Scent is powerful. It can trigger memories, make us feel happy, comfortable and loved. A smell can mean home, love and belonging.
We’ve all heard of essential oils. Some swear by them, others dismiss them offhand and still others think they’re just great for making their homes smell lovely. But when it comes right down to it, how much do we actually know about these olfactorily pleasing wonders?
True essential oils are compounds that carry the ‘essence’ of the plant and are extracted from the leaves, bark, flowers or rind of a plant by cold pressing or distillation. These retain the plant’s aroma and taste as well as some of their beneficiary properties. Usually, this essential oil is then mixed with a carrier oil to dilute it and make it easier to use.
The most popular way to use essential oils is through aromatherapy which relies on smelling the oils. This can be done in lots of ways such as diffusers, hot baths or by applying these directly to your skin. This last one has the added benefit of allowing certain plant compounds to be absorbed but should be handled with caution as certain pure oils can cause sensitivity and skin irritation if undiluted. The act of inhaling allows the aromatic particles from the oils to stimulate various areas of the limbic system which is is the part of the brain that plays a role in regulating our emotions, behaviours and long-term memory.
Essential oils have long been used in traditional medicine all around the world. However, more and more research is being done and modern medicine can now support a lot of the benefits that our ancestors already knew about.
Stress and Anxiety
A large percentage of people who suffer from high stress levels and anxiety turn to alternative therapy methods to help cope with such episodes. Lavender has long been associated with relaxation but studies have now shown that oils rich in terpenes such as sandalwood and spruce can also be beneficial as these are the chemical compounds that make us feel mellow and calm.
Focus and Concentration
Essential oils have been found to help stimulate your mood and boost cognitive function, so it might be worth keeping some rosemary, ginger or basil oil by your desk as an afternoon pick me up.
Sleep and Relaxation
Many of us struggle to drift off peacefully into slumber so we’ll take all the help we can get! Essential oils have been shown to aid in relaxation and anatomē’s sleep oils contain botanicals known for their de-stressing and sleep promoting properties. And no matter what your sleep issue might be, there is a perfect anatomē oil blend to help.
Struggling to unwind?
Try anatomē’s Recovery + Sleep Classic Lavender blend which combines Cornish, Himalayan and French lavenders with English peppermint to create the ultimate relaxing blend to help you drift off more easily.
If you find yourself lying awake in the middle of the night, anatomē’s Recovery + Sleep Insomnia blend contains both Roman and German chamomile as well as Cornish lavender and Somali frankincense to help encourage a deep and restorative sleep.
Mind running in circles?
If it’s an overactive mind that is make sleep impossible, then anatomē’s Recover + Sleep Overactive Mind blend might be just the thing. Based on Somali frankincense and containing 22 different oils, this blend is high in terpenes which help lower cortisol levels and allow you to drift off peacefully and quieten the mind.
If you sleep lightly, the Japanese seaweed in anatomē’s Recover + Sleep Light Sleeper blend is high in polyphenols which encourage a deep and continuous sleep.
Essential oils can be used whenever you need a bit of a helping hand. The anatomē Recover + Sleep Oil Blends are best used before bed, preferably after a lovely soothing bath with anatomē’s Relax + Sleep Bath Salts. Massage slowly into your skin and you should start to notice the positive effects after about a week.