I believe in natural products, but I realize that natural doesn't always mean safe.
Essential Oils Adapt To Our Needs
I’ve always loved essential oils. However, as a novice enthusiast, the world of aromatherapy was intimidating. I struggled to decide which essential oils belonged in my starter kit. I wanted them all. Thankfully I realized that many essential oils are shapeshifters.
To explain what I mean, I chose lavender essential oil as a base example. Most people know what lavender is and that we can purchase it as a concentrated essential oil. I’m sure you’ve seen advertisements on TV where the lavender scent is touted for its calming effects in baby products or fabric softeners. It’s true, lavender is calming, but lavender is so much more than that. It’s an adaptogen.
What Is An Adaptogen?
In aromatherapy circles, some essential oils can multitask. They are considered adaptogens because they can normalize then regulate balance in the mind, body or on the skin. An adaptogen essential oil can be a healer, pain reliever, anti-ager, relaxant or a stimulant all at the same time, depending on the need. Your body decides which of these properties it needs in the moment. I realized that I could choose a handful of oils that were multipurpose and that complemented each other. With a few oils like lavender, lemon, geranium, eucalyptus and chamomile in my kit, I could create all kinds of home health blends. Please note that these are not the only adaptive essential oils out there. These are just the ones I’ve chosen.
Lavender Essential Oil Benefits
The intended use of an essential oil is often very specific, but the benefits are layered. We receive them all in one dose.
In the case of lavender essential oil:
- Lavender can heal the skin because it has cytophylactic properties which means it promotes new cell growth.
- Lavender also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which help to prevent infections as a wound heals.
- It’s a great anti-aging essential oil in skin care because it increases the efficiency of new cell growth.
- Lavender produces a calming, restorative scent that helps to combat stress and tension.
- It soothes irritated skin which helps to reduce pain
A study published in the US National Library of Medicine (NCBI) lists the benefits of lavender essential oil. One part of the study revealed that when lavender essential oil was used during a foot massage, it helped to lower blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate in patients with recurring stress due to pain. Another part of the study followed 115 patients with recurring skin ulcers. Lavender was used to treat the ulcers and results showed that some ulcers healed faster, while others showed a reduction in ulcer size. Patients reported significant pain relief.
Build An Adaptogen Essential Oil First Aid Kit
Consider choosing one of your favorite adaptogen essential oils like lavender. Then choose a few that complement that oil. I chose the following oils because I can use them on their own, but they blend well together. These are some of the holistic offerings for each oil but there are many more. I listed these to show how they could boost one another.
- Lavender: calming, uplifting, healing, pain reliever, antiseptic, sleeping aid, anti-inflammatory
- Lemon: calming, uplifting, sleep aid, anti-bacterial, astringent
- Geranium: calming, healing, great insect repellent, anti-inflammatory, pain reliever
- Eucalyptus: calming, uplifting, healing, anti-bacterial, antiseptic, pain reliever, great for treating insect bites
- Chamomile: calming, sleep aid, anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, great to treat insect bites.
Essential Oil Starter Kit
Mix and Match For Added Holistic Benefit
While lavender essential oil on its own is great at multitasking, you can enhance it with a complimentary adaptogen oil. Adding another oil to a blend depends on the need you want to meet.
Let’s say your co-worker is away on vacation and your boss just ‘gifted’ you with all her deadlines. Naturally, you’re a bit stressed, but you’re ok because you remember that you have a nasal inhaler blend of lavender and lemon in your bag. Lemon essential oil is also considered an adaptogenic oil because it is calming yet stimulating and can boost your mood. Therefore, a blend of lavender and lemon essential oil in this scenario is perfect. Your co-worker better watch out because you’ve got this.
Your in-laws are coming over for dinner and you’re not exactly a great cook. However, you want to impress them with a mouth-watering roast with all the fixings. As you pull the roast out of the oven, a little hot oil spills and burns your hand. You utter a few unsavory words that represent the searing pain on your tender skin. You don’t have time to waste. So, you grab an amber glass bottle of lavender and chamomile blended oil. You apply it to the red angry skin where a large pregnant blister appeared with impressive speed. Both lavender and chamomile scents will help to calm you down and edit your vocabulary. Both oils have anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties to help speed up the healing process. You could also grab your lavender and lemon nasal inhaler at this point for added assistance because your mother-in-law is a great cook and you might have over seasoned the roast.
Note: Do not put essential oils on an open wound or blistering burn. Simply use them in the aromatherapeutic sense.
Dilution and Safety
Please do not use undiluted essential oils topically (directly) on the skin. They are very concentrated and can cause serious skin irritation.
Tisserand Institute has a handy downloadable chart to help you measure and dilute essential oils safely.
Essential Oils for Seasonal Allergies
In both scenarios, the lavender essential oil and its helper served a purpose in the moment. Especially in scenario two where both physical and mental remedies were needed in a single moment. Essential oils are nature’s holistic shapeshifters.
US National Library of Medicine
Wilson, Celeste. Isla Verde Spa Training Academy Certificate of Aromatherapy Course.
Wilson, Celeste. National Higher Certificate in Beauty Therapy. The Durban University of Technology.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Celeste Wilson