How do I choose Essential oils?

5 steps How to choose your perfect essential oil Loula Natural

There is lots of essential oils information out there- there are many essential oil companies out there too.

I want to try and give you some information on what you should be looking for when choosing an essential oil to help balance your body. If you are looking to buy quality essential oils- please have a look here. Also read my Ask the Aromatherapist post.

whole body balance

Step 1;

Try to identify how your whole body is feeling. For example if you have a headache- how do you feel about the headache, what have the emotions been that have lead up to the headache, how is your whole body feeling physically- do you have pain anywhere else, are your tired, dehydrated, stressed, feel pressured and so on. Everyones presentation of symptoms and how they feel about certain symptoms will be different. There are some essential oils that may help people with headaches- however what you choose may be different from someone else.

Take a whole body approach rather than just trying to suppress a symptom and continue as normal. This does not address the core issue and so the problem will persist and get worse. Every symptom is a warning signal that the body is no longer in balance and needs assistance. By blocking signals the body will degenerate and chronic illness is present. Go back to the cause and the body can rebalance and move forward.

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Step 2;

Every oil has a natural starting point. The efficiency of the oils in combatting your physical and emotional imbalances is directly related to the flower, herb, tree’s pharmacological herbal actions are. Each substance contains various oils and those oils are extracted. Each of these extracted volatile oils has an action on the body. This is also what herbal medicine is based on. These oils can either be absorbed through the skin with assistance of a carrier oil or through being diffused in the air.

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This means that each substance will have its individual and collective uses. For example chamomile’s actions have been seen to be analgesic (pain relieving), anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, carlmative (calming), nerve sedative, vulenary (helps to heal wounds externally), sudorific (causes sweating) and an emmenagogue (assists in menstruation.

So if you have a headache from a bash, cut or inflamed area that is causing some anxiety or nerve irritation then chamomile may work very well- however if you have a headache because you are dehydrated, been in the sun all day and are tired and overworked- the same essential oil may not be ideal. The trick is to chose the right oil for the right situation especially for you. If you like the smell of something then you are also usually on the right track. 

Each oil also has a vibrational energy which your body may be drawn too. Sometimes I choose my essential oils blindly. Especially single oils when I am making a blend. 

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Step 3;

ALWAYS check the safety information for yourself before using the oils. Personally I believe that essential oils are for the olfactory senses. They should be smelt and absorbed through the skin with carrier oils. I am not a huge fan of ingesting oils as I prefer to use foods for  that.

I see essential oils as a very effective tool with in a tool box of remedies for each ailment. When dealing with acute situations oils can work fast and be very effective- however even as a Naturopath myself, I will seek advice from an aromatherapist for chronic issues. I then do some more research myself and change other areas in my life to get a more holistic lifestyle change to help my body to heal and return to balance.

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Oils that are considered safe, if not used correctly or in the right circumstances and potentially can have negative effects as much as other natural remedy can. Ensure that if you use something it is because you have made the informed choice and decision to use it-not because someone told you too or you read something on the internet. I say this for all advice- even my own!

Lavender

Step 4;

Think less is more- it is easier to work out which oils are good for your situation and then see if there is a blend which contains them all. The only way you can know how a blend works is to study the individual herbal actions of each of its ingredients. As a blend they can be very powerful so I tend to recommend to use the individual ones first- then start to recognize which individual oils you react positively to then find blends- or even start to make your own blends (I used to do this for clients and myself all the time to great effect- and great for gifts).

Try one blend at a time- blends will have a few oils in them- each one will have an action on the body and may be quiet stressful on the body when being combatted with several blends at the same time- leave some time after using the blended oil on your body or in a diffuser to take note of any effects before trying something out. Give your body space to decipher the messages it receives from using remedies, use some meditation or some visualisation when using the essential oils to guide your body towards what you want to achieve. 

Most importantly- use the oils mindfully- connect with what you have chosen and take responsibility for your own healing. Yes they work with babies and animals who are not necessarily thinking about what they are using, are passive in their use of them. However think about how more powerful and full of potential they can become if you actively use them.

When you are choosing oils try and get a good encyclopedia of oils like these ones;

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You can get a notebook and copy down for each oil you have the name, how it is used traditionally, its herbal actions, and safety data. Then each time you want to reach for your oils you have all the information to hand. Have some fun with them- get to know them, their smell and their effect on your body. Write it all down in your own notebook and keep it to teach others from your experiences. Nice thing to pass down too!

 

Make Notes

 

Always ask a professional aromatherapist if you are ever worried about using oils.

Step 5

Consider the alternatives; homeopathy, nutrition, Bach Flowers, kinesiology, massage, reflexology, Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, EFT, herbal tinctures, exercise like yoga and hiking, stress management techniques like meditation, breathing techniques and other physical manipulation like cranial sacral therapy, osteopathy, physiotherapy and many more.

All of these other methods of bringing the body’s physical, emotional and energetic factors back to balance and true health can be achieved. Nothing on its own is ever going to work 100%- different situations will require different combinations and strategies- start to look into and get to know other methods of giving the body space, strength and healing.

Thanks to the Young Living flickr roll for some inspiring shots!

5 steps How to choose your perfect essential oil Loula Natural Pin

 

What is a Naturopath

What is a Naturopath Loula Natural

What is a Naturopath?

Have you ever wondered about what a Naturopathic Doctor does? Ever wanted to see one but are confused about why it may work for you? In a nutshell a Naturopath with use only natural means to heal, repair and balance the body. Whether acute or chronic- all conditions can be dealt with using nature.

We all have different tools in our tool box, but in general you can expect to talk about energy medicines  like homeopathy, Bach Flower Remedies or other vibrational remedies, emotional freedom technique (eft), herbs, healing power of foods, fermentation, accupuncture, kineseolgy, essential oils, muscle testing, breathing techniques, exercise advice, meditation and other mindful practices with other stress management techniques.

As you can see our breadth and scope of healing tools is vast. This gives us so much to draw from when seeking to help the individual. We are able to help balance symptoms, as we always concentrate on seeking and resolving the cause of the imbalance. Our knowledge about how the body works and all our body systems work together, Combined with a more open minded approach to healing free of the dogma of strict diagnosis and protocols means we can truly tailor make an individual treatment plan just for you.

I am so passionate about what I do and it is a huge part of who I am as a person and as a mother. I am constantly seeking ways to help people get back to themselves, to feel safe, secure and powerful and happy.

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These are the six principles we ascribe to and all of them mean so much to me;

Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine:

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The Healing Power of Nature:

The Vital force, an inherent self-healing process in each of us which is both ordered and intelligent. Each person has their own relationship with it. A Naturopath will give the body space to have the energy to heal themselves helping to remove obstacles to healing and recovery. To help identify bodies signals and deliver options for the individual to come into line with their own healing intuition.

Identify and Treat the cause:

A Naturopath will seek to identify the underlying cause or driver of the illness rather than merely suppressing the symptoms. By resolving the cause of the issue everything else will be resolved in the ripple effect! 

First Do No Harm:

Use the least force necessary to diagnose and treat. Minimise risk of harmful side effects. Avoid the suppression of symptoms. Acknowledge, respect and work with the individuals self-healing process. Refer to others for treatment when your skills are inappropriate. Know your own skills and limitations. 

Doctor as Teacher:

A Naturopath will educate and encourage their patient towards self-responsibility for health. Teach them about their body and encourage the idea that prevention is better than cure. Empower them to heal themselves. A Naturopath support the healing; however you do it!

Treat the Whole Person:

Take into account individual physical, emotional, spiritual, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Get the whole picture. Bring the body’s systems together again. Work at the individuals own pace to reunited them with their instinct and intuition.

Prevention Rather than Cure:

Emphasise the prevention of disease. Asses risk-factors, hereditary and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions with your patient to prevent illness. Commit to create a healthy world where all of humanity can and will thrive.

These principles are the Hippocratic oath that all Doctors take. We just interpret them slightly differently. A Naturopath will take  full history and really get to know not only the physical issues but also the emotional ones too. Each personality will need different courses of action and each person will be able to make changes at different speeds. The key to the treatment is in giving the individual the responsibility to heal.

The only person that can make you well and happy is yourself. I can give you a tool box to work from but you need to listen and respond to your body. I teach many classes to help people to start to make choices for themselves and their families. Education is key, coupled with motivation for change and you will become unstoppable!

What is a Naturopath Loula Natural Pin

Why I have joined Young Living Essential Oils

Why I Joined Young Living Loula Natural

Why I have joined Young Living Essential Oils 

You may already be aware that I am a naturopath and nutritional therapist. I have been in the health industry for almost 10 years. I have used essential oils for almost the same amount of time. I have used all sorts of brands of essential oil based on what I am drawn to- and I will probably continue to use and support different brands.

However I was interested in the scope of using a company that has the resources to allow people all over the world access to a very good quality product. It will be so much easier for my worldwide readership to be able to find and easily buy the oils I recommend. Young Living has support for the whole world so where ever you are reading this you can buy the same oils I do- easy peasy.

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The business side of Young Living was what put me off primarily. IT seemed confusing and manipulative. However after looking into it I realised that was just how I perceived it- its actually very simple. If you like the oils, you sign up and get a discount. If you like the oils and your friends and family want to buy them too, you can refer them and get a bonus when they sign so you can get some more oils. 

However, I do not feel comfortable with some of the recommendations and pushy sales techniques I have come across. I have been hearing from clients who have been told things that have alarmed me by their friends. Marketing knowledge is very different from natural health knowledge and I would love you to know the difference.

I will endeavour to provide safe and effective advice from a professional point of view, in combination with other therapies and always based on the health of the individual.

For example I would never ever advise pure oils (without being diluted in a carrier oil like coconut or ALmond oil) to be used on children. Especially not babies, unless this advice come directly from an aromatherapist who knows the individual case. Regardless of the brand. I also do not endorse ingesting the oils for children or adults alike. It is not what aromatherapy is about. (see here for what Aromatherapy is)

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I am passionate about using oranges to create orange flavour, I also much prefer real lemons in water than an oil. I believe essential oils have their place in natural healing alongside other modalities like Bach Flower Remedies, Homeopathy, Eft, Accupuncture and of course the power of food. It is the combination that will bring about balance. 

I am very happy to learn that Young Living responsibly grow or source oils and have very strict quality control. They have branded their oils with the adage that they are Therapeutic Grade. This means that they are pure oils without any dilution, that they are of supreme quality and are exactly what they say they are, in every bottle. It is quite an amazing promise. One that other companies strive to do also, however the passion felt from Young Living and their founder Gary Young is pretty infectious. Therapeutic grade is their own definition and is not necessarily recognised by the aromatherapy community. Nevertheless, here are their Lavender fields that some of my friends were lucky enough to visit earlier this year. Gorgeous.

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When I first started using oils I did so from an informed starting point. I have used these books over the years and plan to have an professional aromatherapy qualification soon (something I have wanted for a long time);

HEaling Wormwood

 

(links are affiliate links)

Yes, I have used oils to great benefit; diffusing them in the house, using them in cosmetics, cleaning products and perfumes has provided major shifts within myself and my family. My kids have gone to bed with lavender and chamomile in their bath water since they were old enough to handle it. I have made countless oil blends for clients over the years for their skin and hair. However I do not believe that there are any miracle cures. I completely respect the power of placebo and so if you feel like something will help you (be is pharma or natural) it will allow your body to have direction to heal. I also will not forget all my other tools either. Paramount to all of this is that I will keep the individual at the centre of my advice, rather than financial gain.

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The main draw of joining Young Living for me is the special and genius blends (like the ones for children above and animals seen below) that they have created and the amazing attention to detail that they put into every bottle of oil that has impressed me. I have also been told by someone I respect that the energy of the oils is definitely different from other brands. That helped to convince me to sign up.

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So If buying young living oils helps you to source great quality and signing up with me provides you with an awesome price and the ability to share your experiences with others then I am happy to provide this for you and really look forward to hearing about shifts you have felt and how you use them in your life alongside other natural methods to get yourself healing and living in balance.

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I am proud and happy to be an Oily Angel. Working along-side people I admire and respect will help me to find my way of using and promoting the oils, either through classes, my facebook group or blog- I endeavour to help support and guide anyone and everyone with Essential oil questions.

Here is my sign up page to learn more and my facebook group to support you to find the natural means to help your body to heal.

 Why I Joined Young Living Loula Natural Pin

Not a happy hour with a chemical cocktail

We all know chemicals are bad for our health. They create oxidative damage to our cells and create roaming free radicals – words we are used to hearing, but what do they mean, how does it happen and how is it linked to most chronic conditions? For example we know that there is a link between Asbestos and Lung Cancer, but what about the small amounts of chemicals we are exposed to everyday, and not just their individual toxicity, but in their interactions and their potential lethal combination. The cocktails we create, little and often and whether willingly or not, will play a massive role in our cellular, and therefore overall, health.

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Chemicals are in our Food, Air and Water. Things we can presumably try to control somewhat. Eat organic and as unprocessed as possible, use an air purifier in our homes or wear a mask while out and about (not my personal choice but a choice all the same) and using a water filter or buying bottled, mineral water. But say you buy all organic food, but then use a chemical detergent to wash your dishes and utensils, or a heavy duty surface cleaner or bleach for the floors. Not to mention bug killers sprayed in the kitchen. What about when you use plastic containers to store food or the cling film that wraps our organic vegetables? Look in your bathroom, shampoos, cleansers, toothpaste, nail polish, soap, moisturiser’s make-up, sun cream, insect repellent. The list is endless, that’s before you go to put on your clothes washed in chemical cleaners and softeners, or gone through chemical processes in their manufacture. The skin has an enormous surface area that excretes and also absorbs. However I think the most pointless combination is an air purifier used with chemical air fresheners, especially those automatic dispensers! Even without my usual rant on vaccinations and their chemical content.

So the list is endless and very daunting. When we look at our health and the health of those around us, most things can be helped by cleaning-up what we use and how we use it. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make. For example, my husband has very mild asthma; he thought it was the air-conditioning, then the dust in the carpets, then the pollution or the humidity, that was making him need his inhaler more frequently whenever we came to Hong Kong. When we moved we were able to experiment. I chucked out the automatic air freshener in the bathroom and hey presto, complete turn around.

Chemicals react with your body and with each other. Slowly start to replace things as you have finished with them e.g. replace the surface cleaners with the same spray bottle rinsed out completely and filled with water, tea tree, lavender and a squeeze of lemon. You will find that this works at removing grease, and it is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and completely non-toxic. Changing to more earth friendly products will reduce your toxic output for the environment but they will still contain chemicals; try using eco balls or soap flakes in the wash, and don’t forget the numerous uses for the amazingly simple – bicarbonate of soda!

Clean up your cosmetics. Your hair and skin will change, but that’s because they are not constantly being stripped of their natural oils (sodium laurel sulphate is the main culprit for this) and goodness, and being replaced with a coating of chemicals which makes your skin appear duller when you don’t use it, give it time and it will be a million times better than it ever was. I have only used blends of oils such as Almond, avocado, jojoba, wheat germ and rosehip with various aromatherapy oils depending on my mood, part of the body I want to use it for, and for what purpose. For example a great blend for a facial oil is rose, frankincense and lavender; an amazing after-sun blend is chamomile, neroli, lavender and geranium, which also doubles as a very good insect repellent, as does lemongrass, grapefruit and geranium. Use the blended oils directly on skin, in the bath, as a makeup remover, as a hair-mask, or on your hands, nails and feet before you go to bed. Save an absolute fortune and have something completely unique and bespoke for you. Parabens may be a hormone disrupter and may have an impact on ‘bad’ oestrogen production that can lead to pcos, fibroids, painful periods and other oestrogen dominant conditions including prostate, breast, cervical and uterine cancer. It’s not about what and how much oestrogen comes into our body; it’s more about what happens to it afterwards and how the body then excretes it. But that is a whole other blog I will get to very soon as it is a big passion of mine!

One of the major players in chemicals and chronic disease is beginning to come to light. Humble sun cream and its connection to skin cancer. There is research to suggest that completely blocking UVA and UVB rays may be the answer. Australia is one of the countries with an increasing number of people with Vitamin D deficiency (foods containing Vitamin D include egg yolk, fish liver oils, butter and sprouted seeds) an important component which holds vital anti-cancer and general health properties by being a very powerful anti-oxidant. They are even starting to suggest that Australia’s high skin cancer rate has very little to do with the hole in the ozone layer but with the sun creams everyone is using and their chemical effect, combined with vitamin D deficiency. Personally I rarely use sun cream, but I am sensible about my sun exposure at the same time. No more than 20 minutes, during the hottest part of the day, with 40% skin exposure may be enough. If I am sunbathing the first 20 mins will be in part shade (I always wear a hat or have my face in the shade) and then I will generally use a factor 20-30. Burning is obviously not an option and will of course produce a lot of damage; I am not condoning that in any way.

If you start in the spring your body builds up its natural defences to the sun, melatonin, and so by the summer when the sun is at its strongest you will have a good degree of natural sun block. After the 20 mins, sleeves, shade, hats etc and obviously keeping well hydrated and your diet packed full of antioxidants in the form of Selenium (Alfalfa, broccoli, eggs, fish, organ meats, onion, garlic), Vitamin A (apricots, barley grass, carrots, fish liver oils, green leafy veg, eggs), Beta Carotene (broccoli, carrots, yellow veg, papaya, spinach, sweet potato, tomatoes- as uncooked as possible), C (Ascorbic acid- Blackcurrants, broccoli, brussel sprouts, guava, parsley, pineapple, raw cabbage, strawberries, sweet potatoes and citrus fruits), E (almonds, apricot oil, beef, egg yolk, hazelnuts, sunflowers, wheat germ) and glutathione (asparagus, avocado, eggs, garlic, plant and animal tissue, whey protein) should also massively help in the prevention of skin cancer and of course cancer in general. Seek out the most natural sun creams. Also the iris in your eyes is a major player in vitamin D production so try and hold off putting on those shades, for as long as possible, and if you wear glasses with UVA and UVB protection, have a sit down and take them off for a bit.

Chemicals are largely stored in your fat tissue. Chlorella can help to chelate them out of your body. Be careful if you go down this route and always add greens gradually as they can play havoc with your digestive system. Also always consult a professional nutritionist before adding any supplement to your lifestyle, contact me for more personal recomendation.

A last footnote, those chemicals in disposable nappies (in the gels and the materials), are being absorbed into your little babies skin. Use natural ones or re-usable ones.

Here are some links to back up some of what I have said, let me know if you have any questions or information to add.

http://www.thelosthaven.co.uk/BSoda.htm uses for baking soda

http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/sunlight.html

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/cancer/melanoma/

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=509 A truly brilliant cancer charity

http://products.mercola.com/chlorella/ You can skip the video if you want!

Books used:

Staying Healthy with Nutrition (2006)Elson Hass

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (1991) V.A. Worwood

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