I chose Roman chamomile for the Titch Haven logo (that’s right – it’s not a daisy!) as this oil has beautiful calming properties. I thought it was the perfect representation of the ‘small retreat in a busy world’ that I was creating. In plant lore, chamomile symbolises ‘patience in adversity’. Again, this reflects much of the work I do in my business – helping others to overcome difficult times and managing their emotions through this process.
In modern society, we are trained to 'think positive'. Expressing our 'negative' emotions is often frowned upon and we cajole each other out of it. This leads to conditioning to avoid and suppress these feelings. However, experiencing these emotions has a function in our lives.
Geranium is a common plant to find in our gardens, especially since it is pretty easy to grow! I never particularly liked the smell of the plant, so when I was about to sniff the essential oil of geranium for the first time, I was already screwing my nose up in anticipation! But instead I was pleasantly surprised to find that I did enjoy the aroma.
Bergamot has been my most favourite essential oil since I was a teenager. Its aroma never fails to lift me up and calm me down – what a perfect combination of effects! It is why this oil is commonly used in blends for emotional support.
With Christmas around the corner, what better time is there to discuss the fir essential oils! Fir trees differ from pine and spruce as their needles are flat and grow straight out of the branch, without a stem nor in bunches.
The short answer to the question 'is Aromatherapy a Science or an Art?' is... it's both!
New scientific research into the use of essential oils comes out daily, and I constantly have a long list of journal articles to review! My Medical Science background means that I can understand and interpret such research to learn more about how essential oils work as a therapy.
When thinking of ‘aromatherapy’, many people’s first thought is of massage. Massage certainly is a relaxing and therapeutic way to experience essential oils, and it does form a part of my practice. However, essential oils can be used to alleviate symptoms and promote physical health in other ways, as well as supporting the emotions and mental health.
Essential oils are extracts of natural oils produced by plants - those which give a plant a fragrance. They can come from the leaves, flowers, stems, twigs, resin, fruit, roots or any other part of the plant. The oils are important to the plant for influencing growth, attracting insects for pollination, to protect from infectious agents or for repelling predators.
Essential oils can be inhaled, applied to the skin or even ingested (although I do not promote the ingestion of essential oils in my practice). These methods of using essential oils all allow the chemical components of the oils to enter the body. Once in the body, essential oils have three modes of action.
As a child, perhaps you had a Grandmother who was very cuddly and was fond of wearing a particular perfume. She would wrap you up in her arms and hold you close, and make you feel safe and loved and wanted. Can you imagine that if you were to smell that perfume now, that it would invoke those same feelings of safe and calm and loving?
Taking some time out to stop and smell an aroma can help to ‘break the moment’ during a difficult emotional response. Perhaps this is where the saying ‘stop and smell the roses’ came from – it is good advice!
Lavender is the first essential oil that most of us will think of when asked for names of essential oils that we use. It is the most common essential oil to be found in households – and for good reason! Lavender is a useful and versatile essential oil for home use. The botanical name for the lavender used for essential oil production is Lavandula angustifolia. The essential oil is steam-distilled from the buds, flowers and stems. The plant material is commonly sourced southern France, Italy, India and Bulgaria.