F3Ok guys, not to start on a bum note or anything…

But today’s post is for all the brides-to-be who find themselves feeling a little weary, a little rundown, those struggling to sleep, lacking energy, maybe that fatigue and stress is showing on your skin, or in your moods? Girls, we’re here to tell you we totally know how you feel and that help is at hand!

So there’s a pretty major trend emerging right now that’s giving Essential Oils a lot of loving. I walked in to Selfridges just before Christmas to find myself following my nose straight over to, über cool brand, MUJI‘s home fragrance counter. I found myself (and my not-quite-so-enthralled hubby) faced with an entire counter of little glowing white pods, emitting vapour of various scents into the air… Needless to say I was completely hooked from the moment I saw those diffusers and the more research I put into essential oils, the more I use them, the more I wonder how I survived without them!

I am convinced that many of these pure essential oils, and the blended mixes too, could totally transform the wedding planning experience for brides (and grooms, parents, bridesmaids, the dog… Really, anyone that’s nearby!). Of course, I’m not saying that the moment you sniff a little bottle of lavender you’re gonna just sail on through wedding planning without a care in the world (I WISH), but I am saying that with the right oils and blends you’ll find yourself equipped to meet any ailments, moods or challenges with a greater sense of balance, (oh and FYI your skin will more than likely end up looking pretty incredible too, perks!)

Before we hit up the nitty gritty of what, when and how, just a quick note to say we’re ain’t no doctors. These musings are simply from our research and personal experience. So please, if you’re pregnant or under a doctor’s care for illness, consult your GP before using any of these oils.

Right then, deep breath everybody!

No, really. Inhale, and exhale…

F5D1So, first things first:

Welcome to the room, sceptics. I can see you, standing there at the back, acting all cool and phoo-phooing me and my hippy notions.

Whelp. For the benefit of said sceptics, this is how it works… 

Ha, y’all totally thought I was gonna pull out an A* GCSE in biology then, didn’t you?! No way, I’ll let 21drops explain:

Essential oils can help alter our physical, mental and emotional well-being by triggering and strengthening our bodies’ own natural processes. They are made up of tiny molecules that can deliver healing properties to the systems that control our physiological state.

The best way for the body to absorb the therapeutic components of essential oils is a combination of inhalation through the olfactory system of the nose and absorption through the surface of the skin:

Inhalation:

When essential oils are inhaled through the nose, tiny nerves send an immediate signal to the brain and go straight to work on the systems that moderate our minds and bodies.

Inhalation can be the most direct delivery method of these incredibly nurturing components in essential oils, since the chemical messengers in the nasal cavity have direct access to the brain.

Topical Application: 

When essential oils are applied to the skin, their healing components are absorbed into the bloodstream by the pores and hair follicles. Once inside the bloodstream, they disperse to the specific organs and systems on which they work.

Pulse points are the areas of the body where blood vessels are closest to the skin’s surface.  Applying essential oils to these areas allows for quicker absorption and help them get to work faster.  We suggest applying to the wrists, temples and back of the neck. 

i1

i2Got it?

Pretty straightforward really, makes total sense and beats reaching for chemical-packed tablets/gels/sprays/drinks to get the relief or kick you need!

FOk, so now’s probably a good time to start talking about the ‘what’.

I can hear you guys gagging to know which oil you need to go buy from way over here!

We’re not gonna get into ‘which brand’ debate (there are MANY and they all claim to be the best) we’ll let you guys google yourselves silly over that, but we are gonna talk about the oils themselves.

First up, for the skim readers, if you’re looking to buy and haven’t the time for thorough research, then the following diagram is all kinds of awesome for a basic breakdown of your essentials.

Oh, the lemon, somebody get me some lemon!

i3Break it down by what y’all wanna gain from your oils and it looks a little something like this:

UPLIFT

antidepressant  |  invigorate  |  de-stress

  • clary sage  |  antidepressant, soothing
  • lemon  |  Energises, de-stresses + uplifts the soul
  • wild orange  |  invigorates, lifts the mood
  • grapefruit  |  uplifts, pleases the senses

CALM

soothe  |  sleep  |  relax

  • lavender  |  Stress buster, calms nerves + know for helping with sleep
  • frankincense  |  relaxes, enhances mood
  • cedarwood  |  soothes, grounding the mind + emotions
  • bergamot  |  a rare calming citrus

FOCUS

balance  |  memory  |  purify

  • helichrysum  |  regenerates
  • eucalyptus  |  calms, clears
  • lime  |  cleanse, stimulate + refresh
  • myrrh  |  cleanse
  • patchouli  | balance, grounding + supports mood

BODY

pain relief | digestion | immunity

  • basil  |  soothes sore + tired muscles
  • oregano  |  boosts immunity, aids digestive + respiratory system
  • ginger  |  digestion, eliminates nausea + alleviates joint discomfort
  • lemongrass  |  supports healthy digestion, soothes aches
  • geranium  |  supports joints, tempers minor aches + pain
  • fennel  |  relieves indigestion
  • clove  |  heals
  • peppermint  |  aids + eases digestion

F1Gah! It’s just SO exciting! There’s so much to be gained from these beautiful, natural oils.

Did I mention they’re also amazing for your skin? Like, really, AMAZING.

Check out this super useful table by Body Unburdened to help you suss which essential oils you’ll need (it’s all so personal to you, but these tables are supremely helpful!) and then you’ll wanna look at which carrier oil would suit you best (for those feeling clueless, like me, you add 1 drop of essential oil for every 1ml (or 20 drops) of your carrier oil).

LU1Or, if you’re not game for topically applying the oils to your skin, why not consider a face steamer? I recently purchased this one and I’m totally addicted! Every two days you’ll find me sat with my face buried into the little mask, deeply inhaling whichever oil I’ve chosen to drop into it’s handy aroma therapy container (usually geranium, frankincense or lavender, they’re great all-rounders for the skin!).

Just a little word of caution though, in the longer term steamers make for clearer, brighter looking skin, but it has known for user to ‘break out’ before their skin then improves (just grime and stuff coming to the surface, I guess) so if you fancy it, make sure you start steaming well in advance of the wedding.. we’re talking a good month at least!

F4D5There really is a huge variety of ways to topically apply, ingest or inhale your essential oils (like, seriously, we’d be here all day!)

But our take on it all?

We love to diffuse rather than burn

…no fire hazard, diffusers can be left on overnight or unattended and um hi, the puffs of steam are cute, no?!

We love to drink our citruses and eat our herbs

…the citrus oils taste fabulously refreshing and with a lot of the herb EO’s we just get the goodness straight from the fresh herbs we include in meals!

We research our topical applications as and when

…it’s pretty darn impossible to remember whether it was lavender on your soles or geranium on your palms, so research topical application tips when you need them!

We steam our facial oils

…burdened with pretty sensitive skin over here at Fbrides HQ, we stick to the more subtle aromatherapy facial steams but, if you can, topical application is the way forward.

We always ask the manufacturer

…not all EO’s are ingestible. Some are recommended for topical application, while others are strictly to be used for inhalation purposes only and it can very much depend on the clairity of your oils too. Read your labels, honeys, and if you’re still unsure, ask your provider!

D7Lastly, I simply HAD to include these incredible essential oil based DIYs by the ever-wonderful and totally-addictive Free People blog, BLDG25.

So whether it’s the benefits of fresh Eucalyptus in your shower that you seek…

D6Or you crave this homemade sleep-inducing lavender balm

DIY1Or maybe your skin’s crying out for a hydrating mask, infused with Ylang Ylang, Rose and Clary Sage?

DIY2

Or maybe, just maybe, you’re planning on taking this whole essential oil thing into your honeymoon phase too? This massage candle… I mean!

Hearts. For. Eyes.

DIY3F7F2Just remember, babes, whether it’s the cake topper debate (again), a tricky-to-please second cousin or just the night-before jitters: all you need do is BREATHE

(…and add a little essential oil, but I’d have thought that was kinda obvs by now!)

F6Let us know how your essential oil journey began! What are your favourite daily essentials? Do you diffuse? There’s so much we want to learn about these oils – fill us in on your thoughts!

Peace + Love

Clare X

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