All About Essential Oils: Part 2
Hello, (seed) blog readers! Last week, we started an introduction to essential oils and learned some background. Today, I am going to talk about some of the ways essential oils may relieve a bit of stress.
Everyone goes through stressful times. We have all been there. Whether it is something temporary--such as worrying about an upcoming test, or longer lasting such as an unhappy relationship, financial troubles, etc.--stress affects our bodies on so many levels.
If I were to ask you what the main symptom of stress is in terms of health, you might say "a headache." Tension headaches are a very common sign. Other signs, though, is a rapid heart rate, an increase in blood sugar levels, decreased energy, skin troubles ranging from paleness to breakouts, insomnia, and depression.
When I am stressed out, my skin just looks tired. My heart will race. My shoulders will tense up and have knots. I think we've all experiences these symptoms before. Then there's insomnia. If I am stressed, I go to bed and then my mind starts zooming from issue to issue and I cannot relax. Then I worry that I'll be tired the next day for not sleeping well. It's quite a cycle. It's at that time when I experience those symptoms that I realize I really need to get more in touch with my tranquil side once again.
Using Essential Oils can help relieve the symptoms of stress and find our way back to that peaceful and relaxed state. Ideally, you'll also be using exercise, meditation, and healthy eating to help things along as well.
The most well known oil for relaxation and stress relief is Lavender.
I am beginning with this oil because it is, perhaps, the most well known of the Essential Oils.
Lavender, or Lavandula Angustifolia, is commonly grown throughout Europe, particularly in Bulgaria, France, and England. It can be grown here, though. I live in New York and our climate really isn't the best for growing an abundance of beautiful lavender. That is not to say it cannot be done, though. This fragrant herb is just lovely. It works well on its own or can be used in blends to enhance its effects.
Lavender, though, does much more than smell nice. A scientific research team at Texas A & M University conducted a study to measure a human's response to odor. Study participants were asleep and given EEG tests. This study was conducted in 1992 and had interesting results. It showed that Lavender Essential Oil essentially lulled the participants to sleep sooner.
Lavender, though, isn't the only beneficial Essential Oil when it comes to relaxation.
Lemon Essential Oil is another relaxing oil. This is surprising to many people, as Lemon (Citrus Limonum) can also be energizing. When combined with other Essential Oils, it can be wonderfully stress-relieving. It improves mental clarity and can even "lift" heavy emotions when used in conjunction with oils in a blend. Lemon calm help relieve the symptoms of tension and migraine headaches as well. Lemon Essential Oil originated in India.
Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) is said to have originated in India. It also comes from the West Indies, Africa, and China. This warming oil is often used to treat muscle aches and pains and I have personally found it helpful to me when I had knots in my shoulder blades and back and need to relax and de-stress.
Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin) is an oil used to help alleviate dry and dull skintones, as well as oily skin, but it has other benefits. This earthy, musky oil is anti-inflammatory, may help repel bugs in the summertime, and is soothing. It's common in anti-stress blends for good reason!
Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odoratas) is a known soother. This lovely floral oil was the subject of a study to determine whether it could help alleviate common symptoms associated with stress when applied to the skin. The results of the study provided evidence that this oil, when used in aromatherapy, may help lessen the effects of stress and depression.
Next week, we'll share oils that can help you feel ENERGIZED!
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Red, bold berries, and purples can be unforgiving, especially when you have dry lips. Lips need to be primed and prepped before you apply lip color.
Picture the exterior of a house with paint that has chipped and peeled. If you hired a painter, would he just take out the paint and roll right over the shingles? No. The paint would not go on evenly and it would be bumpy and peel even more. The painter would scrape away the old paint, smooth the wood, make sure it is cleaned properly and prepped for painting. The canvas needs to be smooth for the paint to adhere and look its best. The same goes for your lips. If your lips are chapped or flaky and you apply lipstick, every imperfection show. The color will not properly adhere and your lips will not look good. You need to prepare the lip surface first.
Fragrance free is what you are looking for.
This means that no fragrances (artificial or otherwise) have been added to the product (or should mean that, watch for tougher regulations monitoring that coming). As we know, artificial fragrances are the #1 irritant on skin and one of the most potentially harmful ingredients we can encounter - because they contain phthalates -- see more information below.
They are linked to many health issues, from allergies and asthma to cancer. Simply put, these fragrances are making people sick. In its truest definition, "fragrance free," means you should not have to worry about those nasty synthetics. Nothing should be added to remove the natural scents from the butters, oils, and other natural ingredients in the products. In other words, you may smell some of the product’s ingredients such as the olive oil or shea butter.
Did you know?
Honestly, it can be confusing. Many people assume that unscented and fragrance free are interchangeable terms. This is wrong, however.
Yes, Seed Soft Balm is a luxury skin balm. While there are other luxury body balm products out there. they tend to feature long ingredients lists that include “everything but the kitchen skin” -- a long ingredients list doesn’t equate to a better product. It has a greater chance of causing skin reactions, and that is something we are very mindful of here at Seed.
There is a method to our madness. Have you ever noticed that "everything but the kitchen sink" approach to formulation that I mentioned above? When you look at labels, there are something more than 20 ingredients in a single product! More doesn't equal better. Actually, the truth is that when you throw in many different oils and botanicals, they can counteract each other's effects, reducing the benefits. We don't want that. They also are MUCH more likely to cause an allergic response.