after hearing its founder Geraldine Howard speak so powerfully at a conference for the International Federation of Aromatherapists. A few drops of this in the bath and you’re in for a real sensory experience.  It contains soothing camomile, petitgrain which is a nerve tonic, and frankincense which acts as a sedative.  Surprisingly, it also contains rosemary, which is a stimulant, but in this blend, it acts to clear the mind.  Just what you need for a great night’s sleep.

Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm

Rose is the most feminine and balancing of all essential oils and is by far my favourite. I massage this balm into my face before I get in the bath then let the steam do its work.  I  take it off with a flannel and my skin feels beautifully revived.

Therapie Joie Uplifting Bath Infusion

This sandy saviour make your bath look like the car after a Saharan storm, but as long as you don’t mind giving the bath a wipe down afterwards, then it really does deliver on the relaxation front.  It contains the sedatives frankincense and cedarwood, both of which are used in meditation so the hot  steamy bathroom takes on a real exotic spa feel.  The black glass jar is super stylish too and looks great in the bathroom.

Neom Organics ‘Complete Bliss’ Moroccan Blush Rose, Lime and Black Pepper Candle

I’m easily seduced by rose and no relaxing bath is complete without a candle.  It takes a few minutes to really get the aroma going so I light it in the bedroom while I potter about getting ready for my bath and afterwards the whole upstairs smells amazing – like the spa of a swish hotel.

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All you need now is music and my favourite is Mantras From Tibet.

Sweet Dreams!