Most of the time when I make perfume oils it’s all about the scent. (I have a couple of videos about making them, here and here.) This is different though, this one is all about the emotional benefits with my essential oil picks based solely on their traditionally recognized benefits for reducing anxiety and stress. I chose sunflower oil for the base because it hardly has any scent of its own so it carries the e.o. scents quite well. The essential oils I’m using are Neroli, known to decrease nervous tension and apprehension, so much so that Neroli blossoms used to frequently be placed in wedding bouquets, Clary Sage which is a happy scent, sometimes even described as euphoric and elation-promoting, and Lavender which is a relaxing scent. To make the blend, simply add the base oil (I use a funnel to reduce spillage) to the clean, empty bottle of choice. In the picture I have a clear, 1/3 oz. bottle, but I actually ended up using a dark amber bottle instead because dark-colored glass helps the essential oils stay fresh longer. In a 1/3 oz bottle I’d add about 12 drops of essential oils total, and in a 1/2 oz bottle size I’d add 15-18 drops total. For this blend none of the oils are exceptionally strong so I decided to add equal amounts to the base oil, so 4 drops of each oil went into the bottle. Always cap your blends right away and shake them, or better yet, roll them in your hands to mix the ingredients together. The blend is then ready to use but it will deepen and change a bit over a month’s time. Keep it out of direct light and heat for best results, and then use on pulse points to reduce nervousness and stress. Always remember to shake the bottle before using to make sure the essential oils are well mixed. This is so easy that even the most stressed out person can manage to do this without so much as a toddler sized tantrum or clenched jaw. Don’t forget to write down your personal blend formula for future reference, and also to label the bottle accordingly. I labeled mine ‘breathe’ so I remember to check on the quality of my breathing when I’m reaching for a stress-reducing scent. A mantra I learned a long time ago comes in handy at those moments: Breathe in the future, breathe out the past. The sweet spot is in-between the breath in and breath out which can only be recognized as the present. Let me know what your favorite stress-reducing techniques are. I’d love to hear them!
This week while looking at Whole Foods’ tincture selection, I saw they carry (in our local store, all WFs are differently stocked) The Herbalist brand tinctures. The Herbalist is a store I used to visit in Seattle but haven’t gone to in years so I was happily surprised to see their herbal products because it’s always fun to support a local business, plus the blends are unique and very well thought-out. These could have been there a while, I actually don’t buy many supplements at Whole Foods, but it is great to see such a big store stock locally made items so now I’ll have to peruse their supplement aisles more often. I encourage everyone to look into their local herbalists and such because you might be surprised at what can be found in your very own community. It is grounding when you realize your neighbors may be the ones blending up brews of all kinds, and knowing it doesn’t come from some mysterious, far away place and somehow ends up on a shelf near you.
I bought an immune booster called Astragalus Plus because by this time of year I feel depleted. This winter has been especially hard for various reasons, and it hasn’t helped that it’s the rainiest winter season on record here in the Seattle area. It’s been grey, wet, muddy, and harsh. Spring is awfully close though and I’m hoping this immune booster will push me through these last few weeks while we transition to longer days and blossoming trees, and maybe even keep allergies at bay while that happens.
This blend features an array of immune boosters plus cayenne to help those lovely herbs circulate throughout the body. I specifically wanted my immune booster to be made predominantly with astragalus (instead of echinacea or oregon grape for example) because astragalus is also an adrenal tonic and help with stress is always appreciated.
If you don’t know where to start looking for your own local herbalists, you can start by checking out the American Herbalists Guild website. You will find an array of resources there, including how to find an AHG member herbalist in your area. Note these are herbalists that focus on being clinical herbalists. There are others who focus on making herbal products and medicines, and others who focus on growing or gathering the herbs. Those that focus on gathering herbs are also known as wildcrafters, while those that grow theirs are gardeners or farmers, depending on scale.
What are your local treasures, herbal or otherwise?