Let me take you on a fictious journey for a few minutes. This is a light hearted journey about survival and is purely just for fun, we don’t need to re-enact this scenario for real! What this journey will show is how you can choose the right essential oil for you, and your needs. This is based on exactly the same process that I use when I create new products. You’ll be blending like an aromatherapy expert by the end!
Imagine for a few minutes that you, me and a group of other strangers have been stranded on a desert island. The only thing that we have managed to save is ourselves and 5 objects each. These objects are linked to our area of expertise. So let me set the scene further by introducing to you the other survivors on our island.
In our party we have a carpenter. (S)he has chosen to bring 5 tools that will enable us to make our shelter. We’ve also got an electrician who will use his/her knowledge alongside the 5 specially selected tools that will enable us to fix the broken radio. This radio will eventually be used to send a message out for help that will result in our being rescued. We also have a doctor with medication (5 carefully chosen types of) who will keep us alive and healthy should we fall ill. There are also other survivors who each bring with them their skills and their 5 selected objects that support their skills.
Each of these people have worked out the best tools to bring to the island based on what they need to do on the island. This is exactly the same process involved in choosing the right essential oil.
You are probably wishing for someone other than me to be marooned with and are wondering how on earth me and my essential oils can help us in this survival. Let me assure you that I will carefully chose the 5 best essential oils that will not only keep us healthy and mentally well but will also keep the bugs off us too.
Get the most from your essential oils
So here we are. We are stranded on this desert island, and for the interim we shall call it home. I’m going to let you know why you are glad that me and my essential oils are here with you. From it you will also learn how to get the most out of your essential oils in the real world, as you will know exactly how to choose the best oils for your needs.
What therapeutic benefits do I want?
A process that I always go through when creating new products is to look at the therapeutic benefits that I want my products to provide. Following this same process I need to carefully chose 5 essential oils for our desert island predicament that will provide numerous properties.
As I mentioned this process starts with the features that I want from my chosen oils. Here on our desert island I have decided that we need aromatherapy oils that have specific therapeutic properties. There may be more properties required, but for the minute I’m just sticking to these main ones; analgesic, anti-anxiety, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, immunostimulant, local anaesthesia and sedative.
Every essential oil is made up of a number of chemical components. This is it’s chemistry make-up. It is what gives the oil its uniqueness, it’s ‘therapy’ and it’s aroma. Each component has a number of therapeutic properties associated with it. This explains why one essential oil can help with a variety of different needs as each component brings it’s own therapy.
Once I’ve decided on the therapeutic properties, I can then work out which chemical components I need. With this information I am in a better position to work out exactly what chemistry make up I want my essential oil to be comprised of. Therefore enabling me to choose the best essential oil for my needs.
It’s just like buying a second hand car from Autotrader really. The main criteria for my initial car search being that one; the car is located within a 20 mile radius of my home address. Two; I want it to be a Ford and three; I want to spend £5,000 on it. This ‘criteria’ being the therapeutic requirements I want from my essential oil. When I put all of this into the search field I get a choice of 15 cars. These ‘choices’ being the chemical components.
I now need to choose which model to go for as the choice of 15 cars is made up of a few different models – do I go want a Ka, Galaxy, S-Max, Focus or Fiesta. Having researched each of these cars I’ve decided that the Ford Focus is the best fit that meets all my needs. When I input this into the search criteria I get left with 2 cars, one blue and one yellow. These ‘2 cars’ being the essential oils.
Both cars will meet my needs so I can choose either. I can also blend these two cars together to create a green car which would actually give me an even better car, this is referred to as a synergy but will probably require a whole new blog post for this topic.
The car selection principal can be applied to making the correct essential oil choices. Choose the therapeutic properties that you require, work out the chemical components that support these properties, find the essential oils with a high percentage of these components.
And there you have it. In very simple terms this is the process that I go through in order to choose the right essential oil for the job in hand based on chemistry.
Perhaps if you are a beginner in aromatherapy or you want to shorten this process then you could bypass the chemistry bit. Simply write down the therapeutic properties that you need and find all the oils that match those properties. I have a free eBook that you can download at the end of this post that has a handy chart that will help in this selection process.
However, the benefit of looking at the chemistry of the oil is that you really can select the best oil that meets your need. Take for example our car scenario. We’ve narrowed down our selection to a blue car and a yellow car. One car has 10,000 miles on the clock and the other has 90,000 miles. The best car to buy would be the one with only 10,000 miles. Likewise, when you have two essential oil choices, you will select the oil that best meets your needs. In this case it will be the one that has the highest amount of the chosen chemical component.
The five best essential oils
Let’s move away from chemistry now and get back to our desert island scenario and the right essential oils that I need to bring. Based on the properties that we need to support our survival such as antiviral, analgesic and immunostimulant I can work out the five best essential oils to bring to the island.
Not only will these essential oils provide many antibacterial and antiseptic qualities, but they will also provide healing benefits too, both on an emotional wellbeing level and on a medicinal level.
Best essential oil for stress relief | Neroli
Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antidepressant, antispasmodic
This oil is great for wellbeing due to it’s uplifting and calming aroma, perfect during times of acute anxiety such as being stranded on a deserted island with a bunch of strangers. It also has antibacterial features and can be used to help fight off a cold, which might be useful if we get caught in the rainstorm and our immune system goes down. Neroli can also help with minor pain relief or inflammation, ideal if we have issues with the resident island bugs.
Best wound healing essential | Lavender
Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiviral, immunostimulant
Lavender is a must for any first aid kit. A great healing oil that comes with so many properties. With it’s wound healing properties this oil promotes healing to burns, bites and stings and on an emotional level can calm our anxious minds.
Best essential oil for the immune system | Balsam Copaiba
Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antidepressant, antispasmodic, antiviral
Another oil with fantastic skin and wound healing properties. It is a great pain-relieving oil with anti-inflammatory properties, again ideal for treating bites and stings. Balsam Copaiba also possesses antibacterial and anti-fungal properties too, another great essential oil to boost the immune system. The oil comes from the resin of the Copaifera officinalis tree, found within the Brazillian Rainforest and can be used to quieten a restless mind and promote peace and tranquillity.
Best essential oil for pain relief | Coriander
Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-anxiety, antispasmodic
Possibly one of my favourite essential oils. Coriander is great for infection, pain and inflammation. Studies have shown that this oil has similar analgesic (pain relieving) effects to that of aspirin. For our wellbeing, coriander also has many balancing properties and can help with tension headaches and mental exhaustion.
Best antimicrobial essential oil | Myrtle
With many antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties this oil is perfect at supporting the respiratory system. With its antimicrobial properties it can keep germs away and may inhibit viruses. It can also be used as an insect repellent, ideal when you are encountering flying bugs.
In order to safely apply these essential oils to the skin we will need to find a carrier oil. Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts and using undiluted on the skin can cause a number of serious issues. As our desert island has an abundance of coconut trees we will be able to make our own coconut oil. Coconut oil is not only an ideal carrier oil it is also comes with excellent anti-inflammatory properties too. Our insect bite lotion will heal in an instant!
If the desert island scenario has got you thinking about how you can use essential oils at home to support your wellbeing and you want find out more about how to use aromatherapy in the home then download this FREE eBook Inside you’ll learn more about the therapeutic properties of 14 essential oils, see how easily you can use them at home and by using the simple guide you’ll be able to choose the best essential oil for your needs based on it’s therapeutic properties.
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